Archive For The “Health” Category

Research Shows Benefits of Daily Avocado Consumption

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As the common proverb goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. After a recent Penn State study, it appears the same may be true about avocados.

Nutritional science researchers Kristina Petersen and Penny Kris-Etherton found, in a study of 1,008 U.S. consumers, that eating just one avocado a day improved overall diet quality among participants.

“Previous observational research suggests avocado consumers have higher diet quality than non-consumers,” Petersen said in a press release. “So, we developed this study to determine if there is a causational link between avocado consumption and overall diet quality.” 

The scientists examined changes in the Healthy Eating Index, a measure of diet quality based on national Dietary Guidelines, after the addition of a daily avocado. 

They used an exploratory analysis approach to examine changes over 26 weeks. Petersen and Pugh hoped to assess the link between HEI and food intervention on cardiometabolic risk–related outcomes, as few past clinical trials have evaluated diet quality change.

They randomly split participants into two groups. One continued its usual diet, limiting avocado intake, while the other incorporated one avocado a day.

Of the control group, 72% were female. The self-reported racial and ethnic distribution of the cohort was 69% white, 21% Hispanic, 15% Black, and 6% Asian. The remaining 10% either did not answer, were listed as American Indian, or checked multiple races or ethnicities.

At week 26, a greater increase in the HEI score was observed in the avocado-supplemented diet group than in the habitual diet group. The reason for the change was more surprising than the outcome.

 “We determined that participants were using avocados as a substitute for some foods higher in refined grains and sodium,” Petersen said. “In our study, we classified avocados as a vegetable and did see an increase in vegetable consumption attributed to the avocado intake, but also participants used the avocados to replace some unhealthier options.”

Petersen said she hopes implementation of healthier diets will help reduce incidents of chronic and preventable conditions, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease.

The Avocado Nutrition Center supported the study but did not contribute to data analysis or interpretation, the university said.

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‘A Dozen Reasons’ to Enjoy Safe and Healthy Fruits and Vegetables

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It’s time for the Alliance for Food and Farming’s annual “A Dozen Reasons” list to celebrate the bounty of choices in the produce aisle and remind everyone why it’s so important to eat more fruits and vegetables for better health and a longer life.

Nutrient-dense, delicious and filled with goodness, fruits and vegetables offer it all. Plus, decades of nutritional studies (mostly using conventionally grown produce) have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevents diseases, improves physical and mental health and increases lifespan.

Here’s our 2024 list of A Dozen Reasons to Eat More Produce:

1) Apples: In addition to the many disease-fighting nutrients in an apple, red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which can help fortify your immune system, especially when you’re under stress. And remember to eat the peel, which is rich in fiber and antioxidants.

2) Bell Peppers: Peppers are rich in Vitamin A and C. And the yellow, orange and red peppers are also high in beta carotene which has been shown to have cancer-fighting benefits.

3) Berries: Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Eat them together for a powerful nutrient-rich punch.

4) Cherries: Cherries are a good source of antioxidants, which studies have indicated may reduce the risk of heart disease. Can’t sleep, suffering from jet lag? Try eating some cherries. This delicious fruit also contains melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles and may be a helpful food for fighting jet lag and insomnia.

5) Grapes: Grapes of all colors are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols, including the stilbenoid resveratrol, which studies have shown positively influence immune function. Big words to describe a nutritional benefit for this powerful little fruit.

6) Green Beans: A vegetable staple in many households, green beans are a good source of vitamins include Folate, and Vitamin A and C. But did you also know that green beans are a good source of minerals, especially manganese, that supports your metabolism and has antioxidant abilities.

7) Leafy Greens, Like Kale and Spinach: Often referred to as superfoods, studies have recently shown that in addition to disease-fighting characteristics, leafy greens keep your mind healthy too. Peer reviewed research found that people who ate one to two servings of leafy greens per day had a slower rates of cognitive decline.

8) Peaches and Nectarines: Juicy and delicious, these fruits provide 10 different vitamins plus fiber and potassium. Pregnant? Not only are these nutrient-rich fruits good for your growing baby, but the abundance of potassium assists in preventing muscle cramps and keeps energy levels up.

9) Pears: This fruit is high in fiber, a good source of Vitamin C and contains natural antioxidants. Including pears in your diet lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease while promoting a healthy complexion and increased energy.

Reasons 10, 11 and 12:

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to:
• Improve mental health by promoting a greater sense of well-being;
• Give your skin an attractive glow;
• Promote healthy weight maintenance;

And to make it a baker’s dozen, peer reviewed research has shown that if half of Americans increased their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables by a single serving, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented annually.

Choose the produce that you prefer and is affordable and accessible for you and your family. Organic and conventional – decades of studies and government sampling data show that both production methods yield very safe food that consumers can eat with confidence. Don’t let anyone or any group discourage or scare you away from choosing the produce you enjoy.

And remember to follow the advice of the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and wash your fruits and vegetables. According to the FDA, washing produce under running tap water can reduce and often eliminate any minute pesticide residues, if present at all, as well as dirt and bacteria.

Visit and @safeproduce to learn more about produce safety.

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The Health Benefits of Mushrooms

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Mushrooms are considered a superfood by some.

Highline Mushrooms of Leamington, Ontario considers mushrooms to be a superfood, packed with vitamins and minerals.

Research shows that mushrooms:

  • Decrease the risk of cancer.
  • Lower sodium intake.
  • Promote lower cholesterol.
  • Protect brain health.
  • Provide a source of vitamin D.
  • Stimulate a healthier gut.
  • Support a healthy immune system.

The company notes mushrooms are a natural meat extender or substitute.

Instead of eating processed meat alternatives, diners can choose healthy mushrooms, which have a meaty texture and umami flavor.

The company notes eating meat can be reduced or replaced by adding mushrooms to recipes. Chefs can use half the amount of ground beef in tacos and add diced mushrooms, which reduces the cost, increases the nutritional value and adds to the flavor.

At Monterey Mushrooms Inc., of Watsonville, CA mushrooms are recognized as a more important part of a balanced, nutritious diet that is high in vitamin D and has numerous cancer-fighting properties, [three times] the vitamin D of fortified milk and more selenium than any other fruit or vegetable.

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Eating Almonds Can Aid in Post-Exercise Recovery: New Research

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MODESTO, CA — A new study found that eating almonds reduced some feelings of muscle soreness during exercise recovery which translated to improved muscle performance during a vertical jump challenge. These results expand on prior research1 which looked at how almonds affect muscle recovery after exercise.

In the research study2, published in Frontiers in Nutrition and funded by the Almond Board of California25 mildly overweight middle-aged men and women performed a 30-minute downhill treadmill run test after eight weeks of consuming 57 g (two ounces) of whole raw almonds daily. The control group ate a calorie-matched (86 g/three ounces) snack of unsalted pretzels. The treadmill test was designed to cause muscle damage to see how almonds affected muscle recovery.

Researchers measured participants’ muscle function; blood markers of muscle damage and inflammation; and perceived muscle soreness using a visual scale, before, during and at three timepoints after the treadmill test. They also measured markers of cardiometabolic health, body composition, and psycho-social assessments of mood, appetite, and well-being at baseline and after eight weeks of almond snacking.

The results: Study participants who ate almonds experienced an almost 25 percent reduction in muscle soreness when performing an explosive power exercise (a vertical jump challenge) over the cumulative 72-hour exercise recovery period. The perceived reduction in soreness translated to better muscle performance during the vertical jump challenge in the almond group versus the control. No significant differences were observed in measures of cardiometabolic health, muscle damage/inflammation, mood state, or appetite for the almond group or the control group.

This study included non-smoking participants who were mildly overweight and occasionally physically active but were not trained athletes. A limitation of this study is that the results are not generalizable to populations with other demographic and health characteristics.

“Our study suggests that snacking on almonds can be recommended to occasional exercisers as a go-to food to help fitness recovery after strenuous exercise,” said Dr. Oliver C. Witard, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition at Kings College London. “Almonds are naturally nutritious with protein, good fats and the antioxidant vitamin E. They can be considered an ideal food for fitness.” One serving of almonds (28 g) has 4 g of plant protein, 13 g of good unsaturated fat and only 1 g of saturated fat.

Dr. Witard’s study joins previous research which examined how regular almond snacking affected exercise recovery for healthy adults who exercise occasionally.

“Sticking to an exercise routine is not easy, so finding dietary strategies to help people be – and stay – physically active is important for public health. Our preliminary findings are encouraging in showing that almond snacking may promote adherence to new training programs among people who are unaccustomed to exercise,” said Witard.

One ounce (28 g) of almonds provides 4 g of fiber and 15 essential nutrients, including 77 mg magnesium (18.3% DV), 210 mg potassium (4% DV), and 7.27 mg vitamin E (50% DV), making them a great snack for healthy active lifestyles.

Study Findings At-a-Glance

Daily almond snacking alleviates perceived muscle soreness and improves muscle performance

  • 25 mildly overweight middle-aged, physically active but untrained men and women performed a 30-minute downhill treadmill run test after eight-weeks of consuming either 57 g/day (two ounces) of whole raw almonds or a calorie-matched (86 g/day) carb snack of unsalted pretzels (control).
  • Researchers measured participants’ perceived muscle soreness, muscle function (measured via a muscle contraction test and a vertical jump physical task) and blood markers of muscle damage/inflammation (creatine kinase and c-reactive protein) before and at 3 timepoints (24, 48 and 72 hours) after the treadmill run.
  • Over the cumulative 72-hour period after the downhill treadmill run, muscle soreness measured during the vertical jump physical task (an explosive power exercise) was reduced by ~24% in the almond group versus the control, which translated to an improvement in vertical jump performance during exercise recovery. No significant differences were observed in measures of muscle soreness and performance during the muscle contraction tests.
  • Researchers also measured markers of cardiometabolic health (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol), body composition and psycho-social assessments of mood, appetite and well-being at baseline and after 8 weeks of almond snacking. No significant differences were observed in measures of cardiometabolic health, muscle damage/inflammation, mood state, or appetite for the almond group or the control group.

Study Conclusion: Snacking on almonds for eight weeks reduced perceived feelings of muscle soreness during recovery from muscle-damaging exercise, resulting in better maintenance of muscle functional capacity. This study suggests that almonds are a functional food snack to improve exercise tolerance in mildly overweight, middle-aged adults.

California almonds make life better by what we grow and how we grow. The Almond Board of California promotes natural, wholesome and quality almonds through leadership in strategic market development, innovative research, and accelerated adoption of industry best practices on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond farmers and processors in California, most of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. 

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Idaho Potato Commission: 10 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Potatoes

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The Idaho Potato Commission’s latest marketing outreach promotes the nutritional benefits of eating potatoes, which are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and dietary fiber, according to a news release.

“Idaho potatoes are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the produce aisle. Not to mention they’re versatile and affordable, making them the ideal staple for busy families focused on eating healthy,” Jamey Higham, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in the release.

According to the commission, here are the top 10 reasons to eat more potatoes:

  1. Idaho potatoes are the first vegetable to participate in the American Diabetes Association’s Better Choices For Life program. 
  2. Potatoes’ versatility makes it a perfect vegetable to pair with many dishes.
  3. When cooked and cooled, potatoes develop resistant starch, a type of fiber that acts similarly to soluble fiber, promoting gut health and metabolic benefits. 
  4. Thanks to a potato’s fiber content, it is a satisfying and filling food choice. Including potatoes in meals help consumers feel fuller for longer periods.
  5. Potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing a sustained energy source without causing rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.
  6. The American Heart Association certified potatoes as a heart-healthy food. 
  7. Potatoes are rich in antioxidants and beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids.
  8. Another way to increase potato consumption is through different cooking methods, such as steaming, roasting, baking or grilling.
  9. Potato skins offer a significant amount of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins.
  10. One potato has more potassium than a banana, which helps regulate blood pressure, nerve function and muscle contractions.

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Watercress: The Ultimate Ingredient for Weight Loss and Wellness

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By B&W Quality Growers

FELLSMERE, FL – In a groundbreaking move to revolutionize dietary habits for health and wellness, B&W Quality Growers is proud to advocate for watercress as a crucial ingredient in weight loss diets. Recognized as the most nutrient-dense food, watercress surpasses other leafy greens in its benefits, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a healthier lifestyle.

Unparalleled Nutritional Value:

Watercress is not just another leafy green; it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Watercress is the only food to receive a perfect score and be ranked at the top of the nutrient-density scale by the CDC and ANDI; it packs a wealth of vitamins and minerals in every bite. This includes Vitamin K for bone health, Vitamin C for immunity, and antioxidants that combat free radicals, promoting overall wellness and over 50 other essential nutrients.

Low in Calories, High in Fiber:

For those on a weight loss journey, watercress is an ideal ally. It’s incredibly low in calories yet high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for calorie-controlled diets. The high fiber content aids in digestion and helps maintain a feeling of fullness, reducing the temptation for unhealthy snacking.

Boosts Metabolism and Detoxifies the Body:

Watercress has been found to boost metabolism, a critical factor in weight loss. Thanks to its high chlorophyll content, its detoxifying properties help cleanse the body, thus enhancing overall health and aiding in weight management.

Versatile and Delicious:

Beyond its health benefits, watercress is celebrated for its culinary versatility. Its peppery flavor adds a delightful zest to salads, soups, sandwiches, and smoothies, making healthy eating enjoyable and delicious.

A Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Choice:

In our commitment to sustainability, B&W Quality Growers emphasizes that watercress is good for your health and the planet. It’s a sustainable crop that requires minimal land and water resources, aligning with eco-friendly dietary choices.

Join the Watercress Revolution for Health and Wellness:

B&W Quality Growers invites everyone to embrace watercress as a staple in their diet. It’s not just about weight loss; it’s about nourishing your body with the best nature offers. With watercress leading the way, let’s move towards healthier, more sustainable eating habits.

About B&W Quality Growers:

B&W Quality Growers has been farming responsibly since 1870. We’re the largest growers of distinctive leafy greens, including watercress, arugula, spinach, and water spinach. We sustainably grow, pack, and ship the highest quality distinctive leafy greens, providing well-being for our consumers and value for our customers. We’ve done this with zero product recalls and aim to provide a healthier, more flavorful world using premium leaves in everyday recipes.

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Blackberries are Cited for Being Nutritious and Having Vitamins

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Research from John Hopkins Medicine states that blackberries are second only to black raspberries when it comes to overall nutrition. Blackberries are vitamin and nutrient-dense with a high amount of fiber and antioxidants and less sugar than other berries, says a press release from Berry Farms of Compton, CA.

Sweet Karoline is a blackberry variety co-owned by Berry Fresh that is known for its sweet flavor and resistance to red cells, according to the release. Berry Fresh says it is a year-round grower and marketer of premium blueberries, blackberries and raspberries to customers in the Americas.

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Happy New Year: How Prescription Produce Can Revolutionize Healthcare Access

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By Melissa Ackerman

Prescription produce is on a mission to reshape healthcare by proactively addressing diseases like heart disease and diabetes through dietary management. Shocking statistics reveal that only 1 in 10 Americans consume the recommended fresh produce, while 8 out of 10 healthcare dollars treat preventable chronic diseases. This shift underscores the preventive potential of a nutritious diet, extending beyond conventional medications.

The National Produce Prescription Collaborative notes a rising trend in healthcare providers and insurers advocating for these prescriptions among eligible patients facing health risks or food insecurity. With over 100 pilot programs nationwide, spanning Medicaid, Medicare, private employers, and federal healthcare systems, this movement is expanding rapidly—and Planet Harvest is excited to be a part of it.

Planet Harvest is spearheading innovation in healthcare accessibility, partnering with entities like UT Health and impactful nonprofits such as Brighter Bites to enhance fresh produce availability within communities.

Going beyond typical delivery methods, Planet Harvest deeply integrates itself within communities. Through strategic alliances with distributors and dedicated nonprofits, the company distributes fresh produce in innovated access points in rural areas, religious establishments, community centers and shelters.

Resourceful in their approach, Planet Harvest is in enhancing healthcare accessibility by leveraging their established network of distributors and last-mile solutions. For instance, their introduction of mobile food ‘farmacies’ utilizes assets from distributor partners, strategically parking them within five miles of the patient’s residence and deploying last-mile delivery solutions directly to their doorsteps.

Recognizing the shortcomings in current infrastructure, Planet Harvest steps in to bridge these gaps, positioning itself as a driving force in transforming healthcare through prescription produce.

Planet Harvest actively works to move products into commerce that were historically considered unsaleable through its affiliated distribution network, thereby minimizing the environmental and economic impacts of food losses.


Melissa Ackerman is the founder and CEO of Planet Harvest, a mission-based company dedicated to revolutionizing the way people enjoy fresh produce. Committed to driving consumption and accessibility, the company focuses on refining supply chains and introducing rescued produce into daily lives, all while championing a sustainable future. With over 14 years of leadership experience in the produce industry, Melissa Ackerman possesses a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing growers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and healthcare providers. Her passion lies in finding the right balance between doing business and doing good, all the while seeking innovative solutions to improve the quality and accessibility of fresh, nutritious food.

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Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl: A Football Bowl Game for Breast Cancer Research

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DALLAS — Avocados From Mexico®, the number one selling avocado brand in the U.S., is uniting good health and good times with one partnership. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, the brand is joining forces with the Cure Bowl, a college football postseason bowl game benefiting breast cancer research. Avocados From Mexico will be the title sponsor of the 2023 Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl, held in Orlando, Florida on December 16. Funds raised from the Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl will directly benefit cancer research organizations.

Now in its ninth year, the Cure Bowl is more than a game: It’s a platform that brings football teams and fans together to find a cure for cancer. Since 2015, the Cure Bowl, operated by the Orlando Sports Foundation in collaboration with ESPN Events, has helped raise $4.1 million for cancer research, fighting cancers like breast cancer, which affects one in eight women.1 A cause that matters to so many women is a cause that’s also important to Avocados From Mexico, as 74% of avocado buyers are female.2

The brand is also a proud partner of Susan G. Komen®, the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer, and teamed up with the organization for the third consecutive year to turn produce aisles pink during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We’re honored to be a part of the Cure Bowl, to support breast cancer awareness and research, and to make a positive impact during football season,” said Alvaro Luque, President and CEO of Avocados From Mexico. “Football games are one of the top occasions for Avocados From Mexico to be enjoyed, and avocados are a nutritious food that can support a healthy lifestyle. Now, we have the opportunity to bring our brand’s good times and good health together with the Cure Bowl for a good cause.”

And as any football fan knows, a big, sharable bowl of guacamole is an iconic part of a good game day celebration with family and friends. Half of the shoppers who are preparing for football watch parties say that avocados are served at their gatherings in connection with football games3 because no football watch party is complete without guac. And, avocados have good fats and almost 20 vitamins and minerals that support a healthy lifestyle4

“Every year, we hold the Cure Bowl to use football as a platform to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and we are so proud to be embarking on the ninth year of this mission with Avocados From Mexico,” said Cure Bowl Executive Director and Orlando Sports Foundation CEO Alan Gooch, “Football and guac are great partners, so we’re pleased to have Avocados From Mexico as our title sponsor, helping us deliver a college football bowl game that funds cancer research.”

The Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl is one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events. The participating teams for this year’s game will be announced Sunday, December 3.

2Numerator; Avocados From Mexico 2023 data
Shopper Journey A&U
4Fresh avocados are a heart-healthy fruit. They provide naturally good fats and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Source:

To learn more about Avocados From Mexico, visit, Facebook (, Instagram (@avocadosfrommexico) or Twitter (@AvosFromMexico).

About Avocados From Mexico  
Avocados From Mexico is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA), formed for the purpose of advertising, promotion, public relations and research for all stakeholders of Avocados From Mexico. Under agreements, MHAIA and the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers & Packers of Mexico (APEAM) have combined resources to fund and manage Avocados From Mexico, with the intent to provide a focused, highly- effective and efficient marketing program in the United States. Avocados From Mexico is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

About Orlando Sports Foundation
The Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for cancer research. The OSF holds several events throughout the year, including the Cure Bowl, which is an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) college football bowl game played each December.

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Pom Wonderful Villainizes Free Radicals and Praises Antioxidants in Ad Campaign

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LOS ANGELES – POM Wonderful, the worldwide leader of California-grown pomegranates and the No. 1 pomegranate juice in North America, today launched its nationwide campaign, “Real Life is Scary: Protect Yourself With POM.” The campaign aims to empower consumers to fortify their defenses against free radicals – the unstable molecules that can cause damage to our bodies over time – by protecting themselves with the antioxidant power of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice. 

In a series of comedically spooky ads, the health antagonists – manifested by ghosts, aliens, and vampires – represent free radicals that pop up in everyday locations: business elevators, the laundromat and movie theaters. With every sip of POM Juice, the polyphenols in POM protect the protagonist against the chaotic free radicals. 

While the human body naturally maintains everyday levels of these free-radical molecules, external factors including smoking, stress, and environmental pollutants can escalate their production. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and can reduce damage over time.   

“The past few years have brought an even greater awareness to our health,” said Margaret Keene, chief creative officer at Wonderful Agency. “Through this campaign, we wanted to bring a lighthearted approach that shows how these moments are made easier when you have an antioxidant defense, highlighting POM’s health benefits in an imaginative yet relatable way.”  

The campaign was developed by The Wonderful Company’s in-house creative team at Wonderful Agency led by Keene. The spots were filmed in Prague and directed by Randy Krallman. 

“I’m excited to bring a new approach to our marketing that is playful and promotes the well-being of our consumers,” said Benal Serin, senior vice president of marketing at POM Wonderful. “In a time when consumers are looking for better-for-you options, POM Juice is the Antioxidant Superpower® and a daily defense against free radicals. We hope to educate and inspire consumers to take control of their health.” 

The campaign will run on targeted in-stream on connected TV, digital and mobile, linear TV, and cinema, as well as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and at select Spotlight Cinema theaters. 

For more information, and for the latest updates on POM Wonderful, please visit or @POMWonderful on Instagram. 

About POM Wonderful 

POM Wonderful is the largest grower and producer of fresh pomegranates and pomegranate juice in the United States as well as the worldwide leader in fresh California pomegranates and pomegranate-based products including our 100% pomegranate juice, healthy juice blends, and teas. We grow, handpick, and juice our own pomegranates to ensure the highest quality. POM Wonderful is part of The Wonderful Company, a privately held company with a portfolio that includes other No. 1 brands such as Wonderful® Pistachios, FIJI® Water, Wonderful® Halos®, JUSTIN® wine, and Teleflora®. To learn more about The Wonderful Company, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To view the current Corporate Social Responsibility report, visit

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