Pomegranate juice represents another of the foods recently touted for its health benefits. In some clinical studies, pomegranate juice has been shown to be of significant benefit, especially in the prevention of heart disease. To start, a glass of pomegranate juice contains about 40% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C. It also has Vitamin A, E and folic acid in good quantities.Further, pomegranate juice has excellent antioxidant properties. It has about three times more antioxidants ounce for ounce than does red wine or green tea. Many people also enjoy its rich taste, making it a welcome beverage. Pomegranate juice has been shown to work well as a blood thinner. Some research has shown it may be an excellent agent for promoting blood flow to the heart. It also has been shown to reduce plaque in the arteries, and to raise “good” levels of cholesterol while helping lower “bad” cholesterol.This preliminary research suggests that pomegranate juice may be helpful in preventing heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Most physicians are quick to point out pomegranate juice should be just one aspect of a healthy diet and exercise program. Pomegranate juice alone would probably not cure or completely prevent heart disease.
Though the ancients used pomegranate skin and bark for medicinal purposes, only the seeds are edible. Fresh pomegranate is available from September until January. The seeds are a brilliantly colorful addition when tossed on a salad.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
The pomegranate has been used in folk medicine for centuries in the Middle East, India, and Iran. The health giving properties of the pomegranate are celebrated in a Jewish fairy tale, and it takes its place in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
The pomegranate provides a substantial amount of potassium, is high in fiber, and contains vitamin C and niacin.
Research conducted by Michael Aviramof the Lipid Research Laboratory at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has revealed the antioxidant properties of the fruit. Preliminary studies indicate that the juice may possess almost three times the total antioxidant ability of green tea or red wine.