Superfood Series – Pomegranate

Do you believe in the power of food? Or that food can prevent disease and strengthen your heart? One bright red fruit comes to mind when discussing the impact of food on heart health. Pomegranates!

Pomegranates are high in potassium, vitamin C and polyphenols. Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy blood pressure. Vitamin C and polyphenols act as antioxidants and protect your body from stress by preventing inflammation. Antioxidants help your immune system fight off damaging free radicals.

We know that the nutritional components of pomegranate juice are beneficial, but what about studies conducted on regular consumption of pomegranates? The scientific research regarding pomegranates is limited, but the findings are promising. Pomegranate juice has been shown to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive individuals over a 2 week period1. Due to the antioxidants and polyphenols found in the fruit, regular consumption may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease2.

Pomegranates can be used in a variety of ways. Many chose to add the juice to smoothies or drink it with their breakfast. Also, the juice can be used to make dressings and sauces. Others enjoy the seeds in a soup or salad. Leave a comment below, telling us how you like to consume pomegranates. Eat up, and enjoy your pomegranates!

By Laura Oliver, RD

1Asgary, S., et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Blood Pressure Lowering, Endothelial Function Improving, Hypolipidemic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Pomegranate Juice in Hypertensive Subjects.” Phytotherapy Research : PTR (2013)Print.

2Habauzit, V., and C. Morand. “Evidence for a Protective Effect of Polyphenols-Containing Foods on Cardiovascular Health: An Update for Clinicians.” Therapeutic advances in chronic disease 3.2 (2012): 87-106. Print.

Photo credit: http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com via www.healthyaperture.com “Posts for Syndication”

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