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Health Benefits

Pomegranate has quickly become one of the most talked about health foods in the past year. Many readers wrote to a magazine and asked the same as you, about the health benefits of pomegranate juice. Not only is it popular among the health conscious crowd, we are surprised to see that pomegranate fruits are becoming widely used as hot trendy home decor in more and more home decorating television programs!

Preliminary evidence suggests that drinking concentrated pomegranate juice may reduce cholesterol. Israeli researchers, published a small clinical study in June 2004 in Clinical Nutrition, suggested that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice a day for one year reduced blood pressure (particularly systolic pressure) and slowed down LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) oxidation.

Pomegranate fruits contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins - all are beneficial antioxidants. Interestingly, pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants - higher than most other fruit juices, red wine or green tea.

Bottom Line: Many studies so far were small, thus more research is needed to fully evaluate the possible health benefits of pomegranate. Pomegranate juice is generally safe to drink. Most studies have administered a daily helping of 1.5 oz of pomegranate juice with no significant side effects.

For a sensible heart smart diet, emphasize fruits & vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish and choose skinless lean meats. Antioxidants are generally found in bright colored fruits and dark green vegetables as well as whole grains. In addition, the best dietary approach so far to reducing blood pressure is to follow the DASH diet developed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.