Thursday, April 09, 2009


2009 is declared the year of the pomegranate! Once considered old-fashioned, this fruit is being noticed not only for its sweet taste but for its healthy benefits as well.

The fruit is developed from a small growing shrub, mostly native to the Mediterranean region. Depending on the location and weather, the fruit is in season from either September to January or March to May. The name is a Latin combination of the words apple and seeded.

The fruit is red in nature and berry-like. With the flavor ranging from sweet to sour depending on the ripeness of the fruit.

Nowadays, pomegranates are used most commonly as juices or other liquid flavorings, but that wasn't always the case. In Iranian foods the pomegranate is used as a substitute in dishes for the the tomato. A traditional dish would feature a pomegranate sauce glazed over poultry, commonly duck, and served with rice. In Indian and Pakistani cultures the pomegranate seeds are ground up and sold as a popular spice named Anardana. In America pomegranates are commonly used in salad dressings, meat marinates, a base for wines, ice cream or mixed with yogurt's.

Pomegranates are a great source of several vitamins and help in reducing risk to certian diseases and ailments. Primarily, the fruit is a good source of vitamin B, which play an important role in keeping cells healthy. Also, the B vitamin is successful in speeding up the metabolism, helping to process foods faster and maintain a healthier weight. The B vitamin is also known to enhance the immune system and promote heathy skin.

Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene are also present in pomegranates. Essential nutrients, like vitamin C are important because they help to fight off toxins that can induce the common cold and other bugs. Beta Carotene is a good source that helps to promote healthy vision and immune health.

Several recent studies have shown significant potential health benefits from drinking pomegranate juice. Here are eleven:

Fights Breast Cancer - Studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.

Lung Cancer Prevention - Studies in mice show that pomegranate juice may inhibit the development of lung cancer.

Slows Prostate Cancer - It slowed the growth of prostate cancer in mice.

Keeps PSA Levels Stable - In a study of 50 men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

Protects the Neonatal Brain - Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice may protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury.

Prevention of Osteoarthritis - Several studies indicate that pomegranate juice may prevent cartilage deterioration.

Protects the Arteries - It prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may reverse previous plaque buildup.

Alzheimer's Disease Prevention - It may prevent and slow Alzheimer's disease. In one study, mice bred to develop Alzheimer's disease were given pomegranate juice. They accumulated significantly less amyloid plaque than control mice and they performed mental tasks better.

Lowers Cholesterol - It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).

Lowers Blood Pressure - One study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.

Dental Protection - Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.

Source - Health Diaries


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