Jan 102010
 

Every so often it seems that some new superfood is in the news. Acai and goji are among the latest. But one of the more popular recent superfoods is also one of the most ancient (and my personal favorite), the regal and mytic pomegranate.

I drink pomegranate juice regularly for several reasons. First of all are the dramatic health benefits. Pomegranates are incredibly rich in antioxidants. The juice has many times the antioxidant concentration of either red wine and green tea. The rich red fruit is full of phytochemicals and other nutrients that have been found to be helpful against a host of diseases. These include vitamins C, A , E, pantothenic acid, and potassium.

My daughter, who suffers from periodic potassium deficiency as a complication of diabetes finds pomegranate juice very helpful for that condition. Pomegranate is a blood-thinner and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes, as well as reducing high blood pressure and promoting blood flow to the heart.

Studies also show the juice to be helpful against a variety of cancers, in particular breast cancer, skin cancer and prostate cancer. Furthermore, the juice and the rind have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Pomegranate has been used to prepare an ointment that is effective against the most virulent and resistant kinds of infections in hospitals.

Equally fascinating, however, are the spiritual properties associated with pomegranate. The fruit is extremely ancient, having originated in Persia and then spread across the Middle East, Asia and the Mediterranean. In all the cultures where it was found, the brilliant and unusual red fruit tended to have strong religious associations. The rich color suggested blood, and hence life, vitality and prosperity. The huge number of seeds suggested fertility.  The fruit was associated with many gods and goddesses, and features prominently in the Bible.

There are strong esoteric traditions that pomegranate juice can absorb and counteract negative energy. Anyone exposed to strong negative emotions or environments should consider a regular dose of pomegranate juice to help with spiritual cleansing and purification.

This spiritual use is suggested by some of legends associated with pomegranate in world religion and mythology. Mohammed urged the eating of pomegranate to combat envy and hatred. The Buddha was said to have used pomegranates to calm a cannibal demon.

Pomegranate juice is easy to obtain at most stores these days. While it’s a bit pricy, it is available in blends that are more economical. Try adding some pomegranate to your daily diet and you may discover its hidden physical and spiritual benefits.

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