Pomegranates those amazing fruits: beautiful to the eye, filled
with beneficial antioxidants and bursting with a tangy, sweet flavor.  The antioxidant levels in pomegranate juice
are higher than those in other natural juices, green tea and even red wine (1). 
 

Pomegranates rich in antioxidants also provide
cardiovascular benefits.  According to a
study conducted in 2006, the antioxidants in pomegranates can reduce LDL or
“bad cholesterol” levels in diabetic patients and could actually inhibit
additional clogging of the arteries otherwise known as atherosclerosis (2).  This is very good news for people with high
LDL levels or at high risk for clogged arteries.  Another more promising study found pomegranate
juice may reverse damage caused by LDL to the cells lining the walls of the
arteries (3).   Finally, another study
also found pomegranates can reduce LDL levels in diabetic patients and
researchers recommended that diabetes include pomegranates in their diet on a
daily basis because of their beneficial effect in reversing cardiovascular
damage and reducing the disease (4).

The antioxidants in pomegranates not only protect against
heart disease but they also have anti-aging effects, reduce the risk of
diabetes, decrease inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease (3).  Additionally, one baseball sized pomegranate
provides 16% fiber, 17% vitamin C, 21% percent vitamin K, 10% Folate, 7%
Potassium, 8% Copper and 6% Manganese (5). 

These fruits burst with nutrients and flavor, including one
a day in your diet is a great idea but not everyone knows how to eat a
pomegranate.  First you need to peel the
pomegranate, after you wash it of course, and then gently knock off the ruby
red sacks leaving the beige fibers behind. 
You eat the red gems and discard the rest.  For individuals who do not have the time to
prepare this fruit, the juice is almost as good.  Just keep in mind that antioxidant begin to
degrade once the fruit is opened.

References:

1) Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit LDL oxidation and
cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans (2002).

2) Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice consumption
by diabetic patients on serum and on macrophages.

3) Pomegranate juice reduces oxidized low-density
lipoprotein downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human
coronary endothelial cells (2006).

4) Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated pomegranate
juice in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia (2006).

5) www.nutritiondata.com

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