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Each ruby, seed-filled fruit is bursting with antioxidant-rich flavonoids. Antioxidants, recent studies show, may help prevent hardening of the arteries, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

The fruit's connections to medicine stretch back much farther. The ancient world used the pomegranate-one of the world's first domesticated crops-to treat a range of conditions. In India it was considered a heart tonic, Greeks and Egyptians believed it boosted fertility, and Hippocrates thought it aided digestion.

The fruit's name combines the French words pomme and garnete, meaning: seeded apple. A single medium-size pomegranate (154 g) has 100 calories and provides vitamins C and E.

Try this pomegranate punch at your next festive gathering.

Holiday Pomegranate Punch
Makes 20 8-oz. servings

4 cups pomegranate juice
8 cups light lemonade (such as Minute Maid Light Lemonade)
2 cups orange juice
2-liter bottle diet ginger ale
1 orange, sliced into rounds

1. Add the pomegranate juice, light lemonade, and orange juice to a large punch bowl and stir. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

2. When ready to serve, pour the ginger ale into a punch bowl and gently stir. Add the orange slices and large pieces of ice (if desired) and serve.

Per 8-oz serving: 40 calories, .2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, .1 g fat,0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, .1 g fiber, 1 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 0%.

More Flavonoid Fixes
Fall and winter is pomegranate season. The rest of the year, fuel up on flavonoids with green tea, red wine, apricots, pumpkins, or carrots.

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