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The ruby red seeds of Pomegranates are not only festive and beautiful, but loaded with nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. When you add these jewels to your holiday dishes, you’ll be fighting high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and inflammation, too, according to a March, 2014 study at the Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, in Iran, published in the Journal of Advanced Biomedical Research. Pomegranate seeds may even help to prevent and treat some cancers.

Pomegranates have three times the impact of red wine and green tea

High Blood Pressure

In another study at the Institute, published in the November, 2013 issue of ARYA Atherosclerosis, of a small group of middle-aged men with high blood pressure, researchers found that drinking less than a cup of pomegranate juice lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure within six hours. In a similar study at the Institute, published in Phytotherapy Research in February, 2014, volunteers who drank pomegranate juice daily for two weeks enjoyed the same results.


This ancient fruit has been recognized for centuries as an aid for the symptoms of diabetes. Modern research has demonstrated that it can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, while cutting total cholesterol. Overall, it reduces the signs of “metabolic syndrome,” which can lead to both diabetes and heart disease, according to a review by researchers at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna published in the January 2013 issue of Food Function.  

Heart Disease

Dr. Ornish and his team have found that drinking pomegranate juice every day for three months improved blood flow to the heart by 17 percent in a group of heart patients, while the control group saw their blood flow decline.


The most recent evidence for the effect of pomegranate on tumors comes from animals. In a multi-university 2016 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer, researchers concluded that feeding rats pomegranate extract for four and a half months cut the number of breast tumors in half and also made the tumors smaller. A small University of California, Los Angeles study of men with signs of a coming recurrence of prostate cancer after surgery or radiation, published in the July, 2006 issue of Clinical Cancer Research found that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice a day slowed down the usual progression of the disease. Another study at the University of California, Los Angeles, with human colon cancer cells, published in the February, 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, concluded that pomegranate juice had beneficial effects.

A Bigger Impact than Wine and Green Tea

Pomegranate can do this magic largely because it contains a variety of antioxidants, with three times the impact of red wine and green tea, according to a University of California, Davis review in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry in October, 2000.

Although you can buy juice or packages of wet seeds in grocery stores, I prefer to buy the fruit and remove the seeds myself. Use a sharp paring knife to dig into the top and split the fruit. The seeds are nestled in a white membrane, but free up easily if you do the job in a bowl filled with warm water or under a running tap.

There are many ways to boost your health during the holidays by dressing up holiday dishes with these delicious and nutritious gems:

  • Add them to a leafy green salad such as this . (See Sample Menu 2)
  • For a simple, yet elegant holiday breakfast parfait or dessert sprinkle some seeds in this Seasonal Fruit Parfait. (See Sample Menu 3)
  • Toss a handful in a bowl of Edamole (See Sample Menu 3)  for a quick and easy holiday appetizer.

Please share your favorite way you enjoy these heart-healthy gems. 

Contributed by

Carra Richling
Registered Dietitian

Eat well, be well!

Better Health Begins With You...

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