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   Apr 09

The new secret to preventing a heart attack? Half a glass of pomegranate juice and three dates a day – but you really should eat the STONES, too

Combination of pomegranates, date fruits and stones contains antioxidants

They prevent atherosclerosis – arteries becoming hard and clogged with fat

Can reduce the hardening by 33% and reduce fat being deposited by 28%

Stones in the dates should be ‘ground up into a paste an eaten as well’

Half a glass of pomegranate juice and a handful of dates can improve heart health, a study found.

This combination of juice and fruit can protect against heart disease and stroke, researchers discovered.

Ideally the stones in the dates should be ground up into a paste and eaten as well, but even without them, the combination is still better than either fruit alone, they said.

Pomegranates and dates contain antioxidants, which can reduce a process called atherosclerosis – where the arteries become hard and clogged up with fatty deposits known as plaques – by around a third.

Half a glass of pomegranate juice (125ml or 4oz) and three dates a day – along with their stones – can improve heart health, according to a study

If one of the plaques ruptures it can form a blood clot which can block the blood supply to the heart, triggering a heart attack.

It can also block the blood supply to the brain, triggering a stroke.

The researchers concluded that people at high risk for heart problems, as well as healthy people, could benefit from drinking half a glass or pomegranate juice (125ml or 4oz) along with three dates a day for protection.

As part of the study researchers looked at arterial cells in the lab.

They also studied mice whose cholesterol levels were high.

They found that the triple combination of pomegranate juice, date fruits and date stones did indeed provide maximum protection against the development of atherosclerosis.

It reduced oxidative stress in the arterial wall – the process which causes it to harden – by 33 per cent.

If also decreased the cholesterol – fat – in the artery by 28 per cent.

Professor Michael Aviram, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, explained that before the experiment the team were aware of the individual benefits provided by pomegranates and dates,

Pomegranate juice is rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, which have been shown to significantly reduce damage to the cells that causes a stiffening of the arteries.

Dates are a rich source of antioxidants which stimulate the removal of cholesterol from artery cells

Similarly, dates are a rich source of antioxidants which can help prevent so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol clogging up the arteries.

They also stimulate the removal of cholesterol from artery cells that are laden with fat.

Pomegranates are also rich in many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and several other vitamins and minerals.

Previous research shows that drinking pomegranate juice during pregnancy may prevent brain damage in babies.

According to the World Health Organisation cardiovascular diseases – including heart disease and stroke – are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from these conditions than from any other cause.

An estimated 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2012, representing 31 per cent of all global deaths.

Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke.

Source: Daily Mail

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