Arteries are these tiny little blood vessels that transport blood throughout body, from your brain all the way down to your toes. Healthy arteries have smooth inner walls, so blood can easily move through them, allowing your body to remain healthy and happy. However, arteries can become clogged due to plaque buildup on their inner walls, preventing blood from flowing properly or, in some cases, blocking it entirely.
Clogged arteries are not fun; they can increase your probability of having a heart attack, a stroke, or even dying. That’s why it’s crucial that we learn how to keep our arteries healthy and unclogged.
As this greenmedinfo article points out, a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis found that pomegranate extract can prevent and even reverse the “progressive thickening” of the coronary arteries, which occurs due to a buildup of fatty materials referred to as “atherosclerosis.” This information is great news, as it could help solve one of the primary causes of cardiac-related death.
Study Shows How Pomegranates Can “Clean” Your Arteries
Essentially, what the study is showing is that pomegranate extract can prevent and treat some arteries that have buildups on their inner walls. The study looked at mice who all had prior history of or were considered “susceptible” to blocked coronary arteries.
The mice selected were forced to consume pomegranate extract, added to their drinking water, for two weeks straight. Researchers found that, although the pomegranate extract ended up increasing cholesterol levels associated with very low density lipoprotein-sized particles, the mice generally experienced a decrease in atherosclerotic plaques lining part of their arteries as well as a reduction in the number of coronary arteries with occlusive atherosclerotic plaques.
Furthermore, the researchers noticed the extract had other benefits on the mice as well, like lower levels of oxidative stress and improved heart health, indicated by markers like decreased lipid accumulation and macrophage infiltration in the heart muscle.
This study isn’t the first to prove how pomegranates can benefit the health of your arteries, either. A study conducted in 2004 illustrated how daily consumption of pomegranate juice can positively affect patients with carotid artery stenosis. Carotid stenosis refers to when a buildup of plaque accumulates on the inner walls of an artery. The study found that pomegranate juice can reduce common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure, and LDL oxidation.
Even if you don’t have any problems with your arteries, pomegranates could be an excellent addition to your diet anyways! They’re super healthy and high in antioxidants (about three times more than green tea). Plus, pomegranate juice in particular is a great source of vitamins A, C, and E, along with minerals like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, folic acid, niacin, thiamin, folates, and riboflavin.
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