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Food & Nutrition

Enjoying the Powerful Perks of Pomegranates

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From ancient times to the modern era, pomegranates have been the gem of the fruit world. Within the thick and inedible outer skin, there is a beautiful cluster of jewel-like arils. The sweet and tart juice that surrounds each edible seed is rich in nutrients and full of flavor, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

Extremely high in antioxidants, the health-promoting potential of pomegranates exceeds other sources. In this article, I’ll explain why pomegranates are so darn good for you and outline all the miraculous benefits for your body. I’ll also share a few of my favorite pomegranate recipes in part 2 of this article, and best of all, I’ll show you how to peel one without making a juicy mess.

The Powerful Nutrient Profile of Pomegranates
Pomegranates really pack a punch. The pure juice of a pomegranate is dense with nutrients and has an antioxidant activity three times higher than red wine or green tea2. Each ½ cup serving of arils or pure juice can provide a significant amount of your daily vitamin C, E and K, potassium, and folate. The seeds, if you choose to eat them, are a great source of dietary fiber and healthy fats1.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, let’s get more specific. Pomegranates are one of the best sources of polyphenols. These naturally occurring compounds have antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage, fight infection, and combat an abundance of health problems4. All those polyphenols make pomegranates one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, ranking significantly higher than blueberries and other antioxidant-filled fruits3. Let’s look at 10 of the biggest benefits pomegranates can have on your health.

The Big Perks of Eating Pomegranates
IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUTS
Pomegranates are rich in dietary nitrates, which improve blood flow. Drinking pomegranate juice before a workout can improve your endurance and efficiency5. Clinical trials have also shown that it increases performance during weight training sessions, speeds up recovery and reduces muscle soreness after6.

IMPROVE YOUR LOVE LIFE
Pomegranates can improve your performance other places as well, like the bedroom. That increased blood flow isn’t limited to only your muscles… if you catch my drift. In addition, antioxidant therapy with strong sources like pomegranates, have shown promising results in preventing the smooth muscle dysfunction and fibrosis that leads to erectile dysfunction7.

IMPROVE YOUR METABOLISM
Pomegranates have the power to boost your metabolism and improve body composition. A large number of polyphenols in pomegranate juice can lower your bodies initial glycemic response to a carb dense meal and continues to help regulate blood sugar through the later stages of digestion8. Studies have also found that regularly consuming pomegranate juice increases the binding of high-density lipoproteins to the enzyme paraoxonase, improving fat metabolism and preventing weight gain9. Even the seeds are rich in linolenic acid and punic acid. Both of these fatty acids have a positive effect on fat metabolism and work to prevent insulin resistance and obesity10,11.

SLOW THE EFFECTS OF AGING
Simply explained, aging is the accumulation of damage to cells and tissues. It is believed that oxidative stress from free radicals is the leading cause of this damage. With advancing age and decades of accumulated damage, our risk of disease and death builds. It has been found that diets rich in antioxidants, like those found in pomegranates, have proven anti-aging benefits and are effective in reducing the oxidative stress that leads to signs of old age4. These signs sign also appear on the outside, so yes, you will look younger as well!

PROTECT YOUR HEART
Enjoying pomegranates on a regular basis can improve your cholesterol levels9. Studies also suggest that pomegranate extracts may reduce blood pressure and could possibly prevent hypertension in the normotensive population12.

PROTECT YOUR MIND
Antioxidants protect neurons in the brain. Various studies show clear benefits on memory and other cognitive functions. Task-related increases in functional brain activity, better memory of daily tasks13, improved memory after physical truamas1415 have all been reported. Best yet, pomegranate inhibits the inflammation and amyloidogenesis that leads to Alzheimer’s disease16.

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
Pomegranate fruit, its juice, extract, and oil are all incredibly beneficial for your health. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties improve immune function, so you are better suited to fight infections17. There is constantly building evidence that as antioxidants, polyphenols protect the different components that make up each of the cells in every type of tissue; and therefore, limit the risk for many degenerative diseases4. Studies have shown promising results in treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dental conditions, erectile dysfunction, bacterial and fungal infections, antibiotic resistance, skin damage, bone loss, male infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and obesity18.

So how do you get all that pomegranate goodness into your body? That’s up to you. Drink the juice, eat the seeds, buy some extract, or incorporate some pomegranate into your favorite recipes. Click here to see 3 of my personal favorite pomegranate recipes and learn the absolute BEST way to get all those delicious arils out of that stubborn skin.


Resources:
1. Basic Report: 09286, Pomegranates, raw. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Web. accessed 11/30/17. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2359
2. Gil MI1, Tomás-Barberán FA, Hess-Pierce B, Holcroft DM, Kader AA.Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):4581-9. Web. Accessed 11/30/17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11052704
3.Kalita D, Jayanty SS (2014) Comparison of Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Colored Potato Tubers, Pomegranate and Blueberries. J Food Process Technol 5:358 Web. Accessed 12/1/17 https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/comparison-of-polyphenol-content-and-antioxidant-capacity-of-colored-potato-tubers-pomegranate-and-blueberries-2157-7110.1000358.php?aid=30238
4.Kanti Bhooshan Pandey and Syed Ibrahim Rizv. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009 Nov-Dec; 2(5): 270–278. Web. Accessed 12/1/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
5. Eric T. et. al. The effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep; 39(9): 1038–1042. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4146683/
6. Ammar A et. al. Pomegranate Supplementation Accelerates Recovery of Muscle Damage and Soreness and Inflammatory Markers after a Weightlifting Training Session. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 20;11(10). Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27764091
7. Azadzoi KM, Schulman RN, Aviram M, Siroky MB. Oxidative stress in arteriogenic erectile dysfunction: prophylactic role of antioxidants. J Urol. 2005 Jul;174(1):386-93 Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15947695
8. Kerimi A et. al. Pomegranate juice, but not an extract, confers a lower glycemic response on a high-glycemic index food: randomized, crossover, controlled trials in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Dec;106(6):1384-1393. WEb. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29021286
9. Estrada-Luna D et. al. Daily supplementation with fresh pomegranate juice increases paraoxonase 1 expression and activity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Eur J Nutr. 2017 Feb 27. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28243786
10. Keisuke Arao et. al. Dietary effect of pomegranate seed oil rich in 9cis, 11trans, 13cis conjugated linolenic acid on lipid metabolism in obese, hyperlipidemic OLETF Rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2004; 3: 24. Web. Accessed 12/3/17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534798/
11. Vroegrijk IO et. al. Pomegranate seed oil, a rich source of punicic acid, prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Jun;49(6):1426-30. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21440024
12. Stockton et. al. Effect of pomegranate extract on blood pressure and anthropometry in adults: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial. J Nutr Sci. 2017 Aug 9;6:e39 Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29152243
13. Bookheimer SY et. al. Pomegranate juice augments memory and FMRI activity in middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:946298. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23970941
14. Susan A. Ropacki, Sapna M. Patel, and Richard E. Hartman. Pomegranate Supplementation Protects against Memory Dysfunction after Heart Surgery: A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 932401. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789410/
15. Hajipour S. et. al.. Motor and cognitive deficits due to permanent cerebral hypoperfusion/ischemia improve by pomegranate seed extract in rats. Pak J Biol Sci. 2014 Aug;17(8):991-8. Web. accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031017
16. Velagapudi R et. al. Pomegranate inhibits neuroinflammation and amyloidogenesis in IL-1β-stimulated SK-N-SH cells. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jun;55(4):1653-60 Web. Accessed 12/2/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26155780
17. Mousa HA. Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza-Like Illness, and Common Cold by Herbal, Complementary, and Natural Therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):166-174. WEb. Accessed 12/4/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27055821
18. Jurenka JS. Therapeutic applications of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Jun;13(2):128-44. Web. Accessed 12/4/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18590349

Food & Nutrition

Changing Your Eating Habits

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Because all of us have been brought up eating junk food, well most of us, it is not easy to change our eating habits. Your eating habits have developed since childhood based on what your mothers or fathers cooked and what your psychological make-up was at that time.

The foods you eat and crave help keep pass trauma and present anxiety in check. Food helps make you feel good when you start to feel bad. Eating is a natural defense mechanism that the brain-body uses to keep you from going crazy.

Also, check out: 3 Great Nutrition Bars on the Market Right Now

So, you see, it is very difficult to change our eating habits. When we do, we start to feel bad. We start to feel uncomfortable, we feel pain, we have withdrawal symptoms, and we may feel sick. Is it any wonder that any of us ever succeed in changing our eating habits?

I consider everything that has been packaged to be junk food. There are a few exceptions and you need to read ingredient labels carefully. Very few food manufacturers and even restaurants prepare food with your health in mind. Of course, they want to satisfy you, but they don’t use foods that are in your best interest.

Most people eat junk food 85% of the time and then eat good food the other 15%. It should be the reverse of this – eat good food 85% and junk food 15% of the time.
To have better health, here are some foods to stop eating. Eliminate these foods over the next two to three weeks.

Milk (non-fat or no-fat also) – is a mucus and acid forming food. Milk creates mucus in the body and makes the lymph liquid (we will talk about lymph later) in your body acidic, which attracts parasites and other pathogens. (In the place of milk almond milk or goats milk)
Cancer thrives in a body that is acidic.

– Bread – white bread is also acid and mucus forming. It is also more difficult to pass through the colon and gives rise to constipation.
Sugar the #1 food additive. Sugar is in most of all the products that you buy.

Sodas (regular or diet) – are extremely high in sugar or artificial sugar – 7 teaspoons per can. Most people drink over 35 gallons per year. Sugar is a body poison and leads to many diseases – diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and osteoarthritis and so on.

– Sugar, also, depletes your B-vitamins and calcium and magnesium from your bones and teeth.

– In addition, since sodas are in aluminum cans, aluminum can go into the soda because most sodas contain phosphoric acid. Aluminum has been associated with senility and Alzheimer disease.

– Calcium is also leached from your body to neutralize the phosphoric acid. (It’s healthier to drink juices of all kinds)

There is just no way around it. Sodas suck health right out of your body.

Regular salt (NaCl) – excessive salt intake is related to high blood pressure, edema, and imbalances in the minerals in your lymph liquid. Sodium, Na, in salt attracts water so the more sodium you eat that more water your body will hold. (Use sea salt, it has 25% less sodium, use low salt soy sauce, and herbs to flavor your food)

– Most people eat too much salt – over 10,000 milligrams per day. We only need around 200-300 mg per day.

– Excess salt is also involved with kidney problems, cardiovascular disease, stomach cancer, and excess sensitive to stress.

– Get your Sodium from eating vegetables that are high in sodium. When you get your salt from vegetables it is an organic salt, which does not have the same effect on your body as inorganic salt from a shaker. You need a lot of organic salt or Na in your body. Your stomach is a Na organ. It needs organic salt, Na, to keep its lining from being eaten by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach – an ulcer.

– Foods high in organic sodium are apples, apricots, asparagus, greens, red cabbage, carrots, celery, egg yolks, figs, fish, raisins, prunes, and lentils.

For the next two weeks try adding the following foods to your eating habits.

Lecithin – is 30-40% choline, which is used throughout your body. This is why you want to include it in your diet.
– choline is one of the main chemicals in our cell membrane.
– It is used in our brains to create the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required for thinking and memory. Consider lecithin brain food.
– It is used by the liver, which helps to prevent a fatty liver. A fatty liver prevents you from losing weight around your belly.
– It helps to break up fats into tiny goblets so that they are easily digestible and will reduce your cholesterol.
– It helps to keep cholesterol from clinging to your artery walls.

Flax seed oil – is an essential oil, omega 3. This means your body does not make it and it is necessary for you to eat it so that you can live without illness or pain.
it helps to detoxify the liver it stimulates the production of bile. Remember that bile helps to break down fat so that the liver can better metabolize it. Stimulates the body to burn fat.

Apple juice and apples – are high in vitamin A, in Potassium and have other minerals that strengthen the blood. They contain malic and tartaric acids, which keep the liver healthy and promote good digestion. Apples help you to lose weight by providing fiber and keeping you regular.

Fiber – you need 30-35 grams of fiber every day. Most people only get up to 10-15 grams. Fiber is one foods that reduce your transient time in the colon. Fiber helps to keep your colon clean, reduce cholesterol, remove toxins from your body and eliminate constipation.

There you have it. If you can accomplish these changes in one year, you will notice a big difference in the way you feel and the health that you have.

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Food & Nutrition

7 Ways to Make Alkaline Diet Benefit You

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The premise of an alkaline diet is that the nutrients found in supplements, alkalizing foods, and water can bring the body back to balance. These vitamins, minerals, and herbs infuse the body with new energy, vitality, and better health.

Alkaline foods and water must be consumed in order to provide nutrients the body needs to neutralize acids and toxins in the blood, lymph, tissues, and cells.

Also: 8 Proven Strategies For Maximum Muscle Gains

When pH balance inside the body is ëout of balance the body tries to correct that sensitive pH balance. That process shows up as uncomfortable symptoms, including colds, flues, allergies, diseases, viruses, and bacteria.

When the pH level in our body is unbalanced, almost any area of the body can be affected. For example, when the nervous system is affected as the result of unbalanced pH balance it shows up in the form of the depression. When the cardiovascular system is effected we could have heart disease or experience other heart-related problems, including thickening and hardening of the arteries, coronary heart disease, pain or discomfort in the chest, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. When muscles are effected we often feel fatigue and lack of energy. When skin is affected by improper pH balance we age quicker than normal.

When the bodyís pH level is in balance, the body reaches the ideal weight and corrects negative health challenges naturally.

Transition to a more alkaline healthy diet requires a shift in attitude towards food. The important point to remember is that small changes go a long way. Add more alkaline foods to your diet gradually.

7 Sure-fire ways to make alkaline diet benefit you:

1) Reduce the consumption of sugar and products made from sugar, including soda pop, pies, ice cream, jello, jams & jellies, artificial juices, puddings, doughnuts, corn syrups, chewing gum, sweetened drinks, cookies, breakfast cereals, liqueurs, mixed drinks.

2) Avoid processed foods and condiments including ketchup, salad dressings, pickles, luncheon meats, canned fruits, bread, relish, cheese dips, peanut butter, prepared seafood, frozen vegetables, crackers, canned soups, hot dogs, sausages, sweetened yogurt.

3) Avoid cooking and heating foods and drinks in the microwave.

4) Avoid dairy, meats, fried foods and fast foods.

5) Increase your consumption of raw vegetables and raw fresh fruits (without sugar). You should include raw vegetables in every meal. If your breakfast is so small that you only eat toast or cereal, stop eating toast and take fresh fruits or vegetable juices instead. If your lunches usually consist of sandwiches try to substitute it with a raw salad or a vegetable juice. Have a large salad before you eat a heavy entree at dinner. This way, you will be sure to eat all of the salad instead of finding yourself too full to finish it.

6) Grains form the base of a balanced diet and are important in maintaining the alkaline balance in the body. Grains are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, including folic acid, fiber, carbohydrates antioxidants, and phytoestrogens. The Department of Food and Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota determined that consumption of whole grains reduces the risk of chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. By eating grains you can eat less but feel full. Grains should comprise about 20% of your diet.

7) Don’t forget to hydrate. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of good quality of water each day. Add liquid minerals to increase the quality of water.

If you follow these easy 7 steps it will allow you to create the proper alkaline balance within your body.

Creating the proper alkaline balance within your body will bring you the increased quality of life. You’ll start seeing immediate improvements in your health. Your energy will increase, your concentration will be stronger. You’ll build strength, stamina, and resistance to diseases. Your entire body will function more efficiently just like it was meant to do.

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Food & Nutrition

The Importances of Great Supplements

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Supplementation has become a big topic in the health and fitness world as more people are turning to natural answers for optimal health.

Why do we need supplements if we are already exercising and eating well? Supplementation provides the foundation within our bodies to perform at the highest level. Even if we are working out regularly and eating an all-organic diet, there are still going to be gaps in our nutrition. Uncontrollable influences such as chemicals in everyday products, genetic predisposition, and injuries can cause lack within our bodies that require extra help; help that can come in the form of supplements.

Also check out: Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts put a strain on their bodies regularly in order to reach new goals or performance levels. Supplements such as Vitamin C or D3 can help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation speeds up the healing process within our bodies and enables us to reach our goals faster with less pain and damage.

Other supplemental vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium improve bone health and oxygenate our blood; two vital needs for those of us building and maintaining muscle. Omegas 3’s are essential for heart health, and we don’t always have access to fresh fish and organic nuts where Omega 3’s are usually found.

Another great aspect of taking supplements is the convenience of it. We cannot always be at the gym, and maintaining a strict diet 24/7 is difficult. Supplements can be taken on the go and will enable our bodies to maintain the health we have worked so hard to achieve. A strict diet can also be difficult to maintain if we do not have access to certain foods at all times. Supplements can be easily ordered online regardless of location.

Supplementation is not an an-either-or option with a good diet. Rather, excellent supplementation compliments and enhances the positive benefits of a great diet and exercise.

Get more information on WrkEthicSupps: https://www.wrkethicsupps.com

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