Both the seeds and the juice of pomegranates contain potassium, vitamins and three times the antioxidants of green tea. Although pomegranate supplements are available in dehydrated or freeze-dried form, it is by drinking the concentrated juice from the arils of the pomegranate used to make pomegranate vinegar that is a powerful way to profit from the pomegranate’s polyphenolic antioxidants and its numerous health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic reports that while it is not clear whether pomegranate juice can lower cholesterol, it may block or slow cholesterol buildup in the arteries. It contains antioxidants, especially polyphenols, at higher levels than other fruit juices and it is the only fruit rich in all three major antioxidants: tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid. Antioxidants are thought to reduce low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol and have a good effect on heart health. Nevertheless, check with your doctor before using pomegranate vinegar regularly.
In 2001 M. Aviram and L. Dornfeld published a study of the anti-atherosclerotic properties of pomegranate juice and found drinking it produced a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure. Partly because of the tannins and antioxidants it possesses, they concluded pomegranate juice can offer protection against cardiovascular diseases. It is also thought that the potassium in pomegranates helps lower blood pressure and improve blood flow by lessening the stiffness of arteries, although other studies are either nonexistent, inconclusive or restricted to animal subjects.
Pomegranate juice is rich is flavonoids believed to play a special role in protecting memory in the brain. Flavonoids are antioxidants and help control free radicals which can cause memory decline and mood disturbances, notably depression, in the aged. It is the deep red color that indicates the large quantity of flavonoids pomegranate vinegar possesses. Estrone, a natural form of estrogen, is also found in pomegranate juice. Studies have yet to show whether or not this ingredient could be an alternative to artificial hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women prone to mood swings. Although evidence is lacking in the actual benefit of pomegranates for healing memory and moods, the flavonoids they contain are generally believed to fight the effects of free radicals. Nevertheless, consult your doctor before ingesting pomegranate vinegar regularly.
Although there is no widespread evidence as yet to show that pomegranate juice can slow the growth of cancer in human beings, in test tubes it can hinder the reproduction of cancer cells. Tests on animals give some indication the juice can help reduce the amount of blood flowing to tumors, reducing them in size. In 2001, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers headed by Dr. Ephraim Lansky published two studies that indicated pomegranate juice can trigger the self-destruction of breast cancer cells and can poison most breast cancer cells dependent on estrogen while not affecting normal breast cells. Pomegranates also may help fight prostrate cancer when used together with traditional therapies.
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