Pomegranates those amazing fruits: beautiful to the eye, filled with beneficial antioxidants and bursting with a tangy, sweet flavor. The antioxidant levels in pomegranate juice are higher than those in other natural juices, green tea and even red wine (1).
Pomegranates rich in antioxidants also provide cardiovascular benefits. According to a study conducted in 2006, the antioxidants in pomegranates can reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in diabetic patients and could actually inhibit additional clogging of the arteries otherwise known as atherosclerosis (2). This is very good news for people with high LDL levels or at high risk for clogged arteries. Another more promising study found pomegranate juice may reverse damage caused by LDL to the cells lining the walls of the arteries (3). Finally, another study also found pomegranates can reduce LDL levels in diabetic patients and researchers recommended that diabetes include pomegranates in their diet on a daily basis because of their beneficial effect in reversing cardiovascular damage and reducing the disease (4).
The antioxidants in pomegranates not only protect against heart disease but they also have anti-aging effects, reduce the risk of diabetes, decrease inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease (3). Additionally, one baseball sized pomegranate provides 16% fiber, 17% vitamin C, 21% percent vitamin K, 10% Folate, 7% Potassium, 8% Copper and 6% Manganese (5).
These fruits burst with nutrients and flavor, including one a day in your diet is a great idea but not everyone knows how to eat a pomegranate. First you need to peel the pomegranate, after you wash it of course, and then gently knock off the ruby red sacks leaving the beige fibers behind. You eat the red gems and discard the rest. For individuals who do not have the time to prepare this fruit, the juice is almost as good. Just keep in mind that antioxidant begin to degrade once the fruit is opened.
1) Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit LDL oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans (2002).
2) Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice consumption by diabetic patients on serum and on macrophages.
3) Pomegranate juice reduces oxidized low-density lipoprotein downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human coronary endothelial cells (2006).
4) Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated pomegranate juice in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia (2006).