Kebaikkan dan khasiat Delima

Kebaikkan dan khasiat Delima 

Buah delima mempunyai banyak manfaat kesihatan

Adakah anda makan buah delima? Buah yang dikaitkan dalam mitologi Yunani dalam dalam kisah Persephone, anak perempuan dewi tuaian Demeter. Hades, yang jadi di neraka, menculik gadis ini. Kerana sigadis telah makan beberapa biji buah delima sebelum diselamatkan, maka dia terpaksa menghabiskan beberapa bulan setiap tahun dalam neraka dengan dia. Menurut mitos, kerana itu bumi menghadapi musim sejuk.

Cerita moden mengenai buah delima tidak cukup sebagai khayalan mitos, tetapi terdapat banyak pencerahan akhir-akhir ini tentang buah-buahan eksotik. Berapa banyak yang disokong oleh penyelidikan saintifik?

Delima tumbuh liar dari Iran ke utara India, tetapi ianya banyak ditanam di seluruh India, Timur Tengah, selatan Eropah dan California. Ahli-ahli sains di Israel telah menjalankan penyelidikan mengenai manfaat kesihatan delima dan jus delima selama bertahun-tahun, dan kini ramai yang turut sama menyertai.

Apakah delima baik untuk? Penyelidik melaporkan bahawa mereka kaya dengan antioksidan yang dapat menjaga kolesterol LDL jahat daripada pengoksidaan (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Mei 2000). Ini degradasi LDL seolah-olah menjadi langkah awal dalam pembangunan aterosklerosis. Di samping itu, jus delima, seperti aspirin, anda dapat mengekalkan platelet darah dari pengumpalan bersama-sama untuk membentuk darah beku yang tidak diingini.

Adakah ini membuat apa-apa perbezaan klinikal? Lebih banyak kajian baru-baru ini telah mendapati bahawa lapan auns jus delima setiap hari selama tiga bulan meningkatkan jumlah oksigen sampai ke otot jantung pesakit dengan penyakit jantung koronari (American Journal of College of Cardiology, Sept. 2005). penyelidik lain melaporkan bahawa penggunaan jangka panjang jus delima boleh membantu disfungsi mati pucuk (Journal of Urology, Julai 2005).

Pengkaji juga teruja kemungkinan bahawa sebatian delima mungkin mencegah kanser prostat atau memperlahankan pertumbuhannya. Dalam pengkajian tikus makmal, rawatan dengan ekstrak buah delima melambatkan perkembangan tumor dan kelangsungan hidup bertambah baik (Prosiding National Academy of Sciences, 26 September 2005). laporan penyelidikan lain menunjukkan bahawa jus delima mungkin membantu mengurangkan risiko kanser payudara.

Walaupun arthritis boleh diatasi kepada kuasa delima. Para saintis di Case Western Reserve University telah melaporkan bahawa tisu kultur sel-sel rawan manusia bertindak balas terhadap ekstrak buah delima. Keradangan dikurangkan dan enzim yang memecahkan tulang rawan menjadi kurang aktif (Journal of Nutrition, Sept. 2005). Ini masih jauh dari preskripsi untuk sakit sendi, tetapi kebanyakan pakar bersetuju bahawa penggunaa delima sedikit-sebanyak tidaklah menyakiti dan mungkin boleh membantu.

Satu kegunaan tradisional jus delima adalah untuk menenangkan cirit-birit. Kita tidak melihat adanya penyelidikan yang menyokong tuntutan ini, tetapi kita telah mendengar daripada pembaca yang mempunyai pengalaman peribadi: Salah satu perkara yang terbaik untuk kurangkan cirit-birit adalah jus delima, yang boleh didapati di kedai-kedai runcit. Anda sebenarnya boleh terkena sembelit jika anda minum terlalu banyak (seperti yang saya dapati!)?

Perhatian: Delima jus adakalanya boleh mengganggu ubat-ubatan tertentu sepertinya jus limau gedang juga (Drug Metabolism dan Pelupusan, Mei 2005). Oleh itu, jika jus limau gedang adalah berisiko, jus delima mungkin juga.

Pomegranates Have Many Health Benefits

Have you eaten a pomegranate? The fruit features in Greek mythology in the story of Persephone, daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter. Hades, the lord of the underworld, kidnapped the beautiful maiden. Because she ate a few pomegranate seeds before being rescued, she had to spend several months every year in the underworld with him. According to the myth, that?s when the earth was forced to endure winter.

Modern stories about pomegranates are not quite as fanciful as the myth, but there is a lot of buzz lately about the exotic fruit. How much is supported by scientific research?

Pomegranates grow wild from Iran to northern India, but they are cultivated throughout India, the Middle East, southern Europe and California. Scientists in Israel have been conducting research on the health benefits of pomegranates and pomegranate juice for years, and now others have joined in.

What are pomegranates good for? Researchers report that they are rich in antioxidants that can keep bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2000). This degradation of LDL seems to be an initial step in the development of atherosclerosis. In addition, pomegranate juice, like aspirin, can help keep blood platelets from clumping together to form unwanted clots.

Does this make any difference clinically? More recent research has found that eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily for three months improved the amount of oxygen getting to the heart muscle of patients with coronary heart disease (American Journal of the College of Cardiology, Sept. 2005). Other researchers report that long-term consumption of pomegranate juice may help combat erectile dysfunction (Journal of Urology, July 2005).

Investigators are also excited about the possibility that pomegranate compounds might prevent prostate cancer or slow its growth. In mice, treatment with pomegranate extract delayed the development of tumors and improved survival (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept. 26, 2005). Other research reports suggest that pomegranate juice might help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Even arthritis may yield to the power of pomegranates. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have reported that tissue cultures of human cartilage cells respond to pomegranate extract. Inflammation is reduced and the enzymes that break down cartilage become less active (Journal of Nutrition, Sept. 2005). This is still far from a prescription for aching joints, but most experts agree that a little pomegranate won?t hurt and might help.

One traditional use of pomegranate juice is to calm diarrhea. We have seen no research supporting this claim, but we have heard from a reader with personal experience: ?One of the best things to take for diarrhea is pomegranate juice, which can be found in grocery stores. You can actually get constipated if you drink too much (as I found out!)?

A word of caution: Pomegranate juice appears to interfere with certain medications much as grapefruit juice does (Drug Metabolism and Disposition, May 2005). So when grapefruit juice is risky, pomegranate juice might be as well.

Persephone might have done better to resist eating pomegranate seeds, but modern science suggest most of us could benefit.


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Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist. Teresa Graedon holds a doctorate in medical anthropology and is a nutrition expert. Their syndicated radio show can be heard on public radio. In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.

© 2005 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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