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Boost your heart health with these three pomegranate juice recipes

by , 09 March 2016

Did you know that the pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits in recorded history? That's right.

Native to the area of modern-day Iran and Iraq, the pomegranate has been cultivated since ancient times and has spread through the world. The fruit is about the size of an orange, with a rind ranging from yellow-orange to deep reddish-purple. Inside the fruit, there are a multitude of seed pips yielding a tangy, sweet, rich, flavourful juice.

Lately, there's been a parade of products featuring this exceptionally healthy fruit, from juices and teas to energy bars and syrups. But many people have no idea how to prepare pomegranate, and are intimidated by all those little seeds. My answer? Juice it!

The incredible heart health benefits of pomegranate

Pomegranate juice (240ml per day) appears to be particularly useful in improving heart health. It's remarkably rich in antioxidants, such as soluble polyphenols, tannins as well as anthocyanins.

Animal research has indicated that components of pomegranate juice can retard atherosclerosis, reduce plaque formation, and improve arterial health. A review of pomegranate research stated that consumption of pomegranate juice may help reduce systolic blood pressure by inhibiting an enzyme (serum angiotensin-converting enzyme) that causes vascular contraction.

Pomegranate juice improved the lipid profiles (cholesterol) of people with diabetes. And clinical studies have shown that pomegranate juice also has anticancer properties.
 

How to juice pomegranate

With all these health benefits, it's time to get over our fear of this wonderful fruit. Juicing is an easy way to use pomegranates. The first step involves cutting off the crown of the pomegranate. This is the part with the stem at the top.

Once the crown is removed, cut the pomegranate into four sections. Place the sections into a bowl of water and, using your fingers, gently roll the pips out from the membrane.

Once the seed pips have been separated, drain out the water and you're ready to place them in the juice extractor.
 

Three heart-healthy pomegranate juice recipes

Here are three of my favourite recipes that use pomegranate. Once you get comfortable using pomegranate, you can make up your own juice recipes.
 
#1: Pomegranate and mixed berry juice
This juice is super-healthy because it combines flavonoid-rich berries with pomegranate.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mixed berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate pips
  • 1 apple or ripe pear, cut into wedges

Preparation:
Juice the berries, then the pomegranate pips. Flush through with the apple.
 
#2: Pomegranate, strawberry and cherry juice
This juice is great for finicky kids, and takes advantage of the red pigments in berries, cherries, and pomegranate to cover up the beet taste.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pitted cherries
  • 1 beet
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate pips
  • 1 apple, cut into wedges

Preparation:
Juice the strawberries and cherries, followed by the beet, pomegranate, and apple.
 
#3: Pomegranate and blueberry juice
This refreshing purple juice is as beautiful as it is healthy.

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup pomegranate pips
  • 2 cups blueberries

Preparation:
Juice the fruits all at once and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy these tasty recipes as much as I do!

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