Wonderful Pomegranate

I suffer from high blood pressure.  I’m not overweight, I exercise, and I eat an extremely healthy diet.  However, there was a time when at a completely restful position, my blood pressure could exceed 160/90.

While pregnant with Scott, my blood pressure issues started, and they never went away.  My bp spiked at 29 weeks with him, and at 30 weeks they did an emergency c-section.  I was in ICU for 3 days after that, trying to get it back down.  It stayed at a steady high afterward.

pomagranate on treeWhile flying from somewhere to somewhere, Gregg read an article in Men’s Health magazine that said that if you drank an ounce of pomegranate juice a day, your blood pressure should drop significantly — like by 20 points drop.  So, after looking into the medical reasons for that, and reading how the Israeli army makes pomegranate juice part of their daily regimen, we decided to see what it could do for me.  Because, it couldn’t hurt, right?

My blood pressure dropped so rapidly that for days I ran into walls.  I dropped things.  My ears rang.  Until I got used to the change in pressure, it impacted everything.  Once I got used to it, everything was put on an even keel.  Then I got pregnant with Jeb.

I went from a positive blood test with my general practitioner to a high risk obstetrician.  There was no pass Go and collect a regular OB blessing.  My history of near death was all the insurance company needed for a referral.

Gregg and I had a long introductory visit with this doctor.  He came HIGHLY recommended, and we liked him on sight.  He was a Christian, had taught in the medical school here, was very hands-on, and had an amazing staff with an office  filled with up to the minute technology.  I saw him every week for 36 weeks and miss him still.  We came to find out, during that long first consultation, that his father grows pomegranates in South Carolina, and he was THRILLED that I drank pomegranate juice daily as part of my blood pressure fight, and that it had been successful for me.  He thoroughly recommended that I continue with it.

With pomegranate juice daily, and blood pressure medicine gradually added to my life, we made it to 36 weeks before they had to do an emergency c-section on Jeb.  Praise God.

My blood pressure still has never really evened out, so I still regularly consume pomegranate juice.  I drink a smoothie every day, and put an ounce of the juice in that.  So far, it’s working good for me.  I just took it, as I write this post, and it’s 138/84.  Those of you who know me know that’s a very good bp for me.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be contacted by Pom Wonderful about creating some recipes from pomegranate juice.  Gregg and I had already been talking about doing a post on what it had done for me personally, and here they were, out of nowhere,  sending me samples to use in cooking!

I’ve had a blast doing it, and I really really appreciate the opportunity.

In my research on pomegranate juice in order to create this post, I unearthed some awesome Biblical facts about pomegranates:

ivory pomegranateThe Hebrew word for pomegranate is rimmon.  Known in Palestine since earliest times (Numbers 13:23) the pomegranate grew wild in western Asia and northern Africa and was cultivated in Palestine.  This beautiful rose-red fruit with its many seeds was a favorite among the Israelites.  the abundance of seeds was symbolic of fertility and it was grown both for its tasty fruit and for its beauty in the garden.  The juice of the pomegranate was high prized (Song of Solomon 8:2) and it was one of the fruits that grew in the Promised Land (Numbers 13:23).  This sweet-tasting fruit was used in many ways.  Its juice was enjoyed as a cooling drink and as wine.  Symbols of the fruit were embroidered as decorations around the bottom of the high priest’s robe (Exodus 28:33-34) and carved on the pillars of Solomon’s Porch at the temple (1 Kings 7:20).

This is from the Pom Wonderful website:

Our Health Story

For centuries, the pomegranate has been valued as a symbol of health and has been the centerpiece of many traditional folk medicine practices. Learn more about the History & Culture of the pomegranate.

In 1998, POM initiated modern medical research to understand the health benefits of the Wonderful variety of pomegranates. To date, we’ve invested $32 million. This research has involved a number of top scientists from leading universities around the world, including a Nobel Laureate.

So far, 47 total studies, including 14 clinical studies, have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Primary research areas have included prostate, cardiovascular, and erectile function as well as antioxidant composition and safety/bioavailability.

Preliminary results have been encouraging and many additional research studies are in progress. Learn more about POM’s published studies.

pomwonderfulThere is a wealth of information on the Pom Wonderful website about the health benefits of pomegranate juice.  I’d like to put it all here, but it would fill up the page.  Instead, I’ll just link you to here.  I encourage you to read it.

In the meantime, here is a list of some of the recipes I’ve come up with.  I will be adding to this list as time goes on.  I hope you enjoy them!

Crockpot Cranberry Pomegranate Turkey Breast

Sparkling Pomegranate Drink

Beefy Black & White Bean Soup


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