Tequila’s blue agave may
help lose weight and lower cholesterol
MEXICO CITY - Scientists from Mexico's
tequila producing region say juice extracted from the blue agave plant, best known when distilled into the fiery spirit, may
help dieters shed pounds and cut cholesterol. Sadly for the world's growing band
of tequila lovers, agave's possible health benefits are lost when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Spiky agave plants have been cultivated on Mexico's
arid central highlands for thousands of years. But more than anything the plant is known for what Spanish invaders called
"tequila wine." Now however, researchers from the University
of Guadalajara, close to the town of Tequila,
the cradle of Mexico's famous alcoholic export, say the plant's
powers go beyond inducing euphoric highs followed by crushing hangovers. "The structure of agave contains, among other things,
substances known as fructans," Dr Jorge Segura, who is leading the investigation,
told Reuters, "Fructans reduce cholesterol
(and) alter the absorption of fat in the intestine, at least in animals." Segura said he was confident
his team of 20 researchers would have similar results during their 18-month study on humans, launched this week. Inulin, a type of fructan, is a carbohydrate found in many plants, including asparagus. Some scientists believe
inulin helps weight loss. There are many kinds of agave through out Mexico;
however the Blue Agave flourishes in volcanic soil. Although Tequila and Mezcal and its other variants are made all
over Mexico and through out the world, the mountainous state
of Jalisco, Mexico is its birthplace.
The primary reason for this is that soil in that region comes from the old volcanoes that make up the mountain range.
If you ever get an opportunity to visit take special notice at the soil. It shimmers
like glitter from all of the nutrients. The Blue Agaves are more hearty and plentiful here than anywhere else in the world.
Incidentally there’s a town in Jalisco near the city of Guadalajara called
Tequila. The name agave comes from the Greek word for 'noble.' Organic agave nectar (and tequila) is made from the sap from
hearts (piņas) of the plant. This plant is actually related to the lily and amaryllis (it has its own genus, Agave). It is
known as a succulent and, although it shares a common habitat with many cacti, it is not one itself and has a different life
cycle. A mature agave has leaves 5-8 feet tall, and is 7-12 feet in diameter. It has a lifespan of 8-15 years, depending on
species, growing conditions and climate. With only 25 calories and 6g of carbs per tablespoon this is a great natural
sweetener. The agaves reproduce both sexually and asexually naturally but those involved in alcohol production are never allowed
to reach sexual maturity. At the on set of sexual maturity the agave produces a flowering spike in the middle of the
agave. But the agave farmers sever this spike, and all the plants nutrients and energy that would have gone
in to making flowers and seeds is then redirected. This redirection is back into the heart of the plant and at this
time they are harvested. The agaves are cut free from their root base and the sword like leaves are removed from the
central stem. It is at this point that the agaves take on a new descriptive name of piņa (because they look like big
pineapples). Organic agave nectar is a natural product that can sweeten any type of beverage or food. It is derived
from the carbohydrates present in the agave plant through a totally natural heating process with no chemicals involved. To
produce organic agave nectar, juice is expressed from the core of the agave (the piņa). The juice is then filtered to create
agave nectar. The agave nectar has the natural solids removed through a fine filtration process, creating a liquid that can
be used in recipes that require a more neutral base that can be colored. The
agave nectar is then heated, causing thermic hydrolysis which breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars. The main carbohydrate is a complex form of fructose called inulin or fructosan. The filtered juice is concentrated
to a syrup-like liquid a little thinner than honey but much better for you. Fructose
is a simple sugar found mainly in fruits and vegetables, thus, a smaller amount yields the same sweetness but fewer calories
than sucrose. This gives agave nectar advantages in both the food industry and the health of the consumer.
Comment: - I have one in my back yard! I persaonally
don't use any added sweeteners in anything except if I make a cashew milk based ice cream and there I use Xylitol..
My wife uses the agave in her coffee, she loves it. The best value for this miracle sweetener is at Amazon!Madhava is the best quality and value.
Click on the link below and see for yourself-
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