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The Pomegranate Juice Fuss

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What’s all the fuss about pomegranate juice? Up until a couple years ago, most people didn’t even know for sure what a pomegranate was, and we couldn’t find the juice readily available in stores. Now the health food sections are lined with pomegranate juice. Just so you know, the pomegranate is a large, seedy fruit that is a bit larger than an orange, and red in color. Originally from southwestern Asia, the pomegranate is now cultivated in California.

The craze behind pomegranate juice seems to be justified. In some studies, it has been shown to be especially helpful in preventing heart disease. It also contains large doses of Vitamins C, A and E plus a decent amount of folic acid. Add antioxidant properties to it’s list of greatness, and you’ve got a powerful drink!

Other research is showing that pomegranate juice works as a blood thinner and promotes blood flow to the heart. It may reduce plaque in the arteries and regulate cholesterol. Because of its antioxidant properties, it show promise in reducing the incidence of some cancers such as breast, skin and prostrate cancer, along with Alzheimer’s and even erectile dysfunction. A separate study shows that pomegranate juice inhibits the enzymes that damage cartilage in osteoarthritis.

With all the research in fairly early stages, it’s impossible to tell if studies will hold up, or if more good reasons will be found for drinking pomegranate juice. In the meantime, it makes an excellent drink either alone or combined with other fruit juices, and recipes are springing up everywhere. You can usually find at least a couple organic brands on your store shelves. Here is a recipe that was found on the POM website (no this isn’t a advertisement for POM, it just looks like a tasty recipe):
 
Eskimo Kiss
 Ingredients:
    * 1 quart freshly squeezed pomegranate juice* or
          POM Wonderful® 100% Pomegranate Juice
    * 2 quarts of fresh apple cider
    * 8 cinnamon sticks
    * 6 star anise
    * 12 cloves
    * 12 allspice berries, cracked
Directions:
    * 1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
    * 2. Heat to just under a boil for 20 minutes.
    * 3. Remove from heat and cover.
    * 4. Steep for two hours.
    * 5. Strain and serve hot with a cinnamon stick garnish.

Enjoy!

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