(Natural News) Pomegranates are among the healthiest fruits on earth. The ruby red, delicious, and nutrient-dense pomegranate arils are loaded with powerful polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that have an incredible impact on human health.
Pomegranate juice is a sweet, antioxidant powerhouse that’s said to be better than red wine and green tea when it comes to antioxidant activity. With proven anticancer fighting abilities as well as strong anti-inflammatory and free radical fighting effects, it’s no wonder this natural fruit juice has received such a high reputation among health-conscious people.
Should you include pomegranate juice in a heart-healthy diet?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension affects more than 30 percent of adults ages 20 and over.
Several scientists suggested that pomegranate juice can exert cardio-protective and anti-hypertensive effects. A new study analyzed data from several randomized controlled trials to investigate the cardio-protective benefits of pomegranate juice in more detail. Overall, this meta-analysis concluded that there appears to be consistent benefits of pomegranate juice consumption on blood pressure, making it one of the best fruit juices to include in a heart-healthy diet.
“The impact of fruit polyphenols on cardiovascular mortality is of considerable public health importance and would help to inform policy on recommendations of the types of fruits to be consumed for cardiovascular protection,” the researchers wrote in their study, published in the journal Pharmacological Research.
Significant reductions in blood pressure recorded
For the study, the researchers scanned the databases SCOPUS, Medline, MagIran, and the Iranian Scientific Information Database, looking for research papers regarding blood pressure, heart health, and pomegranate juice. Of the 986 considered articles, eight randomized control trials, published between 2004 and 2014, were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis.
Combined, the survey included nearly 600 men and women, mostly above the age of 40. Those who drank pomegranate juice experienced significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels regardless of study duration. The authors of the study believe the blood pressure reducing effect may be related to the vascular effects of the antioxidants present in pomegranate juice.
“In this regard, there is increasing evidence that isolated phenolics as well as flavonoid-rich foods may exert beneficial effects on oxidative stress, endothelial function, and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system,” they wrote.
Furthermore, the researchers reported that the meta-analysis’ results support the thought that pomegranate juice may be particularly beneficial for hypertensive patients, rather than for healthy individuals. This is good news for all people who are taking anti-hypertensive medications or have a high risk for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Always use a 100 percent natural pomegranate juice with no added sugar to reap its full heart protective benefits. Make sure to scan the nutrition label carefully since many products contain only a small amount of the real juice and therefore may not offer the same effects.