Pomegranates Melt Away Heart Disease

Articles
February 23, 2015

Pomegranates Melt Away Heart Disease

This month in honor of American Heart Month, every day, we’re calling out the top foods for your heart!

Pomegranate, one of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many ancient cultures and religions, is originally native to Persia. They are a red fruit with a tough outer layer; only the juice and the seeds inside are edible. The juice is available year round, and fresh pomegranates are generally available from September through January. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered throughout history as a symbol of health, fertility and long life - and for good reason!

Packed with unique antioxidants that protect the body’s cells against free-radical assault, pomegranate has been shown to prevent, and even reverse, cardiovascular disease. They are truly a heart healthy food.

Punicalagin, a compound found only in pomegranates has a huge positive benefit to the heart and blood vessels. It is the major antioxidant responsible for pomegranate's health benefits. According to Dr. Fuhrman.com, It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

Life Extension reports that, “In both lab and clinical studies, pomegranate shows great promise in averting the numerous pathological changes associated with cardiovascular disease. Scientists believe pomegranate works through several mechanisms to fight cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidative stress, supporting the synthesis and activity of nitric oxide, inhibiting the oxidation of potentially harmful LDL cholesterol.”

A hugely impressive Israeli study found that pomegranate might actually reverse atherosclerosis. Researchers studied patients with narrowing of their carotid arteries as a result of atherosclerosis. Patients who were given daily pomegranate supplements (providing 78 mg of punicalagins) for one year, demonstrated a 35 percent decrease in size of their atherosclerotic lesions in the carotid artery versus the control group whose lesions increased by nine percent. The group given the pomegranate supplement also reported a 12 percent decrease in blood pressure. 

For these reasons and many more, pomegranates need to be part of your heart healthy diet!

Sources

LEF

Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for three years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23(3):423-33.

Dr. Fuhrman