The Hemp Connection + trip

eMarket Profile: Ibitta, a small company with a big mission--reduce diabetes in Hispanics

Over a year ago, inCYSTer Ivonne Ward e-mailed me about a product she'd found, called Pinalinaza. Pinalinaza is part of a family of products created by the Ibitta company. Eventually, we made contact with each other, and on a recent trip to Los Angeles, I made time to visit Vice President Frank Medina at the company headquarters in Southgate.

The Medina family, of Mexican heritage, out of a desire to put a dent in the dismal incidence of diabetes in their culture, has decided to create line of products based on native foods. Pinalinaza and Nopalinaza are blends of ground flax (linaza is the Spanish word for flax) and nopal powder. Nopal is a cactus pad that is high in soluble fiber, known to help reduce glycemic index as well as blood lipids. Nopalinaza is the unflavored version of this mix, while Pinalinaza is pineapple flavored.

A third version, Fibrajamaica, is hibiscus-flavored. If you're a follower of this blog, you will recall that I wrote about hibiscus, with its high anthocyanin content, as being our Southwest antioxidant version of the popular blueberry.

These powders are designed so that they can be stirred into a glass of water or juice and consumed daily as a supplement. But I've also been experimenting with them in my kitchen. I recently attended a potluck dinner where I made a vanilla-hibiscus cheesecake with a crust including Fibrajamaica. It was well received!

Fibramanzana, the fourth variety of this product line, is apple-flavored. It is my favorite one to use on oatmeal, and to bake into breads, muffins. etc.

If you're into prebiotics (they're the favorite food of probiotics, the good bacteria in your gut), Ibitta has a carob-flavored inulin product I have quickly came to love.

It's perfect stirred into milk, or Greek yogurt, topped with nuts, if you prefer to dress it up a bit. You can even blend it into smoothies if that's your favorite breakfast.

Inulin is the source of the prebiotics, and it is found in agave plants native to Mexico. I've written about inulin in another post, if you're interested in more detail. It has a lot of health benefits, but because of the controversy over agave, they sometimes don't get the attention they deserve.

Ibitta has also created a very clever product that is consistently described as"addictive" by everyone I've known who has tried it. Called Kakty, the best way to describe this is a chili-lime flavor dried cactus snack. It's got a bit of a gummy bear-like texture; all it is, is dried nopal with a tiny bit of sugar with a predominant chili-lime flavor. It's low glycemic and perfect for the afternoon munchies.

I often send food samples to my dad for taste testing. He has more of a normal American appetite than me, and his feedback helps me to gauge what's going to work on a large scale. Kakty is the one food I've ever sent him that he asked me how he could buy it locally. That says a lot!

What has also gotten my attention about this company is that ever since we wrote about it, it's consistently one of the most common search words that brings people to this blog. It's clearly popular with those who know about it.

Stomping out diabetes is a big job, and the Medinas have a big vision. But they've also got big potential. We're proud to have them join our eMarket.

Reminder: From now through Labor Day, 100% of all profits generated by the inCYST eMarket will be devoted to the inCYST Institute nonprofit division. We've got startup costs to account for before we can get down to the basics of funding research. This is one way we plan to generate those funds. You can help to make it happen!

antioxidant, food, fun, get healthy body, happy, hibiscus, inulin, juice, love, nopales, prebiotic, and more:

eMarket Profile: Ibitta, a small company with a big mission--reduce diabetes in Hispanics + trip