October 02, 2014

13 Reasons to Love Pomegranates

Pomegranates offer more than just incredible taste—they are nutritional and healing powerhouses. Here are 13 reasons to start eating pomegranates or drinking their juice if you aren’t already:

1.  Anti-aging effects:  Pomegranates contain plentiful amounts of antioxidants. They rate high on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)—a measure of how well free radicals are absorbed. Pomegranate juice measures 2860 on this scale.

2.  Kidney protection:  New research published just days ago in the journal Renal Failureshowed that an extract of pomegranate prevented kidney damage and protected the kidneys against harmful toxins.

3.  Liver protection and regeneration:  More new research published in the journal Toxicology and Industrial Health showed that pomegranate juice not only protects the liver, it helps it to regenerate after it has been damage.

4.  Immune-boosting:  Pomegranates and pomegranate juice are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C—an essential and quickly depleted nutrient at this time of year.

5.  Anti-allergic:  Pomegranates are high in substances called polyphenols which have been shown to reduce the biochemical processes that are linked with allergies.

6.  Protects against heart disease:  New research published in the journal Atherosclerosis shows that pomegranate improves the body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol and destroy free radicals in the vascular system.

7.  Prostate-cancer protection:  Research conducted at the University of California, Riverside, and published in the journal Translational Oncology indicates that pomegranate juice and pomegranate extracts caused cancer cell death.

8.  Breast-cancer protection:  Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, also studied the effects of pomegranate juice and its nutritional components: luteolin, ellagic acid, and punicic acid against breast cancer.  They pubished their results in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and concluded that pomegranate juice and its extracts “are potentially a very effective treatment to prevent cancer progression…”

9.  Skin-cancer protection:  Consumption of pomegranate was associated with a decrease in both main types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, according to new research in theBritish Journal of Dermatology.

10.  DNA-protection:  The antioxidants and/or phytonutrients in pomegranates also appear to interact with the body’s genetic material for protection.

11.  Blood pressure normalizing:  Early research published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutritionfound that pomegranate extract may help prevent blood pressure increases associated with eating high fat meals.

12.  Metabolic syndrome regulating:  Research published in the journal Food and Function shows that pomegranate helps regulate blood sugar, improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, decreases inflammation, and improves numerous other factors involved in metabolic syndrome—frequently implicated in obesity and often a precursor to diabetes. Because of these effects, pomegranate may aid weight loss.

13.  Anti-infectious:  New research published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that an extract of pomegranate increased the effectiveness of a drug used against gram-negative bacteria.  Many gram-negative bacteria are known for drug resistance.

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