November is National Pomegranate Month and in light of that, I thought I would discuss the many benefits of drinking pomegranate juice or eating pomegranates. This fruit has been around since the dawn of time, it’s even been mentioned in Greek mythology and throughout the historical accounts of the Persian and Chinese cultures.
From now until January, you can buy fresh pomegranates to your heart’s content — and health for that matter. Sometimes, it can be tough to find fresh fruits during the winter months, but pomegranates are freshest between September and January.
The tasty part of this fruit can be a little tricky to get to, as the seeds and the pulp are the edible part, which you can only get to with your fingers, but it is well worth the effort.
Pomegranates have been long touted for their health benefits. Chock full of antioxidants, pomegranates fight to inhibit damage from free radicals. They can also potentially help stave off cancer and other conditions caused by free radicals. This is important, because free radicals can contribute to high cholesterol levels, which can cause arterial plaque and clogging.
Nitric oxide in your body helps to control the constriction and relaxation of the arteries, which, in turn, helps to increase blood flow. It helps to keep your body working optimally when it comes to either the relaxing or widening of your blood vessels, thereby controlling your blood pressure. In addition, it also helps to stave off atherosclerosis. This means, in turn, that the risk of heart disease is decreased.
A study conducted by researchers in Sausalito, California found that drinking just under a cup of pomegranate juice daily could be of benefit for people with coronary heart disease.
The study included 45 patients who had coronary heart disease and myocardial ischemia, and were either given 240 ml of pomegranate juice or a placebo juice per day for three months. All the participants had similar levels of stress-induced ischemia at the beginning of the study, but those who drank the pomegranate juice had lowered levels than when they first began, while those drinking placebo had increased levels. There was no change to medications, blood sugar, or blood pressure.
While drinking pomegranate juice daily could benefit people with coronary artery disease according to this study, it is also beneficial to those of us who are healthy and who want to help keep our heart and blood vessels in top shape.