Heart disease remains the leading killer in the United States, and annually is responsible for around 800,000 deaths every year. Most of this is due to the processes of plaque building up inside the walls and to atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries. What happens is that the arteries are so narrow and the plaque build-up so great that blood flow is completely blocked. When this happens, people can suffer from a heart attack which is sometimes fatal. In other words, the stakes here are very high. That is why searching for ways — especially natural ones like adding pomegranate to the diet – are so incredibly important.
What Causes Heart Disease?
There is a definitely genetic component to heart disease development (in other words, it can run in families due to parents passing on a tendency towards this condition to their children). However, much of what causes heart disease is lifestyle. This can include a sedentary lifestyle, unmanaged stress, and a diet high in saturated or trans fats and simple carbohydrates (in other words, a lot of processed foods).
The good news is, however, that healthy lifestyle choices can have the effect of greatly reducing the chances of heart disease development. Regular exercise, adequate stress management, and a healthy diet can really help. And recent research suggests that regular consumption of pomegranates as part of balanced diet can greatly help reduce this risk.
The Atherosclerosis Study
In a recent publication in the peer-reviewed journal Atherosclerosis, a study was detailed in which researchers added pomegranate juice to the drinking water of mice who had a known predisposition towards the development of heart disease.
What they found was that, by the end of the study, the treatment with pomegranate juice was able to do to very important things. First, it reduced the build-up of plaque in the aortic sinus (this is the dilated opening above the aortic valve, which is the way which blood enters into the heart). It also was able to reduce the percentage of coronary arteries which had these plaque build-ups. In short, the regular use of pomegranate juice made it possible to have sustained, healthy blood flow to the heart.
The study also mentioned the fact that pomegranate juice was able to provide other benefits to the heart. It was able to lower the over oxidative damage done to the heart cells (pomegranate is known to have potent antioxidant properties), as well as reducing ECG abnormalities (in other words, abnormal heart rhythms), enlargement of the heart muscle and fat deposits in the heart muscle. All this makes pomegranate a wonderful heart tonic.
A human study done in Israel and published in the journal Clinical Nutrition seems to back up the mice studies and found that when patients drank pomegranate juice daily, their chances of developing heart disease were reduced by 29%.
In conclusion, lifestyle greatly effects heart health – and even simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact on this. So consider adding pomegranate juice to your daily regimen, as it can greatly decrease your chances of developing cardiac disease.
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