This Unexpected Superfood Combo Offers Incredible Health Benefits

New research shows that combining specific antioxidants can likely improve heart health

Flickr/stevendepolo, Licensed under Creative Commons

It’s no secret that the nutrients found in pomegranates offer many different health benefits. For some time scientists have been studying their ability to reduce oxidative stress and decrease the risk for certain types of cancer.

Amidst the likes of kale and quinoa, pomegranates and pomegranate-infused products have recently been growing in popularity as a trendy superfood, and a recent study from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has helped to shed more light on exactly how the fruit can help humans live longer, healthier lives, especially when combined with another healthy superfood.   

The study was set up to investigate the heart health benefits of pomegranates and dates, both of which contain powerful antioxidants. The study’s authors predicted that since the fruits contained two different types of phenolic antioxidants, combining them could increase their ability to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and increase the removal of cholesterol from arterial cells.

The researchers used their pomegranate-date concoction on both arterial cells in a culture and mice with plaque build-up in their arteries. The results showed that the mixture reduced oxidative stress in the arterial wall by 33 percent and decreased the cholesterol build-up by 28 percent.

Although this was only a small study performed on cells and mice, the researchers still concluded that consuming four ounces of pomegranate juice with three dates could likely provide heart health benefits for both healthy individuals and people at risk for cardiovascular disease. They also noted that ideally the pits of the dates should be ground up and eaten as a paste as well, but that either way, combining the two fruits will likely provide more heart health benefits than eating them on their own.

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