When I was a little girl I lived in the dry and arid desert of Arizona. Our back yard was filled with exotic plants such as olive trees, kumquat bushes, orange trees and a pomegranate tree.
I am aghast that I did not appreciate this mini Garden of Eden for its incredible ability to produce good health, flavor, and sheer delight.
In fact, my friends and I would pull the luscious fruit from the pomegranate tree and throw it at the side of our houses….for fun. Pomegranates are filled with hundreds of beautiful garnet colored juice filled seeds that when thrown with force against a hard surface explode into millions of bits. Cool.
Had I known what I was literally throwing away I would have cowered in shame.
Over the past year I have been reminded of my mischievous ways because I am finding pomegranate’s stocked at my grocers. The first time I saw a display piled high of pomegranates immediate waves of nostalgia flowed through my veins. Then, pomegranate juices and other products started showing up on every aisle, it seemed. Why? Because, lo and behold, the pomegranate is a powerhouse of disease prevention and health maintenance.
Yes, the pomegranate is filled with high concentrations of the powerful antioxidants flavonoids. flavonoids are also found in wine and green tea as wells as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums. However, when compared to red wine and green tea, this amazing fruit is almost 3 times as powerful in protecting against free radical damage
Many studies have shown that these flavonoids play an important role in cancer treatment and prevention. Pomegranates are showing promising and significant effects on many malignancies including lung, breast, and colon cancer. Some of the most positive result of pomegranates have been demonstrated in the fight against prostate cancer.
Drinking pomegranate juice is also being studied for its effects on cholesterol. There is evidence that pomegranate juice contributes to blocking or slowing the build up of cholesterol in the arteries preventing heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. There is also discussion that it may raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Further, drinking 10 ounces of pomegranate juice daily has resulted in lower blood pressure.
There are also hopeful studies indicating pomegranate juice is helpful in slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study has found that dietary intake of pomegranate juice may reduce the buildup of harmful proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease by half.
Doctors recommend 8 ounces of pomegranate juice every day to achieve the most health benefits. The juice of the pomegranate has polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins which are compounds thought to have health benefits. In addition, the juice has many vitamins and minerals such as iron and vitamins A, C and E. Of course, all juices are not created equal. Be sure to read the labels and buy the juices with the least amount of sugar. Pom is a great brand with no added sugar.
Other Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Words of Warning
It is important to know a few facts about using pomegranate on a daily basis as a health supplement. First, studies on humans has been limited. Most of the promising findings that have been noted above took place in a lab with a petri dish or a beloved rat. That makes these discoveries promising but not conclusive.
Secondly, though pomegranate juice is safe to drink, you should consult with your doctor before drinking it daily. Because it acts as a blood thinner and can lower your blood pressure you should list it as a medication on you med list and inform your healthcare providers that you are taking it. Pomegranate juice is known to interact with some medications as well, including some blood pressure medications. Just let your doctor and healthcare providers know before starting on a regime. They will review you medications and medical history and give you direction.
Third, remember that pomegranate juice is high in sugar. Read the labels, compare them and choose one that is lowest in sugar content. I recommend POM because it has no added sugar. There is a coupon to print if you click HERE