Chances are you know someone affected by heart disease and stroke. About 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day; an average of 1 death every 38 seconds! February is the American Heart Association’s “American Heart Month”. Accordingly, we want to provide you with a nutrition strategy you may not know about to help promote and maintain healthy hearts.

You’ve probably heard the typical recommendations such as eat more fiber, increase your intake of unsaturated (heart healthy) fats and consume less sodium. But did you know pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice provide significant heart benefits?

Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied pomegranate juice consumption by patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowing of the two key arteries that deliver blood to the brain). Participants who consumed ¼ cup of pomegranate juice every day for 1 year lowered their blood pressure by over 12% and had a 30% reduction in atherosclerotic plaque.

While pomegranates have exciting heart health benefits, be careful of serving size. Like all fruits, pomegranate seeds have natural sugars and can be easily over consumed. The recommended serving size of pomegranate seeds and juice is ½ cup.

Head over to the gym for a refreshing snack, fresh pomegranates seeds! If you don’t know how to get those pesky seeds out from the whole fruit, stay tuned for our how-to video this week.