In Deuteronomy 8, the Israelites are told, “for the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land . . . a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and [date] honey” (vv. 7-8).
In Jewish teaching these foods are known as the seven fruits, or seven species, and are considered special products of the Holy Land. For thousands of years, even when the Jews were in exile, the seven fruits have played an important role in the diet of the Jewish people and in the religious traditions of Judaism.
Now, a new study has revealed that these foods, especially the combination of pomegranates and dates, are good for the heart.
Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have found that half a glass of juice a day, along with three dates, can bring about a significant reduction in therosclerosis — the accumulation of fatty cells in arteries which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
According to the study published recently in British scientific journal Food & Function, the scientists tested the effects of the fruits on mice as well as on arterial cells grown in the laboratory. They found that, used regularly, the combination of antioxidants contained within pomegranates and dates could lower cholesterol in the arteries by 28 per cent.
The researchers said the combination of the different types of antioxidants contained within the two fruits gave the best results in their tests for fighting arterial blockage.
Is it any wonder that these biblical foods are good for us?!