How It Works
Recent studies show that pomegranate may have a special ability to lower both cholesterol and blood sugar numbers. In fact, pomegranate juice has been shown in research to be able to lower the “bad cholesterol” and raise the “good cholesterol,” HDL.
Inflammation is now thought to be the major cause of heart disease. When a person has heart disease, it’s like the body is on fire. There are little circulating inflammatory signals in the bloodstream. They are like the embers of a fire, putting little nicks in the lining of the blood vessels.
Later these “nicks” grow into “wounds.” LDL, sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol, starts to stick to the blood vessel walls, and more immune cells are attracted to the area.
Damaged molecules, called free radicals, also contribute to the problem. Free radicals harm the blood vessels and convert the LDL cholesterol into a more harmful form, called oxidized LDL.
At the end of the day, plaque is covering the blood vessel walls. This process is known as atherosclerosis. When that plaque loosens and breaks off, it is called a clot and it can block the flow of blood to critical areas of the body, leading to a stroke or a heart attack.
Eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables is one of the top ways to lower your heart disease risk. Fruits and vegetables have excellent nutritional value but they also have healthy components that reduce inflammation and clean up free radicals.
All parts of the pomegranate seem to improve cholesterol results and lower triglycerides in the blood. High triglycerides, or fats, in the blood also contribute to cardiovascular illness.
Pomegranate seems to address all of these issues and then some.
1. Pomegranate is a great antioxidant. It’s better than red wine or green tea.
2. Pomegranate can lower blood pressure.
3. Pomegranate may help to lower blood sugar.
Cholesterol is not the whole story when it comes to heart disease. Diet, exercise, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and alcohol also factor in. If you have too much inflammation or free radicals in your bloodstream, this can point to heart disease, more so than cholesterol alone.
Some people always struggle with high cholesterol, just like their parents, but they may not want to take medications to lower it. If you are healthy but you have high LDL and low HDL, pomegranate may help improve your baseline chemistry results. If you are taking a statin medication to lower cholesterol, pomegranate can help you get better results too!
While it won’t erase heart disease by itself, pomegranate may be a great way to lower your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol, together with other healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet. The research is promising, but more studies on humans are needed to fully prove the medical benefits of pomegranate. Luckily, it’s a food that poses no harm.