Pomegranate juice has become all the rage in the U.S. Touted as a superfood, it is rich in polyphenols, anthocyanins and antioxidants that can improve overall health and help fight certain medical conditions. What are the health benefits of pomegranate juice? What are the best brands on the market today?
A word of caution: If you intend to use pomegranate juice as a daily supplement, check with your doctor first. It can interact with certain prescription medications like blood pressure medications and statins. This could cause dangerous side effects.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice:
Research in Israel has shown that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells and slows the growth of lung and prostate cancer. Pomegranate juice may even prevent cancer from forming in the first place. According to a study at the University of California at Los Angeles, natural chemicals in the fruit may be responsible. The key chemicals, called ellagitannins, are also found in raspberries, strawberries and certain grapes. When someone drinks this super juice, ellagitannins are released and get digested into chemicals called urolithins. The urolithins then fight and control the cancer.
Pomegranate juice has shown great promise in protecting the brains of unborn children from damage following injury. Studies have shown that this antioxidant powerhouse may one day be used to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. When mice suffering from Alzheimer’s were fed pomegranate juice, they began to perform better on mental tasks.
Lowers Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular Disease
Pomegranate juice helps to lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol and raise HDL, or good, cholesterol in the body. It also helps slow the buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries. It may also reverse plaque buildup already present in arteries. Hardening of the arteries often leads to heart disease.
Pomegranate juice contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that lower cholesterol and protect the heart. While many fruits contain antioxidants, pomegranates have a higher concentration of them. The American Heart Association recommends including this super juice as part of a heart healthy diet.
Thai researchers found that pomegranate juice may help prevent plaque from developing on teeth as well as in the arteries. Dental plaque is caused by microorganisms. Pomegranate juice has antiviral and antibacterial properties that fight harmful bacteria that can lead to dental plaque. Try adding 100% pure juice to your mouthwash for some added germ fighting power.
The health of teeth are tied to the overall health of the body. Studies show that periodontal disease can increase the risk of heart disease. This is due to the inflammation periodontal disease causes in the tissues of the mouth and gums. Pomegranate juice helps to control dental bacteria, plaque and inflammation that can lead to heart disease.
Best Pomegranate Juices
There are hundreds of choices when it comes to pomegranate juice. For the most potent health punch, make sure the juice you are buying is 100% juice. Some juices blend cranberry and other juices or add sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. This will make the juice less potent from a health standpoint.
The top four brands of pomegranate juice have no added sweeteners. POM Wonderful is probably the most well-known brand on the market. It contains no added sweeteners, colors or preservatives. As such, it needs to be refrigerated even before opening and has a shorter shelf life.
Apple & Eve, L&A and Northland all tie for second place to POM Wonderful. They have no added sweeteners and only natural added colors. Apple & Eve has added vitamin C as a preservative.
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