The humble pomegranate has powerful antioxidant properties, boasts numerous vitamins and can lay claim to many great medicinal benefits. Not only can it cleanse arteries but it can boost your health in a number of ways.
Studies have shown the pomegranate to be a super food. It is rich in vitamin C, as vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), natural phenols, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and folic acid. The fruit also contains an abundance of antioxidants, which combat free radicals and slow the ageing process.
Arteries and the pomegranate
Studies suggest that the pomegranate can be used as a powerful treatment in the prevention of death by heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Pomegranate juice can help heal atherosclerosis, which involves the build up of plaque in the arteries. This condition is caused by high cholesterol, stress and hypertension, but is treatable.
25% of patients with atherosclerosis who participated in a recent study showed a improvement after simply drinking pomegranate juice.
What other benefits does it have?
Not only can pomegranate cleanse arteries, this powerful food also has many other health benefits. Pomegranate:
- Slows the development of cataracts;
- Helps control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients;
- Can be used as an anti-inflammatory;
- Strengthens muscles and bones;
- Reduces stress;
- Helps reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol;
- Kills intestinal parasites;
- Has astringent properties and can be used to treat diarrhoea;
- Can reduce arterial tension;
- Fights dental plaque (in India the white of the fruit is used in toothpastes);
- Has antibacterial properties;
- Can help to reduce the risk of cancer, particularly prostate;
- Fights the buildup of fat in the stomach;
- Helps prevent the deterioration of cartilage;
- Can protect the skin from damaging UV rays (when applied topically)
Pomegranate in the diet
All parts of the fruit can be used and, depending on what you are treating, may be prepared in a number of ways. The fruit itself is delicious and can be eaten as a snack or as one of your five-a-day. It has a notorious reputation for being difficult to prepare but do not let this put you off. By slicing the fruit into quarters you can easily extract the seeds.
You can also prepare a juice from the seeds. It has quite a sharp taste but don’t be tempted to add sugar to the juice. You can easily sweeten it with some honey or add another fruit or vegetable to the mix in order to benefit from their nutrients too. If you don’t already own a juicer then you can buy a ready prepared juice from a health shop.
Extract from the peel can be used as a supplement and delivers the powerful benefits detailed above. Research suggests that the extract is more effective on cholesterol than the fruit pulp.
The seeds are also prepared as an oil which can be used topically to relieve the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and dry, itchy skin. It can also help with pain relief on bites, stings and sunburn. Due to its antioxidant properties the oil delays the signs of ageing and can rejuvenate the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Pomegranate flowers are used in a tea infusion to treat diarrhoea, whereas the leaves can help prevent anemia.
As with all natural medicines, you should consult with a GP before adding regular doses of this food to your diet as they could interact with the effects of any prescribed medications.