Pomegranates Aren’t Just for Stained Fingers Anymore

vt-may-_3.jpgPomegranate extract: From heart disease and cancer to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and aging, this nutritious supplement might be just the all-round prevention tonic you need.

Do you remember eating pomegranates as a kid? It was quite an adventure, and it could last for hours — dissecting it bit by bit to get at each one of those crunchy little morsels; stains on our fingers that seemed to last for days. I doubt many of us realized back then that this tasty fruit actually had nutritional value. It was just fun! So how did it become the raw material for healthful drinks and supplements in natural food stores across the U.S.? Once again, Western scientists have stumbled upon an ancient Eastern secret. Find out what the pomegranate can do for you.

Originating in Persia, cultivation of the pomegranate began its slow migration to the West. While the U.S.A. was still a colony — Thomas Jefferson planted pomegranates in Monticello in 1771 — it found its way to the new world. In the East, this delicious fruit is a symbol of life, fertility and regeneration, and the symbolism was not lost on the West. In fact, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all feature the pomegranate in their coat of arms.

What earned the pomegranate this honor? There are currently at least eleven studies investigating its benefits, but earlier and preliminary research found it effective in improving cardiovascular function, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease. It also enhances fertility — just like they said it did many thousands of years ago — reduces the symptoms of menopause and has even been effective at slowing the spread of cancer cells: A recent study conducted by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that a daily glass of pomegranate juice slowed the growth rate of prostate cancer, and a 2002 study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment also found it to inhibit the spreading of breast cancer cells.

It may also have antiviral and antibacterial properties and be effective in treatment or prevention of various types of infections.

What’s the secret ingredient? In fact, there are many: Vitamins A, C, E, B5 and potassium are among them, but the most noteworthy are antioxidants.

The importance of antioxidants really can’t be overly stressed. The cell damage caused by free radicals has been linked to cancer, atherosclerosis, emphysema, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Many experts feel that free-radical damage doesn’t just accelerate aging; it actually underlies the entire aging process.

How can we incorporate these benefits into our daily diet? Since those early days, many of us have learned to eat a pomegranate without serious stains, but it still takes a long time to get through one — usually more time than we have to spare now that the long, lazy days of childhood are behind us. Fortunately, however, we can all still enjoy the benefits by taking pomegranate extract. And it may be just the tonic you need.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *