Pomegranates are mentioned numerous times in the Bible. Exodus 28:33-34 says that images of pomegranates should be woven onto the hem of the robe worn by the Hebrew High Priest.
Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness because its 613 seeds correspond with the 613 commandments of the Torah. However, the number of seeds in a pomegranate varies.
Many scholars believe it was a pomegranate rather than an apple that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Ancient Egyptians buried their dead with pomegranates because they believed it offered eternal life.This unusual fruit is also featured in mythology and tradition as a symbol of good tidings. That’s why Greeks break open a pomegranate at wedding celebrations, and the Chinese eat candied pomegranate seeds for good luck.
The pomegranate is used for medicinal purposes in Persia, Georgia and India, and has always been an important part of the Middle Eastern diet. In its long history, the pomegranate has been linked to health, fertility and rebirth.
Because of its astringent, anti-parasites properties, the pomegranates’ root bark is used to treat intestinal parasites. The bark contains alkaloids that sedate intestinal parasites making them lose their grip on the intestinal walls, and therefore easier to expel.
In our times of nutritional enlightenment pomegranate has become the super- food “par excellence”, mainly because of its antioxidant properties. Research has shown that the pomegranate fruit and its juice may help with heart disease, as it reduces blood clots and contains the damage done to the arteries by cholesterol.
Other than being an excellent heart tonic, the pomegranate also helps with other problems associated with ageing due to the fact that it is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, folic acid and iron.
Pomegranate fruit extracts can block enzymes that contribute to osteoarthritis, according to a Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’ study, published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
“Pomegranate -in particular- has been found to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have potential therapeutic benefits in a variety of diseases. The Case University study demonstrated for the first time the ability of pomegranate fruit extracts to slow the deterioration of human cartilage.”
Several recent studies have shown significant potential health benefits from drinking pomegranate juice. Here are eleven:
Fights Breast Cancer Studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.
Lung Cancer Prevention Studies in mice show that pomegranate juice may inhibit the development of lung cancer.
Slows Prostate Cancer It slowed the growth of prostate cancer in mice.
Keeps PSA Levels Stable In a study of 50 men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
Protects the Neonatal Brain Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice may protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury.
Prevention of Osteoarthritis Several studies indicate that pomegranate juice may prevent cartilage deterioration.
Protects the Arteries It prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may reverse previous plaque buildup.
Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention It may prevent and slow Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease were given pomegranate juice. They accumulated significantly less amyloid plaque than control mice and they performed mental tasks better.
Lowers Cholesterol It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).
Lowers Blood Pressure One study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.
Dental Protection Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.