Pomegranate Juice: Superfood or Super Imposter?
Soy, gingsing extract, wheatgrass… Let’s be honest – we’ve all been suckered in by the media hype on the “superfood of the week” syndrome. It’s exciting to think that simply by adding certain foods to our diet we can cure what ails us.
The trick is distinguishing between the hype and the stuff that actually helps!
Case in Point:
Pomegranate juice is one of the most talked about health foods today. Preliminary evidence suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may not only reduce cholesterol levels, but could also help prevent heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, cancer, diabetes…even Alzheimer’s!
So, why have medical experts tabbed this powerhouse juice a miracle food? Well for starters, a glass of 100% pomegranate juice NATURALLY contains:
- About 40% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C!
- Vitamin A, E and folic acid in good quantities!
- Excellent antioxidant properties from polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins!
- About three times more antioxidants ounce for ounce than red wine or green tea!
Another benefit: some research suggests that pomegranate juice, though highly concentrated with natural sugar, has very little effect on blood sugar levels.
Sounds great, but before you start planting pomegranate trees in your backyard consider the following Reality Check.
- Pomegranate juice should be thought of as one in a variety of healthy eating habits that will go a long way in the prevention of chronic disease. In other words, if you’re downing Big Macs and Ding Dongs by the dozen, but chasing them with pomegranate juice… well, your health is still in jeopardy.
- Not all brands of pomegranate juice are created equal. Many juice manufacturers are promoting less than healthy pomegranate juice that’s packed with junk ingredients and cheap filler juices.
- 100% all-natural pomegranate juice is expensive. In some cases, it’s twice the price of more common juices. This gives you more of an incentive to make sure you’re buying a high quality brand. You’ll pay a little more for the best, but the health benefits are priceless
We’ve compiled the BrandAid Pomegranate Juice Guidelines so you can be certain you’re buying a Super Juice, not a Super Imposter!
BrandAid Pomegranate Juice Guidelines
- Look for the words “100% Pomegranate Juice” on the front label and the Nutrition Facts label.
- Avoid labels with words like “Drink,” “Punch,” “Cocktail,” “Beverage,” and “Ade.” These are all code words for added sugar, minimal juice, and lots of junk ingredients.
- Look for a short ingredients list (less is usually more) that spells out the type of juice you’re buying. Manufacturers sometimes sneak in cheaper filler juices like apple, grape, and pear juice. Too often these filler juices are listed even before pomegranate on the ingredients list!
- Avoid juices with malic acid or citric acid. These additives are used to create acidic juice flavor to hide the fact that the product has been watered down.
And, as always, avoid these common junk ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors and colors, sodium citrate, modified cornstarch, cellulose gum, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium benzoate… and any other word(s) that you can’t pronounce!
These varieties and brands have met the Brand Doctor’s standards for ingredients and taste. Plus, they pack a nutritional punch without all the harmful junk ingredients found in many brand-name products claiming to be the real deal.
Note: Remember, all varieties of the same brand are NOT created equal! Please make sure you’re choosing the recommended variety within each brand. When in doubt, read the ingredients label!
Pom Wonderful 100% Juice Pomegranate
Purely Juice 100% Juice Pomegranate All Natural
Naked 100% Pomegranate Juice
Woodstock Farms Organics Juice Pomegranate Pure
R.W. Knudson Just Pomegranate
Pomegranate juice mixed with other types of super juices like blueberry, cherry, and acai juice are also super healthy. These super juice blends earn our SilverMedal distinction (we think they are good choices, just not the best).
Odwalla PomaGrand Pomegranate Juice
Pom Wonderful 100% Juice Blueberry
Pom Wonderful 100% Juice Cherry
Purely Juice 100% Juice Pomegranate Blueberry All Natural
Bolthouse Bom Dia Antioxidant Rich Juice Acai Berry with Pomegranate
Langers All Pomegranate Blueberry
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.