Pomegranates also referred to as “The Jewel of Autumn.”
This jewel among fruits has been cherished for centuries for its amazing health benefits. Pomegranates are also considered to be the Royals among all fruits.
The exquisite beauty with distinct crown, pomegranate has been symbolic of abundance and prosperity.
The juicy ruby red arils burst with antioxidants which are three times higher than red wine and green tea, loaded with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folic acid.
Pomegranate packs a mighty punch in safeguarding your health and offers cures for many conditions like heart, stomach disorders, dental conditions, osteoarthritis, anemia, and diabetes. They also provide anticarcinogenic effects and help prevent and treat certain forms of cancers.
Pomegranate also makes to the list of Top 10 aphrodisiac foods. Just a daily glass of pomegranate juice can have Viagra effect and boost sexual desire suggests a study conducted by the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
The study further says that pomegranate juice is a potent natural aphrodisiac owing to its ability to increase testosterone levels. The study recorded average testosterone increase by 24%. Testosterone is a hormone that stimulates sexual appetite as well as improves mood, helps reduces stress, and increases memory.
Pomegranate’s Interesting Nutrition Facts
This fruit is very low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium with a low Glycemic Index. Moreover, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K.
|Nutrient Value||RDA %||Nutrient Value||RDA %|
|Dietary Fiber||11.5 g||45%||Iron||0.8 mg||5%|
|Fat – total||3.3 g||–||Magnesium||33.8 mg||8%|
|Sugars||38.5 g||61%||Mangnese||0.3 mg||17%|
|Omega-6 Fatty acids||223 mg||–||Phosphorus||102 mg||10%|
|Nutrient||Value||RDA %||Nutrient||Value||RDA %|
|Vitamin A||0.0 IU||0%||Vitamin C||28.07 mg||48%|
|Vitamin D||–||–||Thiamine||0.2 mg||13%|
|Vitamin E||1.7 mg||8%||Riboflavin||0.1 mg||9%|
|Vitamin K||46.2 mcg||58%||Vitamin B6||0.2 mg||11%|
|Choline||21.4 mg||–||Niacin||0.8 mcg||4%|
|Folate||102 mcg||27%||Pantothenic Acid||1.1 mg||11%|
Data Source: nutritiondata.self.com
What Gives Pomegranates Its Medicinal Properties?
What sets pomegranates apart from other fruits and gives them their medicinal properties are its phytochemical content.
Phytochemicals are plant-based micronutrients which offer unparallel antioxidant properties. Over 122 different kinds of phytochemicals have been identified in pomegranates which are believed to offer many health benefits according to studies.
The most prominent antioxidants in pomegranate are polyphenols which include flavonoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. Punicalagin in pomegranates offers about half the total antioxidants in the juice.
Some other phytochemicals found in pomegranate are organic and phenolic acids, sterols and triterpenoids, fatty acids, triglycerides, alkaloids, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, pelargonidin, punicalagin, and punicalin.
Instead of getting into the technicalities of each compound, let us get to the components which matter for you and your health.
Antioxidant Punicalagins In Pomegranates
Punicalagins are large polyphenol compounds which are tannins called Punicalagins. They are antioxidant present in pomegranate juice. According to many studies in the past two decades, researchers have found Punicalagins (hydrolyzable tannins) to possess very potent antioxidant properties which help the body to get rid of free radicals.
For the matter of fact, studies have found that standardized Pomegranate extract ingestion showed an average 32-33% in blood plasma antioxidant capacity.
Punicalagins are responsible for making pomegranates antioxidant properties three times higher than red wine and green tea.
Benefits of Punicic Acid In Pomegranates
Punicic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in pomegranate seeds. It is believed that punicic acid is one of the main nutrients that contributes to many medicinal properties and health benefits associated with pomegranates
Studies suggest that punicic acid properties include antidiabetic, antiobesity, anti-inflammatory and helps against various forms of cancer. It has also been found that punicic acid inhibits cancer cell proliferation especially breast cancer.
8 Powerful Health Benefits Of Pomegranates
- Helps Fight Cancer
- Prevents Heart Disease
- Help Fight Arthritis & Joint Pain
- Bacterial and Fungal Infections
- Increases Memory and Brain Function
- Helps Treat Erectile Dysfunction and it is a Natural Aphrodisiac
- Nourish And Protect Skin
- Promotes Liver Health
1. Pomegranates Helps Fight Cancer
Drinking pomegranates juice and eating pomegranate seeds regularly could inhibit and even stop cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, colon, and skin. Pomegranate medicinal properties have shown to exert antitumor effects on cancer cells.
According to a review which evaluated pomegranate polyphenols as future anticancer agents. The evaluation suggests that pomegranate targets a broad spectrum of genes and proteins to suppress cancer growth and progression.
Another study indicates that pomegranate extract could actually encourage cancer cells to become normal.
Though most of the studies so far have been focused on breast and prostate cancer cells. Other studies in the test tube and on animals suggest that pomegranate extracts from its juice and oil slow down the cancer cell reproduction and quicken their death rate and slow down tumor growth rate in case of lung cancer.
Apart from mushrooms, pomegranate is another food that contains natural aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase inhibits the production of estrogen which can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
There are many encouraging pieces of research which make us believe that pomegranates could be the future in combating cancers. Though further research is needed, however, research after research shows that pomegranates seeds, extract and juice are a potent cancer-fighting food.
2. Pomegranates Help Prevent Heart Disease
More than one million Americans suffer from a heart attack or stroke every year and cardiovascular disease is the No.1 killer not just in the United States but the world over.
Sadly, the state of affairs within the medical industry finds it far more profitable to treat heart disease than to prevent it.
We all are well aware that we nee to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to keep heart disease at bay. Including fruits and nuts in diets for good health have been proven time and again.
Pomegranate has emerged as a promising fruit which promises heart health with its unique antioxidant agents (tannins, anthocyanins). It has been shown that pomegranates not only prevent but even reverse cardiovascular disease.
According to a journal, pomegranate antioxidants are superior in comparison to other antioxidants. It protects low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “the bad cholesterol”) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, “the good cholesterol”) from oxidation.
Pomegranate antioxidants are even beneficial for diabetics since they are attached to the pomegranate sugars and also help in decreasing blood pressure, improves cholesterol profiles. It also helps prevent and treat the atherosclerotic plaques that are responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
Many recent clinical trials have found that drinking just 2 ounces of pomegranate juice a day helps lower high blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, and decreases arterial plaques reducing the risk for heart and other cardiovascular diseases.
3. Pomegranates Helps Fight Arthritis & Reduce Joint Pain
According to CDC, almost 23% of all adults, or about 53 million people in the United states have arthritis. It is also a leading cause of disability in the country.
Arthritis and joint pain can severely curtail physical activity and may lead to more sedentary living which may lead to other health complications including obesity and diabetes.
According to a study funded by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), pomegranate fruit extract can block the enzymes “matrix metalloproteinases” (MMPs). This enzyme plays a key role in cartilage cell turnover, degradation, and destruction in arthritis.
Another study showed that pomegranate extract helped decrease joint tenderness by 62 percent in RA patients. Researchers concluded that the antioxidant properties of pomegranates may help reduce the symptoms of RA.
A recent study found that pomegranate extract can reduce biomarkers and oxidative stress. It was found that the participants who were given pomegranate extract twice a day experienced significantly less pain intensity, joint tenderness, and less swelling than those in the placebo group.
No wonder pomegranate juice and extracts are emerging as an alternative therapy for arthritis. And why not you should give it a try if it can provide relief from the pain and inflammation in lieu of medication.
4. Pomegranate Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Pomegranate has very powerful antibacterial properties including antimicrobial activity.
According to research, pomegranates and their extracts may serve as natural alternatives against a wide range of bacterial and viral pathogens due to their potency.
Researchers have found that phytochemical compounds in pomegranate especially ellagic acid and larger hydrolyzable tannins, like punicalagin, have demonstrated highest antimicrobial activity.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Microbiology, pomegranate extract demonstrated antibacterial activity against bacterias like E. coli, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus.
- Enhancement of probiotic bacteria in the gut means better gut flora
- Increasing the rate of wound healing
- Preventing pathogenic dental bacteria and reduces the risk of dental plaque, gingivitis, and periodontal disease
- It even inhibits antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Which other food on earth can provide you with such powerful healing properties? Guess none.
5. Pomegranates Help Combat Alzheimers, Increase Memory Power And Brain Function
Alzheimer’s affects millions of people around the world and once it develops in an individual, it steals memories, makes reading, writing difficult and in advanced cases, it makes people forget how to speak.
Is there a way to prevent Alzheimer’s from developing in your brain?
Yes, a diet rich in antioxidants like pomegranates can help prevent Alzheimer’s and also improve memory power.
Researchers believe that punicalagin, a compound found in pomegranate could be the key to combating Alzheimer’s. Punicalagin helps reduce inflammation in specific brain cells called microglia.
Microglia brain cells lead to the destruction of other brain cells and make Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms worse for sufferers.
According to a research published in the latest edition of the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, drinking 100 percent pomegranate juice which has about 3.4 percent of punicalagin, can help slow down memory loss, confusion, disorientation and other symptoms associated with dementia.
6. Pomegranate Juice is a Natural Aphrodisiac, May Treat Erectile Dysfunction
According to researchers from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, pomegranate juice can be a natural aphrodisiac. The research showed an increase in sexual desire and urge in both the sexes.
The study also revealed that men and women who drank a daily glass of pomegranate juice for at least 15 days showed a surge in the hormone testosterone.
Another study published in The International Journal of Impotence Research, A glass of pomegranate juice every day may help manage erectile dysfunction, suggest results from a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. Click the link to read complete report: Pomegranate juice may ease erectile dysfunction
7. Pomegranates Nourish and Protect Skin Health
New evidence suggests that pomegranate extracts may protect skin against UVA- and UVB-induced damages, help skin regeneration, control hyperpigmentation, collagen production etc. Probably that is the reason why pomegranate is turning up in moisturizers, sunscreen lotions, and other beauty products.
So what makes pomegranates so special for the skin?
Well, pomegranate is a rich source of punicic acid and polyphenol compounds like anthocyanidins and miraculous ellagic acid. These components lend the fruit its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free radical scavenging abilities.
The antioxidant properties of pomegranates stop the enzymes from breaking down collagen and keeps your skin firm, soft and smooth. Furthermore, pomegranates stimulate the growth of cells which form the outermost layer of the skin which enables your skin to repair itself.
Pomegranates Skin Benefits At A Glance
- Pomegranates contain a number of antioxidants that protect your skin against free radical damage. The ellagic acid in pomegranate, a polyphenol antioxidant, inhibits the growth of skin tumors, also prevent from skin cancer, relieve sunburn and reduce the signs of sun damage
- Pomegranate oil is rich in punicic acid which helps moisturize skin
- They protect the outer layer of skin called epidermis and aid repair skin damage like pigmentation and age spots
- Since pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, it regulates the production of sebum, an oily substance secreted by the skin. Applying pomegranate juice on the affected areas prevents acne, scars, and pimples.
- Punicic acid and omega-5 fatty acids in pomegranates help hydrate and moisturize skin, soothe dry and cracked skin. The molecule structure of pomegranates enables deep penetration into the skin which makes it beneficial for treating dry skin
- It is also an effective treatment for oily skin and often used in skin care products
- The anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates help relieve skin problems like eczema, psoriasis and other skin infections
So if you want to keep looking younger and have beautiful glowing skin, include pomegranates and its juice to your daily diets.
8. Pomegranates Promotes Liver Health
The liver is the powerhouse and most metabolically active organ of the body. It not only takes nutrients from the food we consume but also renders many toxins, drugs, hormones, and chemicals harmless.
To process so many tasks, the liver works overtime and needs huge amounts of antioxidants. Studies suggest that pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidants which are liver-protective and meets other nutrient requirements as well.
By far, Pomegranates are one of the nature’s richest sources of antioxidants and nutrients. They have a rich history starting from Greek mythology and Egyptian tomb paintings. No wonder that over 2000 years ago, pomegranate and its parts were used to treat various ailments. Today, there are numerous studies and researches which offer ample proof about the medicinal properties of the super and fabulous fruit.
Now that you are aware of many health benefits of this superfood, you may decide to include it into your diets and relish all the health benefits. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
HOPE THIS INFORMATION WAS HELPFUL? Receive more about Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Food, Fitness and Wellness resources direct to your inbox when you sign up for our weekly newsletter below. Of course, we would love to hear from you and need your suggestions and feedback! Be sure to leave us a comment & share it!!!