Pomegranate seeds for cardiovascular health are an amazing and wonderful fruit.
There are numerous reasons you should consider adding Pomegranate seeds to your diet. The problem is that they are very seasonal and not available much of the year. That makes it hard to get them all the time.
Then I came across Northwest Wild Foods who has fresh, frozen, organic pomegranate seeds. I was a bit skeptical because many of the frozen fruits I’ve had in the past, while good, just aren’t like eating the fresh stuff. Regardless, I wanted the benefits of these tasty seeds so I ordered some. I was going to start with 3 pounds. Then I saw that they had free shipping on orders over $120 so I ordered 12 pounds ($129).
That sounds like a lot of money but when you break it down they are only $0.67 per ounce. Target has them for $0.92 per ounce in smaller cups so this was actually a pretty good deal.
Once the order arrived, I opened one of the 1# bags containing the frozen arils and scooped out a serving. I was pleasantly surprised! The arils tasted fantastic frozen. Maybe my new favorite treat. Once they thawed, the consistency was pretty good. They seem to tolerate freezing better than many of the other berry fruits I’ve tried.
I highly recommend these frozen pomegranate seeds. They’ll provide a year-round source of this healthy fruit and they’ll be a staple in my freezer from now on.
Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds for cardiovascular health
As stated above, pomegranate has tremendous health benefits and has been shown to improve many cardiovascular functions. Pomegranate is rich in tannins, anthocyanins, and polyphenols.
Pomegranate has Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor activity (ACEi). This means that it has some antihypertensive effects similar to medications like Lisinopril, Benzepril, etc. In fact, it decreases the activity of the enzyme by 36%.1
Pomegranate decreases blood pressure: systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreases 5-12% in humans (p<0.01). It decreased blood pressure 3.14/2.33 mmHg on 330 mL per day in 4 weeks in one study.
Postprandial (after meals) increase in blood pressure after a high fat meal is decreased if you consume pomegranate seeds for cardiovascular health.
Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) is decreased 30% in 1 year with pomegranate consumption.2
oxLDL is reduced 60-90% with pomegranate consumption.2 This is huge as oxLDL is a major diving force for cardiovascular disease. Pomegranate (for 1 year) also
- Increases serum Paraoxonase 1 (PON 1) 83%
- LDL basal oxidative state decreased 90%
- LDL susceptibility to copper ion-induced oxidation decreased 59%
- Serum oxLDL antibodies decreased 19%
- Serum total antidoxidant status increased by 130%
Pomegranate increases endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) as well as Nitric Oxide (NO) and improves endothelial function.
Pomegranate seeds increase enzyme antioxidants such as catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase.
In short, pomegranate seeds are anti-hypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
How much pomegranate seeds should you consume? Anywhere from 1/4 cup twice daily. Given how much I love pomegranate seeds and that I have a source year-round, I’ll be consuming at least a cup every day.
- Aviram m, Dornfeld L. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001;158:195(8)
- Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, Hayek T. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33.
- Nitric Oxide 2007;17:50
- Basu A, Penugodnda K. Pomegranate juice: a heart-healthy fruit juice. Nutr Rev 2009 Jan;67(1):49-56
- Mohan M, Waghulde H, Kasture S. Effect of pomegranate juice on Angiotensin II-induced hypertension in diabetic Wistar rats. Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24:S 196-203
- Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2012;67:309 and 351
- Complement Ther Clini Pract 2011;17:113
- Am J Health Syst Pharm 2011;68:1302