Heart Beat: Juice from the "jewel of winter" could be good for the heart

Heart Beat

Juice from the "jewel of winter" could be good for the heart

The pomegranate, known to the ancient Greeks as the fruit of the dead, is making a run at becoming the fruit of a long, healthy life. From 2004 to fall 2005, several small studies showed that pomegranate juice or extracts may help prevent prostate and breast cancer, treat diabetes, and block the virus that causes AIDS. A small study reported in the Sept. 15, 2005, American Journal of Cardiology indicates that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice a day may ease stress-induced decreases in blood flow through the arteries that nourish the heart. Earlier small studies have shown that pomegranate juice may reduce blood pressure, decrease the oxidation that causes LDL (bad) cholesterol to settle in artery walls, and reduce narrowing of the carotid arteries in the neck. Keep in mind that this work is preliminary and may never really pan out. A cup of pomegranate juice contains about 140 calories and costs about $2.

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