Pomegranate juice benefits may include lowering blood pressure and improving your heart health. Fortunately, you don’t have to guzzle glasses of grape or vegetable juice with high amounts of sugar to lower blood pressure when pomegranate juice benefits will do the trick.
Pomegranate juice benefits have led to hundreds of new scientific papers in the last few years. Recent clinical trials have found that with as little as 2 ounces a day, pomegranate juice benefits can lower high blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and even decrease plaques in your arteries, reducing your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
Pomegranate has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as other attributes that make it an effective juice to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol profiles, and to prevent and treat the atherosclerotic plaques that are responsible for heart attacks and many strokes. These healing properties come mainly from certain flavonoids such as catechins, tannins, and the potent flavonoid known as ellagic acid. These compounds make pomegranate a stronger antioxidant than red wine and equal to or better than green tea.
Pomegranate is a Natural ACE Inhibitor for Relaxing Arteries
Its ability to act as an ACE inhibitor (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) is what allows pomegranate juice to lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors include high blood pressure drugs like lisinopril and work by decreasing angiotensin activity, an enzyme that is made when the kidneys receive a signal to help blood pressure.
Inhibiting ACE helps blood vessels to relax and open up, thus lowering blood pressure and allowing more blood and oxygen to get to the heart. In a small clinical trial, 10 patients with high blood pressure were given 50 mL of pomegranate juice daily, which is a little less than 2 ounces. Seven of 10 subjects (70 percent) experienced a 36 percent average decrease in ACE activity and a statistically significant 5 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure.
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Pomegranate Lowers Systolic Blood Pressure by 16%, Decreases “Oxidized” LDL Cholesterol, and Unclogs Arteries
A little less than 2 ounces of pomegranate juice a day decreased systolic blood pressure by an average of 12 percent after one year and 16 percent after three years in another placebo controlled study in 19 patients with atherosclerosis.
After one year, the average systolic blood pressure in the group drinking the pomegranate juice decreased from 174 mmHg to 153 mmHg while no decreases were seen in the placebo group. What’s more, overall lipid peroxidation decreased by 59 percent. Lipid peroxidation refers to the process of oxidative stress and degradation of lipids in cell membranes, resulting in cell damage. The subjects were found to have as much as a 90 percent decrease in LDL-associated lipid peroxides after six months of pomegranate juice. This indicates they had significantly less “oxidized” LDL, the most dangerous form of this “bad” form of cholesterol. Furthermore, the thickness of the subjects’ carotid arteries decreased by 35 percent, while it increased by 9 percent in the control group. Incredibly, the subjects’ atherosclerosis improved and their carotid arteries were no longer significantly blocked!
Combine Other Exceptional Foods With Pomegranate Juice to Lower Blood Pressure Even More
If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or documented heart disease or atherosclerosis, nothing could be simpler or more natural than drinking a little daily pomegranate juice to lower blood pressure and improve your blood vessel health. Make sure that you are buying 100 percent pomegranate juice and don’t settle for a juice blend. Trader Joe’s 100% Pomegranate Juice, RW Knudsen’s Just Pomegranate, and POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice are all good choices.
Eat a bit of dark chocolate with it and you’ll be doing your heart an even bigger favor. Make a smoothie with frozen blueberries, pomegranate juice, and some cocoa powder and you’ve treated yourself to the most heart-healthy, creamy, delicious beverage on the planet!
While research on other types of juice to lower blood pressure is not as abundant, some recent studies found that beet and carrot juice may also be effective. So, another idea is to combine a little pomegranate juice benefits with beet and carrot juices for a triple whammy. For other ideas on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol naturally, browse our “Heart Health” topics.
This post originally appeared in 2013 and is regularly updated.