Originally published January 21 2011
Discover the superfood power of pomegranate
by Dr. David Jockers
(NaturalNews) Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered 'super-foods.' Pomegranate is an ancient food that has symbolic meaning in many traditions and is mentioned throughout the Old Testament of the Bible and the Homeric Hymns of Ancient Greece. Science has shown that this ancient symbolic food is also extraordinarily beneficial for human health.
Pomegranates are one of the fruits that the scouts brought back to Moses to show the promised land of Israel was rich and fertile. The bible consistently uses pomegranates with their many seeds to symbolize the blessing of fruitfulness. They are one of the seven species of foods enumerated in the Hebrew Bible as being unique and special products of the Land of Israel. Due to its frequent mention throughout the Old Testament of the Bible many scholars believe it may have been the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Pomegranates are loaded with nutrition and are particularly abundant in vitamin C, potassium, & pantothenic acid (B5). Pomegranate is rich in anti-oxidant phytonutrient polyphenols such as tannins & flavonoids. The most abundant polyphenols in pomegranates are ellagitannins, punicalagins, catechins, gallocatechins, and anthocyanins. These nutrients have incredible free-radical scavenging effects that are just now being studied by scientists.
The antioxidant capacity (ORAC) of pomegranate is 2,860 units per 100 grams making it one of nature's richest sources of free-radical scavenging anti-oxidants. This potent defense against oxidative stress makes pomegranate a powerful tool for preventing degenerative and inflammatory based diseases like cancer, heart disease, & arthritis.
In 2008, the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry ranked Pomegranate Juice as healthiest of all fruit juices. For comparison, study authors used four tests of antioxidant potency, a test of antioxidant functionality and an evaluation of the total polyphenol content. The rankings:
1. Pomegranate juice
2. Red wine
3. Concord grape juice
4. Blueberry juice
5. Black cherry juice
6. Acai juice
7. Cranberry juice
8. Orange juice
10. Apple juice
Studies have shown that the polyphenol anti-oxidants within pomegranates are powerfully effective at preventing the oxidation of lipids and endothelial tissue which are the steps that produce atherosclerosis and heart disease. These unique anti-oxidants have also been shown to have a significant effect on stabilizing blood pressure by inhibiting serum angiotensin converting enzyme. The specific metabolites of ellagitannin polyphenols have been shown to localize in the prostate gland, colon, and intestinal tissues of mice where they take on powerful anti-carcinogenic properties.
The polyphenol composition of pomegranate has been shown to significantly boost the Th 1 portion of the immune system. Th 1 immunity is our bodies immediate response to antagonistic organisms in our body and is classified by T helper cells, T suppressor cells, and Natural Killer cells. This makes pomegranate a powerful anti-infection and cancer cell destroying tool. However, people with dominant Th1 function may have problems with pomegranate. Be sure to keep a food journal to monitor how you feel when consuming this fruit and its juice.
Due to the high sugar content of fruit juices it is always advisable to either eat the entire fruit or drink just small quantities of the juice. The fruit itself contains a high content of fiber that slows down the release of the fruit sugars into the bloodstream. The rich array of anti-oxidants is also in its most pure form within the covering of a freshly ripened pomegranate. The juice does have many beneficial factors and due to pomegranates incredible anti-oxidant potency a 1-2 oz shot can be of significant benefit for those who react well to it.
[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2008; 56(4): 1415-1422
About the authorDr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com
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