A juice with anti-inflammatory benefits also protects your heart

Volume 13    |   Issue 34

In general, I'm not a big fan of too much juice. It tends to be high in calories and sugar and lacks the fiber and sense of satiety you'd get from eating a whole fruit or vegetable. While it may contain some vitamins and other nutrients, I generally don't think juice is an efficient way to consume them. If I'm going to consume over a hundred calories, I want those calories to fill me up for a bit, not set me up for a sugar crash.

However, thanks to research just published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, there is one type of juice that is the exception. In fact, this juice is particularly good for women with metabolic syndrome who want to protect and benefit their cardiovascular systems.

In this study, researchers assigned 23 women ranging in age from 40 to 60 who all had metabolic syndrome into one of two groups. One group, of course, received a placebo. But the other group consumed 300 ml (about 1.25 cups) of pomegranate juice every day for six weeks. By the end of the study, the researchers found that the women in the pomegranate juice group had significantly better lipid metabolism than those in the control group. Their arachidonic acid and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance levels dropped, while their relative amount of total monounsaturated fatty acids significantly increased. These results indicated that the pomegranate juice was improving the women's lipid peroxidation and having anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective effects, which is always good news.

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The researchers suspect that these results are due to the polyphenols in the pomegranate juice. You don't need me to tell you again what great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents polyphenols are. And pomegranates are full of them, which you can surmise just by looking at their rich color.

The problem is, pomegranates are hard to eat. And while I'd encourage you to try your hand at getting to the edible seeds in a whole pomegranate every once in a while, I know that's not something you're going to do every day. So in this case, the juice is a good substitute. A brand I like is POM, which you can even find at Wal-Mart and most grocery stores. It's made with 100% pomegranate juice. So you'll get the full benefit of the polyphenols rather than a dash of polyphenols in a bunch of added sugar.

Better Health and Living for Women,


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