Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved pomegranates (Punica granatum). What I absolutely hate is the frustration of all those tiny seeds (which are stated as “edible” by many but I tend to spit them out like cherry pits). Eating an actual pomegranate was a lot of work for very little return.
That’s why when I discovered the juice of this delicious fruit was (finally) available on the market a few years ago, I almost swooned with happiness. I bought it to drink with breakfast, to add a bit to my shakes, and as a mixer at parties.
That was before I understood the overwhelming benefits of pomegranate juice for my heart!
Now that I’ve personally passed the 40-year mark, maintaining my own heart health has taken a priority spot in what I think about in the long term. It’s great when something I already enjoy can help me with that. However, the nutrient-dense pomegranate is good for all of you!
- The most impressive quality of these pretty, delicious, and exotic fruits is how anti-inflammatory it is. Since inflammation is a bio-marker in all major diseases, this is a big deal. They’ve been shown particularly effective in lowering inflammatory markers for those who suffer from digestive distress, heart disease, and arthritis.
- Pomegranate juice helped to increase bone mass in laboratory animals (which helps to lower the risk of breaks and fractures).
- If you need a brain boost, pick pomegranates! Just a small amount was shown to improve memory skills and overall cognition in both healthy patients and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Scientists have confirmed that pomegranates are effective at lowering inflammation found in many types of cancer cells (prostate, breast, and colorectal), which may help to prevent or slow tumor growth.
- They stimulate estrogen and serotonin receptors that help improve mood.
- The benefits of pomegranate juice include being naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. This effect works with your own immune system to ward off harmful invaders that lead to infections.
- They’re simply packed with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin K, fiber, protein, and bioactive plant polyphenols. In fact, pomegranates have the most powerful antioxidant benefits of all fruits. The high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids makes them the ideal choice for a pop of nutrition.
- The bioactive compounds (punicalagins and punicic acid) are higher in pomegranates than those found in green tea, berries, or red wine.
Pomegranates have a fine history (one of the first fruits written of in ancient texts) and have been used in culinary and medicinal applications in the world’s oldest civilizations.Pomegranates have the most powerful antioxidant benefits of all fruits. #SuperfoodClick To Tweet
Let’s Talk about Your Heart & More Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women globally. In 2012 alone, more than 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular disease around the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That is the equivalent of 31% of all deaths from all causes.
A truly staggering statistic.
Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes is going to get you on the road to avoiding the fate of many millions. That includes eating nutritious foods, controlling body weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and getting regular exercise (even if it’s mild).
The experts are agreed that your diet has more impact on your lifelong health than every other factor. What they bicker over is no-fat vs healthy fat, fake sugar vs minimal sugar, and lots of grains vs limited grains.
The long-standing tables of what we’ve been assured was “healthy” are being steadily overturned by new science that debunks the claims made by the food industry (and backed by the majority of the medical community) for several decades.
New whole foods that feed your cells and assist hundreds of critical systems inside you are finally getting the attention they deserve. Pomegranate juice benefits are emerging as strong helpers in the health of your heart.Pomegranate juice benefits are emerging as strong helpers in the health of your heart.Click To Tweet
Johns Hopkins summarized their review of pomegranate studies by saying, “Pomegranate juice is rich in tannins, possesses anti-atherosclerotic properties, has anti-aging effects, and potent anti-oxidative characteristics. Pomegranate juice consumption may reduce systolic blood pressure, inhibits serum ACE activity, and is convincingly a heart-healthy fruit.”
Heart disease has many contributing factors and pomegranate juice seems to have an effect on the biggest ones.
In one study, participants who presented with high LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides saw an improvement in both within a month. It also raised the HDL “good” cholesterol. Another showed that pomegranate juice prevented oxidation of LDL particles. It enhances blood flow, which is excellent for the heart and overall energy.
In a small study of less than 20 patients with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), one group was given a cup of pure pomegranate juice each day. Within three months, the participants had a dramatic 13% decrease in carotid artery thickness which continued to improve over a year to a 35% decrease. The control group who didn’t drink the showed a 9% increase in carotid thickness.
In addition, patients who began the study (with an average systolic pressure of 174) experienced a consistent 12-point average drop in the juice group that ended up being more than 20-points lower by year-end (to an average systolic pressure of 152).
To review…drinking one cup daily of pomegranate juice benefits your artery health, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, appears to reverse existing damage, and boosts overall health.
You need this good stuff in your life (and your diet).
A Word of Caution…
A word of caution, if you’re taking certain drugs, talk to your doctor before making the juice part of your diet. The Mayo Clinic had this to say: “Pomegranate juice may cause dangerous side effects when it interacts with certain prescription medications, such as the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, including captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril).”
What Are Your Thoughts?
Pomegranate fruits are available in the winter months and keep for a long time if they’re refrigerated. However, I highly recommend the many benefits of pomegranate juice (and drink it myself)! It’s available year-round, isn’t outrageously expensive, stores well, is much more convenient, and gives you a daily dose of some of the best disease fighters you’ll find. Make sure you buy pure juice with no added sugars!
Have you added pomegranate juice to your eating plan? Did you do so for an existing condition? How has it worked for you?
My favorite part? No seeds!