Health benefits of pomegranate

Pomegranate seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The Middle Eastern fruit is claimed to be effective against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Pomegranate has a unique, pleasant flavor and it represents a rich source of antioxidants and it can protect you from the following diseases:

(1) Prostate cancer: One study found that drinking a daily 227ml glass of pomegranate juice significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer. This was a well-conducted study, but more studies are needed to find the evidence to support these findings.

(2) Carotid artery stenosis: Another research study on patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowed arteries) found that a daily glass of 50ml of pomegranate juice over three years reduced the damage caused by cholesterol in the artery by almost half, and also cut cholesterol build-up. The antioxidants in the juice may help keep cholesterol in a form that is less damaging, and may also reduce plaque that has already built up in vessels.

(3) Heart disease: A research study on 45 patients with coronary heart disease demonstrated that a daily drink of 238ml of pomegranate juice administered over three months resulted in improved blood flow to the heart and a lower risk of heart attack. The study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as heart attacks, and with such a small trial the positive results reported could be down to chance.

A 150ml glass of pomegranate juice counts as one of your 5 A Day. Make sure to avoid brands with added sugar. You could also add pomegranate seeds to cold dishes and salads. Its a healthy and appetising way to increase the nutritional value of your meal....