Pomegranates are an amazing fruit and there is loads of reasons to love them.
Not only are they sweet and delicious, but very healthy too.
Considering it is National Pomegranate Month, it seemed fitting to highlight its effects on blood pressure and heart health, which is the most important benefit.
It’s In The Juice
Much like beetroot juice, the juice of a pomegranate is an incredibly rich source of dietary nitrates.
The body can convert vegetable sources of nitrate into a a signalling molecule called Nitric Oxide, which tells the cells in your arteries to soften and relax. Softer arteries remain thin and elastic, and encounter less resistance, which helps the heart to pump at reduced pressure (5, 6).
In fact, research from 2004 found that just 1.7 oz (50 mL) of pomegranate juice per day was linked to a 30 percent reduction in carotid artery thickness, which is the critical artery that supplies the head and neck (14).
The more thin and elastic your arteries are, the better.
That study was one of the first big clues to researchers that pomegranate could be much more than just a tasty treat.
More recent studies have looked at the cardiovascular effects of pomegranate juice consumption and those with high blood pressure, who are at greater risk of heart disease.
It was found that consuming around 5 oz (150 mL) of pomegranate juice daily for 2 weeks can lower both systolic (top reading) and diastolic (bottom reading) blood pressure by clinically significant amounts (15, 16).
If you have high blood pressure and have difficulty keeping it under control without medication, then pomegranate juice could be a great place to start. But don’t worry if it is difficult for you to access, there are several other natural foods scientifically shown to help too.