“The most important new issue is the cardiovascular protection of pomegranate,” says Prof. Michael Aviram, head of the Lipid Research Laboratory of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and one of Israel’s top pomegranate researchers.
Pomegranate juice packs a high antioxidant potency punch and protects against heart attack and stroke. According to new research coming out of Aviram’s lab and an article he co-authored in Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal in April 2013, this royal red juice has an even higher concentration of antioxidants than other sources of dietary antioxidants such as red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice and green tea.
2. Pomegranates help combat prostate cancer, diabetes
A Technion-Israel Institute of Technology study led by Aviram showed that the antioxidants found in pomegranate juice may be especially beneficial to diabetes patients. Researchers found that drinking pomegranate juice reduced the uptake of oxidized “bad” LDL cholesterol by immune cells, which is a major contributing factor to atherosclerosis.
“Pomegranate at low dosages is also good for diabetics as the pomegranate sugar is not free (and harmful) but it is attached to the pomegranate’s unique phenolic antioxidants,” Aviram tells ISRAEL21c.
Two other recent studies by British and American researchers show that components in pomegranate juice help prevent prostate cancer metastasis. But Aviram warns that while the fruit juice is beneficial, “Pomegranate is not a magic bullet” in curing diseases.
3. Pomegranates keep you young
Chinese herbology cites pomegranate juice as a longevity treatment. And thanks to the pomegranate’s antioxidant extracts, modern science and the cosmetics industry agree that topical application of products containing the ruby red fruit can keep wrinkles at bay. Pomegranate-tinged anti-aging creams, massage oils, masques and toners are readily available.
Shavit – an Israeli company specializing in all-natural beauty products – produces a line of pomegranate-infused products that are exported around the world. “Pomegranate oil is a rich source of punicic acid and this is a very strong antioxidant that helps fight wrinkles,” Aliza Shavit, a pharmacist by training and co-founder of the company, tells ISRAEL21c.
Punicic acid is a rare omega-5 conjugated fatty acid that has been shown to improve skin tone and elasticity. “Every day our faces are exposed to harmful sun rays and pollutants,” Shavit says. “The pomegranate extracts help keep the skin healthy.”