Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why You Should Add the Humble Pomegranate to Your Diet

Many of us have heard of the pomegranate; it has been written about in famous literature and even in mythology.  The problem is that far fewer people have ever eaten pomegranate or even seen it.  Pomegranate has tons of wonderful benefits that you should know about - plus it's really delicious!  Once you know everything it can do for you, you’ll probably find yourself eating or drinking pomegranate juice every day. 

Pomegranate seeds (Photo credit: Flооd)
Pomegranates help promote heart health and proper circulation.  They contain three times the antioxidants of wine or green tea which, among other things, promote a healthy heart.  Regular consumption of pomegranate juice has been shown not only to stop hardening of artery walls and build-up of plaque; it has actually been shown to reverse these problems.  Having clear soft arteries helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.  If your concern is cholesterol levels, pomegranate has also been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol levels.  Another benefit of this improved circulation is that its can help cure impotence. 

The antioxidants in pomegranate give it power to help prevent and even treat cancer.  While pomegranate has been indicated for breast and skin cancer, the most promising research is with prostate cancer in men.  Regular consumption of pomegranate juice can significantly lower PSA levels in the body.  These chemicals are not only an indicator of your risk level for prostate cancer and other problems; they also indicate how well a man will respond to can treatment, radiation and chemotherapy.

In case this isn’t enough of a reason for you to start consuming more pomegranates, there are still more benefits from the amazing fruit.  We already know it’s brimming with antioxidants.  These powerful chemicals have been shown to reduce the affects of aging and prevent Alzheimer’s.  Pomegranate has also been shown in studies to prevent cartilage damage and protect babies from brain damage during birth.  While many of its traditional uses have not been studied extensively, pomegranate has traditionally been used to clear skin, reduce inflammation, and help with sore throats.

English: Taza anar Ka Juice, Pomegranate juice...
Fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, if this fruit is so wonderful, why don’t we see it very often?  One reason is that pomegranates have a short season and don’t keep well. It’s almost impossible to find fresh pomegranate out of season.  Many areas haven’t grown them until recently, and they had to be shipped from the Mediterranean.

These days you have several options for getting the benefits of pomegranate all year round.  You can usually find several brands of pomegranate juice in your local grocery store.  If you find the taste a bit too tart, you can also find pomegranate mixed with other familiar juices to give it a sweeter flavor.  Just make sure the product you get is 100% juice and doesn’t have any added sugars and fillers.

You can find fresh pomegranates in the US in grocery stores in November and December around the holidays.  You can either skin and deseed them for freezing, or just throw them in the juicer and freeze it for later. 

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