This fantastic little fruit recently made its way back into the news after some spectacular clinical results. Here’s what you need to know:
One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of Asia. This nutrient, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life and as we referred to another post here, it is a symbol of wealth and prosperity as well. Traditionally, Greeks break a pomegranate at the 1st day of the year.
Pomegranate is a red fruit with a tough outer layer; only the juice and the seeds inside are edible. Pomegranate juice is available year round, but we would recommend purchasing fresh pomegranates in most grocery stores from September through January. Seeding a pomegranate may seem like a lot of work for just a piece of fruit, but then again, think about getting at those nutrients and antioxidants may be well worth it. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries!
A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagin is the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.
In a recent research, participants were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.
Of note, pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.
Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab anima