Pomegranate juice and a handful of sticky dates every day are a winning combination in the fight against heart disease.
Just half a glass of the red pomegranate juice with the dates is enough.
Researchers at the Technion –Israel Institute of Technology, led by Prof Michael Aviram have discovered that the combination provides maximum protection against atherosclerosis – the plaque build up which hardens the arteries – which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
The team found that the combination reduced oxidative stress in the wall of the arteries by 33pc and cut arterial cholesterol content by 28pc.
Pomegranat juice is rich in polyphenolic antioxidants and has been shown to significantly reduce oxidative stress.
Dates are rich sources of phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants and also inhibit bad cholesterol and stimulate the removal of cholesterol from arterial cells.
The researchers conclude that people at high risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as healthy individuals, could benefit from consuming the combination of half a glass of pomegranate juice (4 ounces), together with 3 dates. Ideally, the pits should be ground up into a paste and eaten as well, but even without the pits, the combination is better than either fruit alone.
The findings are published in Food and Function – a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.