January 20th, 2014
With the multitude of juice cleanses and detox diets out there, it’s easy to lose track of what fruits have the strongest health benefits. But there’s one ruby fruit out there that is full of fiber, potassium, antioxidants and can lower your risk of heart disease. The pomegranate health benefits are hard to count!
Reports from the American Institute for Cancer Research have shown that it has more antioxidant power than green tea or cranberry juice. And with its sweet taste and bold color, pomegranate serves as a great addition sprinkled over a salad or splashed in a smoothie.
Pomegranate is full of compounds called tannins that have the potential to help reduce heart disease, lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, and reduce oxidative stress levels in arteries. In a study conducted by researcher, Dean Ornish, MD, this fruit was shown to improve blood flow to the heart in people with ischemic coronary heart disease (CHD). Drinking eight fluid ounces of pomegranate juice daily for three months reduced levels of ischemia during a stress test. In fact, Ornish revealed his belief that pomegranate juice may even be able to help prevent heart disease in people who do not already have it. That’s certainly worth cracking open a bottle of pomegranate juice for!
Antioxidants are known to help prevent and repair DNA damage that can lead to cancer. The antioxidants in pomegranates may help neutralize free radicals in the body before they cause disease or premature aging, according to a UCLA study. In fact, the antioxidant chemicals found in this heavenly fruit may even prevent the return of prostate cancer.
Continued research at UCLA proved that pomegranate juice appeared to suppress the growth of cancer cells and increased cancer cell death in lab testing.
Finally, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the antioxidants in pomegranates may help keep cholesterol in a form that is less damaging, and may also reduce plaque that has already built up in blood vessels.
Eight ounces of pomegranate juice supplies about 10% of your daily quota for potassium, a nutrient necessary for energy production and keeping blood pressure in check. And when it comes to fiber, each fruit packs about five grams per half cup—as long as you eat the pomegranate with its crunchy seeds!
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