What are antioxidants? Occurring naturally in plants, antioxidants are molecules that prevent the formation of free radicals. Since free radicals cause chain reactions in the body that can damage cells and interfere with normal cell functioning, antioxidants are important for protecting body health.
We are constantly exposed to free radicals in pollutants, food additives, pesticides, herbicides, cigarette smoke, and so on. A serious health threat, free radicals can cause damage to vital cell components such as RNA and DNA, which in turn can contribute to the development of cancer. Free radicals also contribute to a type of arteriosclerosis known as “hardening of the arteries” or “plaque build-up” on arterial walls.
Discovery of the super antioxidant – the pomegranate
The first modern stirrings of interest in the pomegranate as a powerful antioxidant began in 2000 following the published results of a group of scientists in Israel demonstrating the effectiveness of pomegranates in treating atherosclerosis. The research was headed by Professor Michael Aviram, an internationally recognized authority on the effect of food on heart disease. Professor Aviram’s research demonstrates that pomegranate juice contains the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices, red wine, green tea, tomatoes, vitamin E and other headline makers. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have independently confirmed that pomegranate juice contains at least three major antioxidants, and three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea!