Known scientifically as Punica granatum, Pomegranates signify hope, longevity, and abundance in many cultures. Also referred to as the Chinese apple, “jewel of the winter”, or “seeded apples”, they are some of the healthiest fruits that you can get your hands on today.
Here Are 7 Great Health Benefits of Pomegranates
As pomegranates are originally from the Middle East, they are long used as a part of their regional cuisine. You can have it in meals or eat it raw. You can also drink pomegranate juice to enjoy its many health benefits.
But what exactly are its benefits? Deemed as a super food that is gaining much traction in the US and other parts of the world, here are seven ways how it can boost your health.
- Lower Risk of Heart Disease
In 2005, a trial was conducted on 45 patients with coronary heart disease. Researchers made them take 240ml of pomegranate juice daily for three months, resulting in improved blood flow and lower systolic blood pressure. Another study has shown that regular drinking of pomegranate juice can reduce progression of ateriosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries.
These results shouldn’t really come as a surprise as pomegranates contain:
- Phytochemicals that can reduce LDL oxidation and high blood pressure.
- Polyphenols that can manage the fatty deposits on artery walls.
- High amounts of antioxidants that stimulate the production of nitric oxide which lessens the effects of stress on human blood vessels.
- Full Of Important Nutrients
Raw pomegranates are rich in lots of essential nutrients such as:
- Vitamin C (48%)
- Vitamin E (8%)
- Calcium (3%)
- Vitamin K (58%)
- Thiamin (13%)
- Folate (27%)
- Vitamin B6 (11%)
- Iron (5%)
- Manganese (17%)
- Copper 22%
- Phosphorus (10%)
- Potassium (19%)
- Protein (9%)
Pomegranates contribute greatly to the body’s daily needs for nutrients, making it an effective super food. It’s rich nutrient content also makes it useful in combating various kinds of sicknesses and illnesses and lowers risks of serious diseases.
- Deal with Arthritis and Joint Pain
Pomegranates contain high levels of different types of antioxidants that can manage joint issues:
- Flavonols can help block inflammation.
- Polyphenols can inhibit the production of a cartilage-destroying enzyme known as the human mast basophil cells that can cause swelling of muscle tissue and breakdown of cartilage in the joints. They also get rid of free radicals, which are major causes of rheumatoid arthritis.
As most medications for arthritis have side effects like nausea and bleeding in the stomach, consuming pomegranates tend to be a more promising way to address these health issues.
- Useful Against Breast Cancer
While additional research is still required to determine just how useful pomegranates are for treating breast cancer, it shows great promise in alleviating symptoms and fighting off breast cancer cells. The phytochemicals prevent production of estrogen, which, in turn, help do the following:
- Stop the production of new breast cancer cells.
- Inhibit angiogenesis, which prevents the growth of new blood vessels in breast cancer cells. This effectively stops it from growing bigger and becoming even more harmful to one’s health.
- Promote cell death in cancer cells.
Aside from these, pomegranates are also believed to fight cancer by:
- Being rich in antioxidants, it can also reduce inflammation, which can help suppress the progression of cancer.
- Control genes that can stimulate cell migration, thus helping inhibit breast cancer cells from moving to the bone and spreading the disease to other parts of the body.
- May Help Treat Erection Problems
Researchers have also discovered that drinking pomegranate juice daily can help manage erectile dysfunction in men. Thanks to the fruit’s high antioxidant contents, it is able to relax blood vessel walls and boost blood flow to the erectile tissue.
It mimics the results showcased by other medications for this health issue, but more studies are still required to further prove this health benefit.
- Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
If you’re worried about infections, pomegranates can also help you out. A study has determined that pomegranates help in fighting different kinds of fungal and bacterial growth by inhibiting the formation of bio-films that serve as protective coatings to pathogens that already became resistant to drugs. This makes pomegranates useful in staving off different kinds of infectious diseases like the following:
- Chronic sinus infections
- Respiratory infections
- Denture Stomatitis
- Ear infections
- Fight Cancer Of Prostate
A study funded by the US Public Health Service studied the effects of pomegranate juice on prostate cancer cells taken from patients and determined that pomegranate extract was able to slow down the growth of cancer in these cells. They also tested mice with tumors and results have shown that the growth rate of their tumors are slower, while a separate test shows the death of cancer cells upon treatment with pomegranate extract. Experts attribute these results to the anti-inflammatory and high antioxidant contents of pomegranates.
According to some online websites,Pomegranate has been used to reduce weight loss as pomegranates block triglycerides and it fight the fat before it get stored in your body.
How to Enjoy Pomegranate
Pomegranates can be enjoyed in various ways. As stated earlier, you can find them in several Middle Eastern dishes. You can also consume them raw, as a fruit after meals. They may be a bit tricky to eat at first, but once you get the hang of consuming them, you’ll soon enjoy having them as a healthy snack or dessert. Some folks also have them in juice form.
If you don’t have quick access to pomegranates, they can also be taken as food supplements through extracts sold widely in the market today, Just make sure to choose the product carefully, as these health products are not made equally. Pomegranate are also among the healthiest foods that are available on the market.
But before you start hoarding pomegranates in your local farmers’ market or grocery store, keep in mind that these fruits are also rich in fructose. While this natural sugar is healthy in controlled amounts, having too much can significantly increase your insulin levels and turn out to be unhealthy. There’s no recommended daily dose, though, but it’s best for those with diabetes to control their portions.