(NaturalNews) Pomegranate juice has the highest antioxidant content, activity and protective benefits of eight different beverages tested, according to a study conducted by researchers from Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California-Los Angeles' David Geffen School of Medicine, and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
"Oftentimes, a beverage will make a claim about its superior antioxidant content based on the results of one test alone that provides the highest antioxidant capacity," said lead researcher Dr. David Heber. "What is important about this study is that all the beverages included were run against several tests resulting in a more complete assessment of a beverage's antioxidant activity and capability."
Researchers conducted a total of seven tests on 100 percent pomegranate juice, red wine, orange juice, blueberry juice, Concord grape juice, acai berry juice, white tea and green tea. Four of these tests evaluated the antioxidant strength of the beverages.
Pomegranate juice was found to have the highest polyphenol content of any beverage, even outcompeting recent "superfoods" such as acai berry or green and white tea.
Polyphenols are a naturally occurring family of plant chemicals that are known to function as antioxidants in the body. They are believed to help reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease and the effects of aging.
In addition to polyphenol content, the researchers also tested how well the various beverages performed at scavenging free radicals and preventing oxidation (decay) of LDL ("good") cholesterol. Once again, pomegranate
juice outperformed all competitors, with an antioxidant potency composite index 20 percent higher than any other beverage tested.
This study marks the 11th study in the last 10 years to demonstrate the health benefits of 100 percent pomegranate juice
. Prior studies have linked the juice to reducing the risks of heart disease, prostate cancer and even erectile dysfunction.