Pomegranate's Powerful Health Benefits
Pomegranate season is here! This beautiful fruit provides numerous health benefits and can be used to embellish many holiday dishes. According to two of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's articles, the time spent seeding this fruit is well worth it. The phytochemical compounds in pomegranates are the most "powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits" and supports a healthy immune system. "Pomegranate contains a unique and powerful antioxidant called punicalagin, which measurably reduces oxidative stress in healthy humans. Much research has shown that pomegranate's potent antioxidant capacity provides protection against heart disease, cancer and cognitive impairment." We've listed the many health benefits below:
- "Pomegranate has anti-inflammatory effects that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. Pomegranate has anti-angiogenic properties, meaning that pomegranate may help to prevent growing tumors from acquiring a blood supply, preventing those tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger."
- "Pomegranates "have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals. Several in-vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect. Additional studies and clinical trials currently taking place are hopeful to reveal this fascinating effect on humans."
- "Pomegranate is one of the few foods (mushrooms are another) that contain natural aromatase inhibitors — this means that they inhibit the production of estrogen, which can reduce breast cancer risk." Two studies showed that pomegranates slowed the increase of PSA in men with prostate cancer.
Protective Against Heart Disease
- "Pomegranate phytochemicals reduce LDL oxidation (a contributor to atherosclerotic plaque development).
- "A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melts away."
- A study conducted on patients with severe carotid artery blockages showed a 30% reduction in atherosclerotic plaque and 12% reduction in blood pressure in those that consumed pomegranates daily for one year.
- "Potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation which prevents both heart attacks and strokes."
Supports Brain Function
- Consuming pomegranates before and after surgery "prevented the postoperative memory dysfunction associated with coronary artery bypass or heart valve surgery."
- Those that regularly consume pomegranates "performed better for a memory task study compared to placebo and displayed increased brain activation measured by functional MRI."
Dr. Fuhrman's article states "many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health." In addition to the above benefits, pomegranates also "stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression." Purchase several pomegranates and freeze the arils (seeds) so that you can enjoy the health benefits year-round.
Joel Fuhrman MD Links
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