Pomegranates are often considered as one of the healthiest foods around the world and are nutritious enough to be considered better than any other fruit or food. The pomegranate is not only a tasty fruit, but it also has many health benefits and can prevent illnesses. In this article, we are going to look at ten proven health benefits of pomegranate.
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Pomegranate Nutrition Facts
Pomegranate is a shrub which bears fruits with ruby-colored seeds in them. This fruit is categorized as a berry. Its seeds are consumed normally as a fruit but other parts of this shrub, such as the leaves, etc., can also be used for medicinal purposes.
This fruit is native to Iran and Sub-Continent and was later introduced to the Americas. There have been records of this plant being used as an anti-parasitic agent against tapeworm from 1500 BC.
The edible parts of this fruit are its seeds and their juicy coverings called the arils. A cup of arils (174) has the following nutrition profile 1 which is extremely good (1);
- 144 calories
- 24 grams of sugar
- 7 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of protein
- 30% of the RDI of Vitamin C
- 36% of the RDI of Vitamin K
- 16% of the RDI of folate
- 12% of the RDI of potassium
Now, let’s take a look at a few incredible health advantages of this beautiful fruit.
Proven Health Benefits of Pomegranate
1. Punicic Acid and Punicalagins
Pomegranates have miraculous compounds in their seeds that prevent and control various chronic illnesses.
These compounds are Punicic Acid and Punicalagin which are responsible for most of their health benefits.
Pomegranate seed oil containing punicic acid has mainly been indicated to exert anticarcinogenic and anti-obesity activities (2). These compounds are extremely potent antioxidants.
2. Anti-Cancer Effects
Pomegranates are protective against cancer in both men and women.
Prostate cancer in men and Breast cancer in women can be controlled or even cured by using pomegranates as they can slow down the cancer cell proliferation and can induce apoptosis of cancerous cells (3, 4).
It particularly improves the prognosis of prostate cancer.
3. Prevents Inflammation
Pomegranates are considered as an excellent anti-inflammatory food because of their punicalagin compound.
Studies have shown a reduction in inflammation in the gut and cancerous cells of the body (5, 6, 7). Diseases like Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Diseases can also be kept under control by utilizing the anti-inflammatory effect of pomegranates.
4. Memory Booster
There are scientific studies to suggest that pomegranate can improve memory. Polyphenols are abundant in the pomegranates and are known to improve the memory of the person.
According to a study conducted in 2013, individuals who were given pomegranate juice daily performed well in memory tests as compared to those who were given a placebo (8).
5. Heart Protection
Another health benefit of pomegranate is that it provides protection to the heart by influencing the person’s lipid profile.
Punicic Acid, in the pomegranates, lowers bad cholesterol in the blood and improves triglyceride to HDL-Cholesterol ratio (8). Pomegranates also prevent oxidation of LDL-Cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis (9).
Hypertension is a global problem with increasing mortality because of its impact on the heart. Pomegranates have an excellent protective effect against hypertension and have shown to significantly lower the blood pressure level when consumed as juice (150ml) (10).
7. Prevents Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis is prevented in humans because of the anti-inflammatory action of the Pomegranates, but it protects against osteoarthritis by inhibiting the enzyme that damages the joint (11).
8. Good for Skin
Pomegranates are known to hydrate the skin and convert it into bright and soft. This effect of pomegranate is because of the vitamin C present in pomegranate.
Besides, the anti-inflammatory substances of pomegranates can fight off the acne and make skin look good.
Pomegranates also have anti-aging food benefits. A study showed that when applied to the skin of mice, antioxidants helped decrease the incidence of age spots and wrinkles (12). Another good news is that anti-aging compound from pomegranates proves promising in human clinical trials (13, 14).
One can use pomegranates externally by rubbing them over the skin.
9. Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial Actions
Because of its constituents, pomegranates have long been used as anti-microbials (15, 16). Due to this benefit of pomegranates, oral fungal and bacterial infections can be cured by using this amazingly healthy fruit (17).
10. Good for Fertility and Sexual Performance
Oxidative stress causes sperms and ova to go dysfunctional and reduces fertility in both genders. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and can improve the fertility status of a couple.
Pomegranate juice is also associated with increased sexual drive. Oxidative burden also impairs blood flow to erectile tissues and cause erectile dysfunction (18), pomegranate juice has shown to increase the blood flow and improve erectile dysfunction in animals and similar is expected in humans.
How to Cut a Pomegranate
When it comes to pomegranates it can be both terribly messy and unnecessarily many destroyed pomegranate seeds if you cut them a little anyway. This is the best way to get the most out of this goodie, with a minimum of splashes!
Step 1: Cut off the top and then cut into gaps around the pomegranate shell. Not too deep – we don’t want to damage the cores.
Step 2: Cut around the top of the pomegranate and then pull off the lid.
Step 3: Find the gaps that separate the inner sections of the pomegranate and cut into the shell.
Stop 4: Divide the discs carefully, one at a time!
Step 5: Then just chop in!
Taking into account the numerous health benefits, pomegranate is undoubtedly one of the healthiest fruits on the earth. They can control and even cure chronic illnesses, boost a person’s memory, and inhibit inflammation and oxidation as well as enhance a person’s endurance and work capacity.
If you want to get the many health benefits from pomegranates then this fruit or its juice should always be a part of your diet plan.