A Rare Gem

Filed under: General Health

A while back I wrote a blog about why I feel that fruit juice as a whole sucks, which you can check out here. I still do believe that fruit juice is garbage for the most part, but there is an exception. One fruit juice with tons of proven benefits and a great scientific track record is the fantastic pomegranate juice.

A ton of research has been done in Israel on the health properties of this interesting juice. Many people are jumping on fruit juice bandwagons, especially it seems acai juice, but pomegranate is one of the few with actual proven evidence. In a recent study of several beverages high in antioxidants, Seeram et al used ORAC values (a measure of antioxidant capacity) along with several other measures of antioxidant content, ability to prevent the oxidation of LDL (which we know from my blog on eggs, oxidized LDL is not a good thing) and total polyphenol content. Numero Uno was Pomegranate Juice, followed by red wine, concord grape juice and blueberry juice (acai juice finished 6th).

Other research has shown that pomegrante juice contains more flavonoids than grape juice, has 2-3x the antioxidant capacity of red wine or green tea, and that pomegranates may actually also have antimicrobial properties. Some more recent research has shown the daily consumption of pomegranate juice can actually significantly slow the progression of prostate cancer in men who already have it, pretty important since prostate cancer is the second most common cancer, to skin cancer, among men.

Daily consumption of pomegranate juice has also been shown to increase blood flow to the heart, reduce arterial plaque, increase blood flow to the genitals (a natural Viagra?) and possibly reduce total cholesterol. Most of these studies actually use POM wonderful as the source of pomegranate juice, a nice little tid bit to know that the most common pomegranate juice in the country is a good one. Another interesting side note, pomegranate wonderful is actually a specific type of pomegranate that grows very well in California and is, obviously enough, the source of POM wonderful juice.

Some of the research mentioned had patients consuming 2oz per day, some up to 8oz per day. Now I am of the mind that it is still a lot of fiber free sugar in any 8oz glass of juice. In my opinion, if you are healthy and already consume a lot of fruits and vegetables, 2oz per day is probably sufficient. If you are older and just joining in on the healthy eating bandwagon and have arterial plaque problems or large concerns over prostate health, 8oz per day is probably a better option. Hope you all enjoyed today’s food installment.

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Posted on March 9th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

10 Comments

  1. Victor C Says:

    Or you could just eat a pomegranate right?
    I don’t understand why so many are obsessed with juicing everything. If the juice is beneficial then the fruit in its natural state can only be more so.

  2. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Victor,

    You could, though pomegranates can sometimes be tough to find and are not the easiest foods to eat. The actual juice of the pomegranate is more highly concentrated with the specific polyphenols thought to be the reason why pomegranates are so healthy. With all the benefits you can get from just 2oz per day of the juice, I think the convenience is the real trump card, allowing you to consume tons of other real fruit.

  3. Josh Says:

    As you said in your “Why Fruit Juice Sucks” post, it’s very easy to over consume sugar from juice. The way I always compare it is to a bag of m&m’s which has 31g of sugar. 8oz of Pom has 37g of sugar! Yet it is touted as the wonder juice in ads.

    An alternative; Pom actually sells a concentrate that has the same benefits of 8oz of fresh juice in 1 teaspoon, and only has 1g of sugar. Or they sell a pill as well.

    As you surely know, there are better ways to get your nutrients than what advertisements usually suggest.

  4. Danny Says:

    I don’t think 2 oz of the juice is going to lead to rapid fat gain or insulin spikes…. if taken in the context of an overall healthy diet. Also – it’s a great way get the post-workout carbs in.

  5. Kujo Says:

    I bought some yesterday. I plan to add 2oz’s to my PWO shake.

  6. The Real Truth of Acai : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] what didn’t rank #1? Acai juice. It actually came in a respectable 6th. The big finisher? Pomegranate juice. Followed by red wine, concord grape juice, blackberry juice, and blueberry juice all ahead of [...]

  7. A Day in the Life: Take 3 : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] 3oz POM Wonderful pomegranate juice [...]

  8. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » A Day in the Life Says:

    [...] 2-3oz POM Wonderful [...]

  9. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » How to Decrease High Blood Pressure Says:

    [...] the research has been a little inconclusive, on the whole POM wonderful pomegranate juice has been found to significantly lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. In fact daily [...]

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