Pomegranate juice is a refreshing fruit juice that not only tastes delicious, but may provide many cardiovascular health benefits as well.
What are the heart healthy properties in pomegranate juice?
Pomegranate juice contains powerful antioxidants. Many juices contain antioxidants, but pomegranate juice contains much higher levels of these healing properties.
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage cells and contribute to heart disease. Consuming foods and juices, such as pomegranate juice, rich in antioxidants increases the protection against damaging free radicals.
How can pomegranate juice help prevent heart disease?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the high concentration of antioxidants in pomegranate juice, especially polyphenols, can help slow and potentially block the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.
The hardening of the arteries, called artherosclerosis, is a serious condition that could result in a heart attack or stroke. Pomegranate juice may prevent the hardening of the arteries that is caused by plaque buildup.
In addition, pomegranate juice may also help keep platelets from clotting, which can help to keep blood vessels open and healthy.
How can pomegranate juice be used to help treat heart disease?
People's Pharmacy cites a study that shows patients with heart disease who drank 8oz. of pomegranate juice daily for three months had improvement on the amount of oxygen that was delivered to the heart muscles.
High blood pressure can put strain and stress on blood vessels and cause damage. Pomegranate juice may be able to reduce the stress on blood vessels by increasing the amount of nitric oxide delivered to the blood vessels.
In a study, mice with heart disease that were given pomegranate juice showed a decrease in lesions on their blood vessels over mice that were not given pomegranate juice. These findings point towards the potential that pomegranate juice may be able to help reverse damage caused by heart disease in humans. [PNAS 2005]
Where can I get pomegranate juice?
As pomegranate juice grows in popularity, a number of different brands of pomegranate juice are available in grocery stores across the country. When choosing a pomegranate juice, make sure to select a variety that doesn't contain extra sugar, preservatives, or additives.
How should I decide if pomegranate juice is right for me?
Everyone has a unique health situation and may respond differently to pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice may interact with certain medications, so make sure to discuss all medications and supplements you are currently taking with your health care provider. Only your licensed health care provider can help you decide whether pomegranate juice is a safe addition to your diet and health care regimen.
(*The information provided in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat any health issues. The information in this article should not replace the professional consultation and care of your licensed healthcare provider.)
Medline Plus. "Antioxidants." www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus
People's Pharmacy. "Pomegranates Have Many Health Benefits." www.healthcentral.com
WebMD. "Pomegranate Juice May Clear Clogged Arteries." www.webmd.com
Thomas Behrenbeck. "Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol?" www.mayoclinic.com
de Negris, Filomena, et al. "Beneficial effects of pomegranate juice on oxidation-sensitive genes and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity at sites of perturbed shear stress." PNAS. March 29, 2005. vol. 102; no. 13; 4896-4901.