There are many health benefits of pomegranate juice, but what is this pomegranate fruit in the first place?
Pomegranate, the utterly beautiful and delicious seedy fruit of a deciduous shrub Punica granatum, has been held in high esteem since time immemorial in many ancient civilizations, both for its nutritive value and for its medicinal properties.
Recent scientific studies have only corroborated the legendary benefits of pomegranate juice.
Loaded with antioxidants, in addition to folic acid and vitamins A and E, pomegranate juice is being touted as a super-food for preventing and fighting a whole gamut of degenerative diseases.
Many of the health benefits of pomegranate juice have been attributed to the presence of very high levels higher than in most other fruits, green tea and red wine of antioxidants like polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins.
Antioxidants are chemicals that act like scavengers of the infamous free radicals, which are naturally formed in the body as a result of metabolic reactions, aging, and external factors like pollution.
The highly reactive free radicals can damage the healthy DNA and have been linked to many degenerative diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, etc. Some of the restorative health benefits of pomegranate juice are summarized below.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
Studies on the effect of pomegranate juice on cardiovascular health have shown that it:
* reduces buildup of arterial plaque, preventing narrowing of the arteries and hence heart failure and stroke,
* increases the level of nitric oxide in blood, which results in relaxation of the arteries,
* inhibits the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), thus lowering the blood pressure,
* reduces systolic blood pressure, perhaps due to its high potassium content and negligible sodium content,
* decreases the plaque-forming “bad” LDL cholesterol level,
* increases the heart-protective “good” HDL cholesterol level, and
* increases blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.
Research scientists are also excited about the possibility of using pomegranate-derived compounds in treating some types of cancers (for example, prostate and breast). Studies in mice have shown promising results pomegranate extract was found to delay the development of tumors and improve their survival rate.
Some other studies have indicated that even arthritis may yield to the latent power of pomegranate juice. Tissue cultures of human cartilage cells were reported to respond positively to extracts of pomegranate.
Inflammation was reduced and the enzymes that break down the cartilage became less active. Though a pomegranate-derived prescription drug for aching joints is still far from being realized, most experts agree that drinking few ounces of pomegranate juice daily wouldn’t harm.
Some researchers have also reported that long-term consumption of pomegranate juice may also help people suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Though not yet backed by scientific studies, pomegranate juice has traditionally been used for treating a whole lot of digestive disorders like diarrhea, dysentery, colitis, flatulence, and for controlling nausea and morning sickness.
So, go for your glass of organic pomegranate juice, if you have the option.