The juice from a pomegranate offers some of the worlds most powerful antioxidants. In fact, studies show that pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than other known antioxidant drinks such as red wine, green tea, blueberry juice, cranberry juice and orange juice. In addition, there are some studies that suggest pomegranate juice my help in the treatment of prostate cancer and may prevent some brain injuries in babies. Not bad for a fruit that many people are not that familiar with.
The Cancer Research
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is next as the cause of cancer death among men in the United States. A recent study at UC Los Angeles found that drinking pomegranate juice helped fight prostate cancer. The study was performed on 48 men with recurrent prostate cancer. Half of the men drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day and the other half did not drink any pomegranate juice. The men that drank the juice were able to go 37 months before symptoms reappeared, the non-juice drinkers only went 15 months without symptoms. This study was small and is certainly not the final word on the subject. However, the research is promising and certainly warrants giving some consideration to adding pomegranate juice to your diet.
Brain Injury Research
A new study on mice conducted by the University of Washington School of medicine in St. Louis could hold promise for expectant mothers at risk of premature birth. Pomegranate juice may help their babies resist brain injuries from low oxygen and reduced blood flow associated with premature birth. The phenomenon, which is called hypoxia ischemia, causes brain injury in approximately 2 of every 1,000 full-term human births.
In this latest study, researchers temporarily lowered brain oxygen levels and brain blood flow in baby mice whose mothers drank water mixed with concentrated pomegranate juice, their brain tissue loss was reduced by 60 percent in comparison to mice whose mothers ingested other liquids.
What is a Pomegranate?
The pomegranate is a native fruit of the Mediterranean regions and has been grown there for thousands of years.
The tree was brought into California by Spanish settlers in the late 1700’s. It’s primarily grown for fruit production in the drier parts of California and Arizona. The actual fruit is pink to bright red in color and is the approximate size of a softball. For those of you on a diet, one pomegranate is approximately 100 calories. When you open up a pomegranate there are little fruit sacs inside that look a little like vitamin E capsules (except they are red). The fruit is held together by a white, spongy, bitter tissue. Try not to eat the tissue as it does not taste very good. You can get the actual fruit in supermarkets from about October through January, for the remainder of the year you will need to buy the juice.
How to Eat a Pomegranate
Pomegranates can get really messy when you open them up. Be careful as they stain.
1. Cut off the ends
2. Slice into sections like you would an apple
3. Place sections in a bowl of water and let soak for about 10 minutes
4. Separate the fruit sacs from the white spongy tissue
5. Throw away the white tissue and drain the fruit.
6. Eat and Enjoy
If this is your first time eating a pomegranate you may find the fruit a little bitter and tart. It reminds me a little of cranberry. Give this fruit a chance as you will learn to love it.