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Do You Know Nutrition: Pomegranate juice contains potent antioxidants

March 21, 2011 at midnight
Updated March 21, 2011 at 10:22 p.m.

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

Is it true that pomegranate juice can help with arterial health?

Once considered exotic, pomegranate, a large, seedy orange-like, red fruit is now more readily available. For centuries, it was only grown in China and the Middle East, but now, it has found its way into the cultivated fields of California.

Pomegranate juice has been scientifically shown to help the body as it is very high in potent antioxidants called punicalagins (pun-e-kal-a-gins). These polyphenols protect the body from heart disease, premature aging, Alzheimer's and cancer.

In a study that was published in the American Journal of the College of Cardiologist, pomegranate juice was proven to benefit arterial health. In regards to heart health, free radicals are known to oxidize low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, effectively converting it into plaque that can clog the arteries.

By ingesting antioxidants, it is believed that one can prevent the conversion of cholesterol into plaque, thus reducing the potential of developing heart disease in the future.

What makes pomegranate juice so beneficial is that the quality of the polyphenols it contains is higher than that of red wine, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, orange juice or green tea.

As always, I suggest that you consult with your physician before starting any supplemental treatment.

I love corn but have a slight problem with smelly gas after I consume any. I do not have any digestive problems other than this slight inconvenience. Can you please share some information about gas?

Flatulence, or gas, is naturally occurring with the average person producing one to three pints of gas per day and eliminates it in 14 to 23 passes, some even while we sleep.

More than 99 percent of the gas mixture is odorless and consists of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen, which we inadvertently swallow when we eat, drink carbonated drinks, chew gum or smoke.

Some carbon dioxide is actually made in the stomach. The bacterial population in the colon produces a very small amount of hydrogen gas and methane fermenting the carbohydrates left over from the small intestinal digestive process forming hydrogen sulfide, that rotten egg smell, methanethiol, the smell of decomposing vegetables, dimethyl sulfide, which produces a sweet odor.

Foods that can produce smelly gas because of the high residue of indigestible carbohydrates are corn, noodles and potatoes.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at doc.phyl@yahoo.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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