High blood pressure: This healthy drink has consistent benefits, researchers say

Pomegranates are rich in nutrients such as folate and vitamin C, and have anti-inflammatory effects. Pomegranate juice contains antioxidants at higher levels than many other fruit juices, nearly three times higher than green tea or red wine.

A 2016 literature review of eight randomized controlled trials found that drinking pomegranate juice can help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The effects on systolic blood pressure were independent of the duration and amount of pomegranate juice consumed by the participants. Researchers recommend a dose of at least 240 milliliters (1 cup) to reduce diastolic blood pressure. Pomegranate juice is thought to block or slow the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, preventing a higher risk of heart disease.

Try to consume only freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, without adding sugar. Sugar adds more calories to the juice, reducing its heart health benefits. If pomegranates are not available and you want to buy packaged juice, check the label to make sure you are drinking pure pomegranate juice and not a juice blend with added sugar.

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Richard V. Johnson