Pomegranates are healthier than most fruits. They have a lot of compounds that are very beneficial for our health, and can help in lowering the chances of getting a disease.
We have here twelve benefits of pomegranates that have been proven by science.
1. They are loaded with nutrients.
Pomegranates are berries, with a diameter of around five to twelve centimeters, looking a lot like an apple with a stem shaped like a flower. You can’t eat the skin, but you can eat the seeds, or arils, inside. People consume these seeds, whether raw or made into juice.
You’ll be impressed with the nutrients contained in a single cup of pomegranate seeds.
A single cup (174g) has: 7g of fiber, 3g of protein, 30% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C, 36% of the RDA of vitamin K, 16% of the RDA of folate, and 12% of the RDA of potassium, 24g of sugar and 144 cal.
But what sets them apart is the strong plant compounds in them which have excellent medicinal qualities.
2. They have two plant compounds with strong medicinal properties.
Punicalagins and punicic acid are the two plant compounds that make pomegranates very beneficial for your health.
You can find punicalagins in the juice and peels of the fruit. They are very strong antioxidants. Pomegranate juice has three times more antioxidant activity compared to red wine and green tea. And since the extract and powder from this fruit comes from the peels, you can be sure it has a lot of punicalagin and great antioxidant properties.
Punicic acid on the other hand is the main fatty acid in the seed. It is also called pomegranate seed oil and has strong biological effects.
3. They are excellent against inflammation.
One of the main drivers of cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and obesity is chronic inflammation. Pomegranates’ strong anti-inflammatory properties are brought about by the antioxidant punicalagin.
Research shows that consuming pomegranates may lead to a decrease in inflammation in the digestive tract. It can also decrease inflammation in breast and colon cancer cells.
Another research discovered that 250ml of juice daily for approximately three months decreased inflammation markers.
4. They may aid in the battle against prostate cancer.
Of all the cancers males develop, prostate cancer is the most common.
Lab research shows that extract from pomegranate can delay the spread of cancer cells, and may even cause these cells to die.
The prostate specific antigen or PSA is a marker for prostate cancer. Those with twice the amount of PSA have a higher chance of dying from this disease.
But a research discovered that 237ml or 8oz of pomegranate juice daily prolonged the time for PSA to double from a year and three months to six-and-a-half years. That is a very big difference.
5. They may aid in the battle against breast cancer.
If prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in males, the same can be said about breast cancer for females.
The extract of pomegranates though was discovered to restrain the reproduction of breast cancer cells. And as in prostate cancer cells, the extract can also cause these cells to die.
But more studies have to be conducted.
6. They can reduce blood pressure.
People who are hypertensive are more prone to a heart attack or a stroke.
A research found that those suffering from hypertension enjoyed a great decrease in their blood pressure after drinking 150ml of pomegranate juice every day for two weeks.
Other research have yielded similar results.
7. They may aid in the battle against arthritis.
Arthritis causes inflammation in the joints. Since pomegranates have potent anti-inflammatory properties, they could be very useful against arthritis.
It is interesting to note that lab research discovered that pomegranate extract blocks enzymes that can be damaging to joints for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
This extract has been effective for mice with arthritis, but more research needs to be done for humans.
8. They may decrease your chances of getting heart disease.
Nothing causes premature death more than heart disease. It is very complicated and it is influenced by a lot of factors.
Punicic acid can provide protection from the development of heart disease. This acid is known to lower triglycerides.
Another research found that one of the positive effects pomegranate juice had was a decreased LDL cholesterol level in people with high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The juice has also been effective in protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which is very important when talking about heart disease.
9. The juice might aid in treating erectile dysfunction.
Damage caused by oxidation can hinder the flow of blood in the body, and this may cause erectile dysfunction.
It was discovered in a study with rabbits as test subjects that pomegranate juice increased blood flow and improved erectile response.
A study was conducted with fifty-three men who suffered from erectile dysfunction. Pomegranate provided a small measure of improvement, but it was hardly significant.
10. They are great against infections caused by bacteria and fungi.
The compounds in pomegranate are excellent against some bacteria and certain yeast. It can also provide excellent protection from inflammation and infection in your mouth such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
11. They may help in the improvement of memory
Research shows that two grams of extract can prevent memory deficits in surgical patients post-surgery. Another research with the elderly discovered that 237ml of the juice daily greatly increased the markers for visual and verbal memory.
Studies conducted on mice revealed that pomegranate can help in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
12. They may boost performance when working out.
Dietary nitrates are proven to boost performance when working out, and this particular fruit is loaded with it.
According to research, a single gram of extract half an hour before working out helped athletes on a treadmill by greatly boosting blood flow. In boosting blood flow, onset of exhaustion will be delayed and the workout itself will be more efficient.
More research has to be conducted, but evidence points to pomegranate being effective for exercising, like beetroot.
13. A few more important notes…
Consume the seeds or drink the juice and get the health benefits mentioned above. You can also find a great selection of supplements on Amazon.