Pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits on record, and it originated in Persia. It is found in many writings and artifacts in various cultures and religions. This amazing fruit is packed with nutrition and antioxidants. Pomegranate has been honored for its health and fertility, and is a symbol of eternal life. (1)
As we all know, the advantages of consuming antioxidant rich foods are numerous! Previous studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of pomegranates may reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. But did you know that they could actually reverse plaque buildup in the arterial walls? (2,3)
Existing plaque buildup was reduced
A group of Israeli scientists studied patients with a narrowing of their carotid neck arteries, cutting off 80% of the body’s blood flow to the brain, due to atherosclerosis. When patients were supplied with pomegranate juice supplements throughout the year, lesions within the walls reduced in size by 35%. This was a significant contrast to the control group in which the lesions actually increased by 9%! (2,4,5)
Antioxidant activity skyrocketed
In the same study, patients that included pomegranate juice supplements also noticed an increase in antioxidant activity. The margin between them and the control group was quite large. The patients had a 130% increase compared to the start of the study! In addition, systolic blood pressure dropped by 21%! (2,4)
Pomegranate juice also protects LDL from harmful oxidation and researchers concluded that only 2 ounces of pomegranate juice is needed on a daily basis to obtain the results of lowered blood pressure. (2)
Amazing health benefits of pomegranates
Other studies have shown that pomegranate juice can also stop various cancers such as prostate, breast, colon, and leukemia, as well as preventing vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals. (1,2) For example, in one study involving prostate cancer, patients who consumed 8 ounces of pomegranate juice on a daily basis showed dramatic results. There was a 12% reduction in cancer cell growth, and a 17% increase in cancer cell death! (2)
Additionally, the phytochemical compounds in pomegranate juice stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, which improves symptoms of depression and increases bone mass in lab animals. (1)
How to cut the fruit as clean as possible
For many people, opening up pomegranates can be a messy headache. While there are many methods, here is a way that appears to be easy. Follow these simple steps:
- Cut the top end (not the blossom part), so it will lay flat on a cutting board.
- Cut off about a 1/4-inch crown of the blossom portion. It should look like an engraved crown.
- Feel where the ridges are around the fruit and use your knife to make gentle cuts down the ridges. There should be about a total of six ridges cut.
- Gently open up the fruit, splitting into six sections.
- Working over a bowl, peel the membranes surrounding each section and de-seed them. However, if you like, you can also de-seed them submerged under water. (6)
Just a word of caution: fresh pomegranate juice can stain your clothes, so be sure to cover appropriately or wear clothes you do not mind getting stains on. Enjoy!
Sources for this article include:
Image source: flic.kr
Article originally published on RawFoodWorld.com republished with permission.