7 Reasons to Eat More of This Exotic Superfood

7 Reasons to Eat More of This Exotic SuperfoodEach year, heart disease costs more than a million Americans their lives. Those who do not die from heart disease diagnosis can face a lifetime of taking costly drugs as well as risk undergoing invasive procedures, like angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery.

If you’re at risk for heart disease or you’re looking for ways to prevent it, there’s a simple, but delicious solution: add more pomegranate to your anti-aging diet. Packed with antioxidants, this superfood provides your body with the fuel it needs to protect against free radical damage and provides you with an effective way to both fight and prevent the effects of heart disease.

Scientific research has demonstrated that drinking as little as two ounces of pomegranate juice a day can significantly reduce the effects of atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries that result in decreased blood flow, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Animal studies have also shown that pomegranates can also slow the hardening of your arteries, which is another risk factor for heart disease, thanks to the high antioxidant value of the superfood.

In addition to preventing and possibly even reversing the effects of heart disease, the superfood is effective for treating a number of other age-related illnesses.

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome: The superfood has been shown to be effective for people suffering from diabetes and a pre-diabetic condition known as metabolic syndrome by lowering blood sugar levels. Pomegranates help to reduce oxidative stress through several different processes, including a boost in the antioxidant enzyme activity that neutralizes oxidization. Furthermore, the natural sugar in the superfood’s juice contains antioxidant polyphenols that help control type-2 diabetes.

7 Reasons to Eat More of This Exotic SuperfoodProstate cancer: For older men suffering from prostate cancer or who may be at risk, consuming fresh pomegranates or pomegranate juice can be especially beneficial, since regularly consuming eight ounces of the superfood’s juice has been found to slow the development, growth, and spreading of prostate cancer cells.

Atrophic vaginitis: The superfood benefits older women, too. Thanks to the phytoestrogen in them, pomegranates can help prevent a condition known as atrophic vaginitis, which is the vaginal dryness that affects many postmenopausal women.

Osteoarthritis: Regularly consuming pomegranate juice has been shown to help prevent the degradation of cartilage and joints that’s associated with osteoarthritis. Plus, the superfood is rich in vitamin K, and a vitamin K deficiency has been linked to the development of osteoarthritis in older adults.

Anti-aging skin care: If you’re looking to fight the visible signs of aging, regularly consuming this superfood can increase your body’s ability to produce collagen, an effective way to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Alzheimer’s disease: Some researchers believe the superfood can help stave off Alzheimer’s because of the anti-inflammatory effects that it has on the brain.

If you want to add more of this superfood to your anti-aging diet, the best way is to eat the fresh fruit. But because it’s seasonal, you may not be able to find it all-year round. Fortunately, you can usually find pomegranate juice or use the syrup, grenadine. You can also find an extract of the superfood in supplement form.

Sources:
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Neogi, T., et al., “Low vitamin K status is associated with osteoarthritis in the hand and knee,” Arthritis and Rheumatism 2006; 54(4): 1255-1261.
“Pomegranate,” National Cancer Institute web site; http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/prostatesupplements/healthprofessional/page5, last accessed February 18, 2014.
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