One of my favorite fruit juices, pomegranate juice, is now making a more frequent appearance in research journals. I've always loved pomegranates for their rich taste and strong antioxidant power. Their main downsides are that they are only available for a short time each year and they are terribly messy and time consuming to eat.
For those of you who have never had a pomegranate, it's a round, red fruit that looks similar to a large dark apple, except for its crown. Once you get past its leathery, dark red skin, you'll find numerous juice sacs that contain a rich, red juice and tender seeds. When they are available, I will add these pomegranate juice sacs to my morning cereal or throw them in my juicer. Pomegranate juice has a sweet, slightly tangy flavor and is an excellent source of vitamin C. However, its real health benefit is in their protective antioxidants.
Many people don't realize this, but pomegranates have higher antioxidant activity than blueberries, cranberries, and red wine. That's because of the large amount of polyphenols they contain.
Polyphenols are powerful, natural antioxidants that help protect your body from the free radicals you come into contact with every day through pollution, chemicals, and toxins produced by the body itself. The real "superstar" of the polyphenols in pomegranates is Ellagic Acid, which is a powerful antioxidant that safeguards your overall health. Pomegranates also contain tannins, which are the same type of polyphenols that give red wine its heart-healthy reputation. These tannins promote cardiovascular health and support healthy aging.
As I mentioned before, pomegranates are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin that helps support the immune system and capillary wall strength. It also supports collagen production, which is the tissue that gives your skin its elasticity.
Eating a pomegranate isn't simple. The challenge is getting through the hundreds of juice sacs to the sweet and slightly tart health-supporting juices. First, you have to cut off the crown of the pomegranate and cut it into sections. Then place the sections into a bowl and use your fingers to roll the juice sacs out of the fruit. The juice sacs look similar to corn, kernels, but are red in color. Be forewarned, the juice stains everything – including your fingers.
The best way to get to the delicious, tangy juice is by chewing on the juice sacs. I eat the whole juice sac, as it is another good source of fiber. I recently found an easier way to get the health and flavorful benefits of pomegranate juice. I found a great source for pomegranate juice concentrate that sells at wholesale prices.
This blend is concentrated 4:1, making it easy and convenient to enjoy the great taste and health benefits of pomegranate juice anytime of the year. It has no added sugars, additives or preservatives. I recommend taking 1-2 tablespoons per day. This is the equivalent of drinking 1/3 cup to 2/3 cup of pomegranate juice.
People on high blood pressure medication should monitor their blood pressure closely when taking pomegranate juice. Those who are allergic to many plants should consult their physician before taking pomegranate or pomegranate products. Keep out of reach of children.