I love looking through old and even ancient books to find medical wisdom. Anything prior to the early 1900s (and even some during the early 20th century) can have real gems for our health. In our age of technological advancement, we've lost many of these gems. But the last decade has seen a huge resurgence in the ancient health wisdom. One of those gems I was reading about recently can help protect you from heart disease, cancer, and common muscle soreness.
One of those ancient texts that people don't read very often is the book of Haggai. This book is in the Old Testament of the Bible. And it's a little difficult to read and understand, so most people ignore it. But in chapter 2, verse 19, Haggai tells us several fruits that are a blessing from God. These include the grape, the olive, the fig, and the pomegranate.
The grape and the olive have tons of information written about them. They're two of my favorites. But the fig and pomegranate don't have as many solid studies behind them. But that's starting to change for the pomegranate. And researchers are finding that this tasty fruit is great for fighting heart disease and cancer.
Amazingly, pomegranate juice packs three times as many antioxidants as either green tea or red wine. That's an incredible amount of antioxidant power. Since we know oxidation is a major cause of heart problems (oxidized cholesterol) and cancer (which occurs in areas of low antioxidant enzyme activity), this is great news for staying healthy.
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One study found that pomegranate juice reduces hardening of the arteries by 50-90% in just one year. And the participants in the study actually experienced benefits after only one month. The longer they drank the juice, the better their results.
But there's more. If you have any blockage in your arteries, you may want to consider drinking some pomegranate juice. Another study found that the juice reduces blockages and narrowed arteries by 44%. It also reduces systolic blood pressure by 20%. Those participants who took the placebo found their arteries were thicker and narrower.
Two of the stronger studies on pomegranate found that it is wonderful for your muscles. These studies found that drinking pomegranate juice promotes "skeletal muscle recovery" and reduces muscle soreness following eccentric exercise. That means your muscles heal faster and you won't be as sore after a workout. Of course, for some people, just moving around a little makes them sore. Pomegranate juice can help you feel much better in your daily movements.
The pomegranate is definitely a fruit that brings many blessings from God. When the fruit is in season, eat up. You'll love the taste. And consider drinking the juice every morning instead of orange juice or apple juice. Try to find an unsweetened variety to avoid the added sugar. You also can add some Advanced Greens Formula to your favorite beverage. It has pomegranate in it, along with other powerful heart disease and cancer fighting foods.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Trombold, J. R., Reinfeld, A. S., Casler, J. R., and Coyle, E. F. The effect of pomegranate juice supplementation on strength and soreness after eccentric exercise. J.Strength.Cond.Res. 2011;25(7):1782-1788.
Trombold, J. R., Barnes, J. N., Critchley, L., and Coyle, E. F. Ellagitannin consumption improves strength recovery 2-3 d after eccentric exercise. Med.Sci.Sports Exerc. 2010;42(3):493-498.
Aviram, M, et al, "Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans," Drugs Exp Clin Res, 2002.
Aviram, M., et al. "Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice," Amer Journ of Clin Nutr, May 2000.
Aviram, M., et al. "Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation," Clinical Nutrition, 2004.
Hora, J.J., et al. "Chemopreventive effects of pomegranate seed oil on skin tumor development in CD1 mice," Journal of Medicinal Food, October 2003.
Kim, N.D., et al. "Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer," Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, February 2002.