Pomegranates are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals but low in calories. Antioxidants, cardiovascular health, urinary tract health, increased exercise capacity, and more are just some of the advantages. The pomegranate is a spherical, crimson fruit. The edible seeds, known as arils, are found in a white, fleshy center. The brightly colored juice made from these fruits is a commonplace sight, but that’s not all they have to offer. Pomegranates are a great addition to a balanced diet because they may help with everything from immunity to brain function. Pomegranates are native to India and Iran, where they have been revered for centuries as a “holy fruit” that bestows blessings such as prosperity and procreation. The health benefits of pomegranates are numerous.
Pomegranates are scary-looking fruit. If you can get beyond the tough exterior, you’ll be rewarded with several health advantages from the ruby-red seeds inside (also called arils, which refers to the seeds and the juice surrounding them). This fruit’s sour arils have been shown to promote overall health and prevent illness. Furthermore, they might be the missing ingredient to spice up your salad and seltzer alike. The jewel-like arils found within the pomegranate fruit’s leathery crimson peel are the fruit’s most recognizable feature. Planting pomegranates dates back hundreds of years throughout India, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the tropical regions of Africa. Many works of art throughout history feature pomegranates, as their symbolism as a fruit associated with fertility, dates back to antiquity. This article takes a look at the various positive health effects and nutritional advantages of pomegranates.
What are the positive health effects of pomegranates?
The fruit was introduced to North America several centuries ago, and it is presently grown mostly in the states of California and Arizona. The pomegranate’s popularity has skyrocketed as scientists investigate its many purported health benefits, which have been found to extend to nearly every component of the fruit. Supplements, juice, powders, extracts, and the actual fruit itself all feature pomegranate as an ingredient nowadays. The introduction of POM Wonderful in the early 2000s contributed to the pomegranate’s status as a hip superfood. Before POM Wonderful’s inception, most people mainly associated pomegranates with festive salads; nevertheless, the company’s founders promoted pomegranate juice by supporting numerous research that extolled the health advantages of the fruit. Now you can purchase pomegranate juice in any supermarket, not just health food stores.
According to studies, there are several advantages to consuming pomegranate in any of its many forms.
Following are the positive health effects of pomegranates
Proven anti-oxidant properties
This fruit is a good source of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Fruits are filled with antioxidants, which can help reduce the reactive oxygen species (ROS), a form of free radicals, in the body. The amounts of these species can also be produced by being exposed to toxins, such as tobacco smoke. Damage to cells and inflammation, brought on by oxidative stress can be caused by high amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Stress caused by oxidative reactions has been linked to metabolic disorders, malignancy, and other medical conditions. Antioxidants aid in the body’s natural process of flushing out ROS. This juice has antioxidants that are capable of removing ROS from the body and protecting it from harm.
Reducing the risk of cancer
Pomegranate consumption is one of the treatment options that can either handle prostate malignancy or reduce it. In a scientific story posted in 2014, the authors indicate that the polyphenols found in pomegranate may help to stop the generation of malignancy cells connected to prostate cancer. Pomegranate fruit extract was associated with both a decrease in ranges of prostate-particular antigens and a suppression of the formation of tumors. Pomegranate seeds include compounds that have been linked to a reduced risk of breast, lung, and skin cancer.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Reducing the likelihood of amyloid-plaque formation in the hippocampus may be a function of the ingredients in pomegranate juice, according to certain studies in animals. Mice were fed either a standard meal or one with 4% pomegranate in an older study. The components in pomegranate were shown to bring back the activity of particular enzymes, as found by the authors. The study’s authors imply that pomegranate juice has therapeutic potential for Alzheimer’s patients. In 2020, researchers reported that pomegranate extract successfully decreased brain amyloid plaque and tangles, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Possible cancer-fighting effects
Components in pomegranate fruit, juice, and oil have been shown to kill cancer cells or prevent them from spreading in test tube studies. Studies in both lab dishes and people suggest that pomegranate juice has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Animal studies have shown that pomegranate extract can inhibit the progression of liver cancer. Both inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress are dampened as a result. Another potential benefit of pomegranate extract was found in a previous test-tube study, which suggested that it might be used to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells or even kill them. The PSA is a blood test that can detect prostate cancer. The chance of dying from prostate cancer was dramatically reduced in two older trials in which men were given pomegranate juice or extract. However, more testing in humans is required.
Potentially helpful for cardiovascular health
There is some evidence to suggest that eating fruits like pomegranate that are high in polyphenolic chemicals may be beneficial to one’s heart health. Pomegranate extract may significantly minimize oxidative stress and inflammation in the arteries, bring down blood pressure, and aid in the fight against atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can contribute to heart attacks and strokes. These findings come from studies conducted in test tubes. People who already had heart disease were given one cup (220 mL) of pomegranate juice each day for five days in one human research. The degree and frequency of chest pain, in well as particular biomarkers in the blood that show a preventive effect on cardiovascular health, were both dramatically reduced after drinking the juice. However, there is a shortfall of research that is of high quality on pomegranates and the health of the heart in humans.
Possible antibacterial effect
Compounds found in pomegranates have the potential to aid in the battle against pathogenic microbes like some strains of bacteria, fungi, and yeast. For example, both older and more recent research suggests that they may safeguard the hygiene of your mouth by aiming at undesirable oral bacteria that can be troublesome when overgrown, including such ones that cause stinky breath and encourage tooth decay. Another example is that they may prevent cavities from forming in your teeth. In a research published in test tubes, it was discovered that chemicals derived from pomegranate also exhibited antibacterial properties against Listeria monocytogenes. It is a type of bacteria that thrives in damp settings and, if consumed, can result in serious disease. Pomegranates include components that aid in the battle against potentially hazardous bacteria, fungus, and yeasts, especially germs in the mouth that really can create tooth decay. Pomegranates also contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Could boost stamina for physical activity
Pomegranate consumption has been linked to a rise in exercise capacity, which can be defined as the amount of time spent participating in regular exercise before becoming fatigued. Just one gram of pomegranate extract consumed thirty minutes before jogging resulted in a twelve percent improvement in the amount of time before the runner became exhausted. According to the findings of additional human studies, pomegranate pills can boost both an individual’s exercise endurance as well as their muscle recovery. But, research conducted utilizing pomegranate juice demonstrated no effect on muscle recovery following exercise that targeted elbow flexors. This suggests that additional research is required on the subject of pomegranates and how they relate to workout performance and recovery. There is some evidence that the components present in pomegranates can boost both workout capacity and recovery.
Excellent for the mind
Ellagitannins, found in pomegranates, serve as antioxidants and decrease swelling. Consequently, they provide neuroprotective effects, particularly for inflammatory and oxidative stress-related diseases. Some research suggests that by decreasing oxidative damage and boosting brain cell survival, ellagitannins can help safeguard the mind from the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Moreover, they may aid in the healing of hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries. Pomegranate’s ellagitannins are thought to contribute to the production of urolithin A in the intestines, a molecule that has been researched for its capacity to lower brain inflammation and postpone the beginning of cognitive illnesses. However, additional research is necessary to fully grasp the possible relationship between pomegranate and cognitive functioning.
Helps keep the gut healthy
The composition of your gut bacteria has been shown to have a major impact on your digestive health, and this in turn has been shown to have a significant impact on your overall health, according to both older and more recent studies. Since this is the case, pomegranate can be a useful tool in the fight to maintain good digestive health. Anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of pomegranate have been observed in both older and more recent animal experiments, with much of the credit going to the ellagic acid content of the fruit. Prebiotics are a class of chemicals, mostly fibers, that provide energy for the beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, in the digestive tract. Ingesting prebiotics promotes a balanced microbiota in the digestive tract. In addition to promoting regular bowel movements, fiber may also help prevent digestive disorders including constipation and even colon cancer.
The Bottom Line
Pomegranates are fruits that are juicy and sweet, and they include arils, which are edible seeds, packed firmly inside. In addition to being high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, they also have a little amount of protein. In addition to this, they are loaded with anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants, such as punicalagin. These have been investigated for the potential beneficial effects they may have on the health of the prostate, brain, urinary system, and heart. Pomegranate may also have anti-cancer properties, as well as the ability to ward off harmful bacteria, support workout endurance, and aid in muscle repair. Even though there hasn’t been enough research done on humans to confirm some of these purported benefits, it’s safe to conclude that adding pomegranate to your diet is not just delicious but also beneficial.
Pomegranate is a type of fruit that has been linked to a variety of potential health benefits. The antioxidant capabilities that it possesses can aid improve general health and may contribute to a reduced risk of certain illnesses. Before actually increasing the quantity of pomegranate juice a person consumes, they should consult with their primary care physician to make sure that it is safe to consume. Individuals with diabetes should see a medical professional regarding the healthiest and most effective approach to including pomegranates in their healthy diet.