October 3, 2008
Researchers say pomegranate juice has higher levels of antioxidants than do red wine and green tea, which have also been investigated for their potential cancer prevention effects.
The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit has been used for centuries in ancient cultures for medicinal purposes.
For a long time, the fruit has been widely consumed fresh and, more recently, in beverage form as juice. In other studies, the fruit has been shown to suppress inflammatory cell signaling proteins in colon and prostate cancer. The fruit possesses other remarkable anti-tumor-promoting effects.
The fruit also contains poly-phenols, natural antioxidant compounds found in green tea, as well as isoflavones commonly found in soy, and ellagic acid, which is believed to play a role in cancer cell death. The fruit is native to Asia, from the Himalaya to the Middle East.
The pomegranate was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. Dried fruits have been found in Bronze Age tombs. Moses had to assure the Israelites that they would still have pomegranates when they reached the Promised Land. The Greeks and Romans celebrated pomegranates. Shakespeare's Juliet insisted to Romeo that it was a nightingale that sang from the pomegranate tree. Pomegranates have many culinary uses in the Middle East and Asia. Besides being eaten raw, the juice is used in traditional Persian, Caucasian, and Indian cooking. Grenadine is a concentrated pomegranate syrup used to flavor drinks. [source from here]