November 18, 2018 by: Isabelle Z.
News) You might have noticed that pomegranate juice is starting to
take up more space on your supermarket’s shelves. It’s easy to pass this
off as yet another food trend. However, many people are turning to the
beverage not for its flavor but for its unique properties. Polyphenol-rich
pomegranates have plenty of health-enhancing benefits thanks to their
antioxidant content, and a new review indicates that the fruit could also
be a powerful ally in the battle against chronic inflammatory diseases.
researchers from the University
of Bologna and
of Auckland looked
effects of the juice of the pomegranate in
particular, which has already been shown to help conditions like diabetes,
atherosclerosis and prostate cancer.
inflammation, a response by the body to infection and tissue damage, has
been linked to the development of disorders such as inflammatory bowel
disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease and psoriasis.
analyzing an extensive number of existing studies on pomegranate, they
found plenty of evidence that shows pomegranate juice can indeed help
inflammation-related diseases, although they pointed out that a definitive
relationship has not been officially established. Most of the scientific
research on pomegranate’s
health benefits has
been carried out on cell culture or animal models, they point out, and
clinical trials with humans are generally lacking. They found that
pomegranate seems to show the most promise in fighting cardiovascular
diseases, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but the researchers urge care,
calling on further studies to determine its specific effects and explain
why the fruit juice seems to help chronic inflammatory diseases.
of studies back pomegranate’s numerous health benefits
Case Western study published in the Journal
of Inflammation, for example, found that the extract of pomegranate
chronic inflammation in
rabbits. The juice has also been shown to slash the buildup of damaging
proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease by as much as a half. This
effect is being attributed to its ability to protect
against the oxidative stress that
leads to beta-amyloid deposits. Researchers have also demonstrated its
potential to help those with prostate, colon and breast cancer. In studies
where tumor cells were treated with pomegranate, cell migration dropped
and the cancer was stopped from spreading to other areas of the body.
juice came out on top in a study of beverages known for their antioxidant
content carried out
by the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California – Los
Angeles’s David Geffen School of Medicine. While all of the beverages
examined – blueberry juice, acai berry juice, green tea, white tea,
Concord grape juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice and red wine, had
impressive amounts of antioxidants, pomegranate juice outperformed them
all when it came to polyphenols and protective benefits. Its antioxidant
potency composite index was a full 20
percent higher than
any of the other drinks that were put through the rigorous testing.
to increase your intake of polyphenols
aren’t the only fruit that have the polyphenols that fight inflammation.
Raspberries, strawberries, almonds and walnuts also contain the
inflammation-fighting ellagitannins and ellagic acid that make
pomegranates so effective.
in calories and full of vitamins and fiber, pomegranates
contain around 600 juicy seeds and
are known for their sweet flavor. Besides eating the fruit or drinking its
juice, you can also sprinkle the seeds on top of your yogurt, salad or
even cereal. Nutritional researchers recommend that people drink eight
ounces of the juice each day, eat one fruit or incorporate it into a
smoothie, or take 400 mg of a concentrated extract to get pomegranate’s
heart disease and cancer protecting benefits.