(Yes, that’s a corny title. 🙂 I love the title of another article I came across on the web: “Male and Pregnant? Stay away from Pomegranates!” I suppose that if you find yourself in that category you may want to avoid them, but for the rest of us this fruit is truly an amazing substance. It is one of those rare cases where overindulgence in tasty treats is actually a good thing. We may throw the title of “superfood” around too much now a days, but pomegranate truly provides health benefits beyond those of most other foods. Here is just a taste:
- Pomegranate can significantly reduce the inflammation and oxidation implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease. One of the mechanisms responsible for this its ability to raise levels of PON-1 ( paraoxonase-1) an enzyme critical to the function of HDL in removing harmful LDL cholesterol. This process is called reverse cholesterol transport. It is also effective in preventing the oxidation of the LDL, the event that triggers the harmful chain of events. Studies have shown that the regular ingestion of pomegranate can actually clear accumulated atherosclerotic plaque from the arteries, thus reversing one of the factors of aging. (see “studies” page)
- Pomegranate has shown promise in the battle against breast and other cancers. Researchers at City Hope Hospital in Duarte Cal demonstrated a suppressive effect on the proliferation of breast cancer cells through its polyphenols such as ellagitannin. It has also shown inhibitive effect in vitro on prostate cancer cell development as well. According to the National Cancer Institute pomegranate may have an ability to induce apoptotic cancer cell death, and it can possibly slow the matastasis of prostate cancer to the bone. A lot more study is clearly called for in this area.
- Pomegranate is also one of the most powerful antioxidants, containing even more than blueberries, grapes and citrus fruits. It enhances Nitric Oxide, which relaxes blood vessels leading to reduced blood pressure and endothelial health. The list goes on and on…
- Despite all these health boons, pomegranate is also low calorie, it contains potassium, fiber and vitamin C. With it’s rapid digestion and antioxidant properties it is perfect for dessert or an after workout snack. I’ve found that the seeds (or arils) last quite a while in a dish in the fridge. You can have them ready for adding to other drinks or for sprinkling on ice cream, etc. Why not pick up one of those big red globes yourself and give it a try?
The best way I’ve found for getting at the seeds is to do this: First cut through the skin in little sections kind of like the pattern on a basketball. After you cut the end off (about an inch) you can pull it apart like a peeled orange at these cuts, and the seeds pull right away from the husk. You can eat them right there or put the pile in a dish for later. These are like tasty little health capsules in a bowl. The perfect recipe for any anti-ager!