The pomegranate, also known as the Chinese apple, is about the size of an apple with hundreds of ruby-colored, juicy seeds. It is becoming more popular in the United States and can be found in grocery stores in a variety of forms, including juice.
People are becoming more aware about the health benefits of pomegranate juice. It is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
Some 200 years ago, sailors on long voyages would die from a lack of vitamin C because of a disease called scurvy. In fact, vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which means “no scurvy”.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for speeding up the aging process and for causing many age-related diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
Vitamin C is also needed to help strengthen the immune system, maintain healthy skin, bones, and teeth, and promote the absorption of iron.
Vitamin K is needed for the synthesis of proteins involved in blood clotting. It is important for the formation of cartilage and is also an antioxidant.
Folate, also known as folacin or folic acid, can especially benefit women who are pregnant by reducing the risk of nervous system problems in the fetus. It is also needed for cell division, which can help prevent anemia, intestinal damage, and other disorders.
It is believed that pomegranate juice can help stop the buildup of plaque in blood vessels and also reduce existing plaque.
Improving Blood Flow
In one study involving 45 individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial ischemia (decrease blood flow to the heart), those who drank a glass of pomegranate juice every day for 3 months had better results during a stress test than those who did not drink the juice. According to the lead researcher, Dean Ornish, MD, drinking pomegranate juice may help prevent heart disease.
Slowing the growth of prostate cancer is believed to be another health benefit of drinking pomegranate juice every day. According to research from UCLA, it appears to stop the growth of cancer cells.
There are some concerns about pomegranate juice affecting the metabolism of certain prescription medications. If you are taking medications and wish to drink pomegranate juice regularly, consult with your health care provider first.
To enjoy the many health benefits of pomegranate juice, try this delicious smoothie recipe:
In a blender, blend 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup of frozen berries (unsweetened), and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt until smooth.
NutritionData: Pomegranates - https://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2038/3
MedicineNet: Pomegranate Power! - https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=63996
Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pomegranate_Juice_Fresh.JPG