Pomegranate and You

Why you should eat this red, seedy fruit. (Or easier, drink the juice.)

If you’ve ever tried eating a pomegranate, you know how much work is required to get to the edible seeds and juice inside the thick outer layer. But you may not know that the health rewards are well worth the work. You can make it easier on yourself and just buy the juice, which is available at most grocery stores.

This fruit, native to the ancient Middle East but now grown in various countries around the world, is filled with powerful antioxidants that provide many health benefits. While scientists are still working on proving the effectiveness of pomegranates in healing and preventing illness, there seems to be a strong connection between pomegranates and health and wellness.

You should be able to find fresh pomegranates in your produce section from September through January, and the juice should be on shelves year-round. The next time you shop for groceries, should you buy a pomegranate or two? Yes, you should. Here’s why.

They’re Rich in Antioxidants

Compared to other fruits, pomegranates pack a powerful punch when it comes to antioxidant content. Containing more antioxidants than green tea, red wine, and blueberries, pomegranates are filled with polyphenols and flavonoids that work to protect against heart disease; prevent cancer; and benefit the nervous system, bones, and cardiovascular system.

With such a reputation, pomegranates should be a regular part of your diet!

They Fight Cancer

Men at risk for prostate cancer or who have had prostate cancer should take note. Drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis has been shown to possibly slow the growth of this type of cancer.

The antioxidants found in pomegranates work to prevent and repair the kind of cell damage that often leads to cancer. Lab experiments have shown pomegranate juice to limit the growth of cancer cells and speed cancer cell death. Research is ongoing to discover the effect pomegranates may have on other types of cancer.

They Lower the Risk for Cardiovascular Problems

Need to reduce your total cholesterol or LDL (bad) cholesterol? At risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or have high blood pressure? Try drinking pomegranate juice.

Pomegranates contain compounds called punicalagins, which keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Drinking pomegranate juice daily may lower your systolic blood pressure by as much as 21 percent. So drink pomegranate juice to help keep fatty deposits from building up in your carotid arteries, lower your blood pressure, and improve blood flow to your ticker. These three benefits of this red, juicy fruit go a long way toward warding off heart attack and stroke.

A Host of Other Uses

While more research is needed on the exact role of pomegranates in health and healing, many people use pomegranates to treat the following health conditions: obesity, fungal infections, intestinal worms, sore throat, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, gum disease, osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, depression, and more.

And while more research is needed to determine the exact health benefits of pomegranates, you can know for sure it’s one of those powerhouse fruits everyone should include in their regular diet. Try it today in a smoothie, on a salad, or as a refreshing beverage.

Safety Issues

Though pomegranates are perfectly safe and healthy for most people to enjoy, some may be allergic to this fruit or their skin may react to contact. Since pomegranates work to lower blood pressure, if you’re on blood pressure medication or take herbs or supplements to lower blood pressure, the combination may lower your blood pressure to an unsafe level. Also, if you’re planning to have surgery, avoid eating this fruit a few weeks prior to surgery for the same reason.

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