12 Incredible Benefits of Pomegranates

Two pomegranates on a counter. The benefits of pomegranates come from the high content of powerful antioxidants.

Pomegranates have exploded in popularity in recent years and it’s due to their ever-growing list of amazing health benefits. They’re one of the best sources of powerful antioxidants that defend against free radicals, soothe irritated tissue, and promote healthy aging. Whether you’re drinking pomegranate juice or sprinkling pomegranate seeds onto your salad, pomegranates are as delicious as they are nutritious. They’re a super fruit and rich in many, including vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. Let’s look at some of the incredible health benefits of pomegranates.

Benefits of Pomegranates

1. Pomegranates Are a Dense Source of Nutrients

Pomegranates are bursting with vitamins and minerals. Pomegranate seeds, sometimes referred to as arils, are a great source fiber and many micronutrients. Below is a nutritional breakdown for one cup of pomegranate arils, the seeds with the surrounding juice pockets still attached.[1]

1 Cup Pomegranate Seeds (Arils)
*g=grams *mg=milligrams
Nutrient Amount
Protein 2.91 g
Carbohydrates 32.54 g
Fiber 7 g
Sugar 23.79 g
Minerals
Iron, Fe 0.52 mg
Magnesium, Mg 21 mg
Phosphorus, P 63 mg
Potassium, K 411 mg
Sodium, Na 5 mg
Vitamins
Vitamin C 17.7 mg
Thiamin 0.117 mg
Riboflavin 0.092 mg
Niacin 0.51 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.13 mg
Vitamin E 1.04 mg
Vitamin K 28.5 mg

2. Pomegranates Contain Powerful Antioxidants

Pomegranates contain anthocyanins and punicalagins—both powerful antioxidant flavonoids.[2] A balanced diet rich in foods that contain antioxidants, like pomegranates, may help reduce free radical damage. Excessive free radical levels can lead to serious health problems and increased cellular aging. Some research even suggests that pomegranates promote normal tissue growth at the cellular level.[3, 4]

3. Pomegranates Promote Cellular Integrity

The cells in your body are constantly bombarded by chemical and biological agents that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress triggers the release of 8-Oxo-DG, a chemical released during the oxidation of DNA—something that you definitely don’t want. High levels of 8-Oxo-DG usually accompany muscle weakness, decreased liver function, skin aging, and reduced brain function. Studies suggest that people who eat pomegranates, or supplement with pomegranate extract, have lower levels of 8-Oxo-DG.[5]

4. Pomegranates Encourage Healthy Aging

Pomegranates contain polyphenols called ellagitannins. When ellagitannins are metabolized, a metabolite called urolithin A (UA) is produced. Studies reveal that UA can fight the effects of age-related decline and help preserve exercise capacity and muscle function. It’s believed that UA does this by supporting normal mitochondrial function.[6]

5. Pomegranates Support Brain Health & Memory

Advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, occur when protein and fat molecules bond with a sugar molecule. They occur naturally when certain foods, like meat, eggs and poultry are cooked at high temperature. Scientists believe AGEs play a role in the onset of neurological decline, type-II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. The appropriately abbreviated “AGEs” accelerate aging at the cellular level. Remember the antioxidants known as punicalagins? They can be utilized to inhibit AGEs from forming in food or mitigate the effects of AGEs in the body altogether.[7]

6. Pomegranates Help Protect Against Harmful Organisms

Some evidence suggests that pomegranate rind extract may have promise in defending against powerful superbugs. According to one study, a preparation that included pomegranate improved the outcome of treatment plans that addressed antibiotic-resistant bacteria.[8]

Another study found that pomegranate peel contained phytochemicals that may promote normal fungal balance.[9]

7. Pomegranates Soothe Red, Irritated Tissue

When the tissue inside of your body is red and irritated, it can negatively affect your health and wellness in big ways. Some compounds present in pomegranates, such as polyphenols, can help soothe irritation.[10] It’s believed that reducing systemic irritation can promote overall wellness and help protect against many serious health conditions. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 48 obese and overweight participants reported that pomegranate supplementation reduced systemic irritation and the associated health problems.[11]

8. Pomegranates Support Heart Health

Some reports suggest punicalagins positively affect the heart and vascular system. One study had 10 participants drink one ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. At the end of that year, the participants’ blood pressure was 12% lower on average and atherosclerotic plaque levels decreased by 30%.[12]

9. Pomegranates Contribute to Prostate Health

Lycopene is a phytochemical found in red colored fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, tomatoes, and watermelons. According to one study, people who consumed a diet rich in lycopene had better prostate health.[13] Lycopene and other phytochemicals found in pomegranates appear to support normal prostate health.[14]

10. Pomegranates May Help With Joint Health

Osteoarthritis is a common and painful condition. In a study of people with knee osteoarthritis, scientists found that drinking pomegranate juice improved knee function and reduced the breakdown of cartilage.[15] Similar studies found that adding pomegranates to the diets of individuals with active rheumatoid arthritis supported overall wellness strategies.[16]

11. Pomegranates Can Boost Exercise and Performance

Pomegranates may help you perform better. One study found that taking pomegranate extract 30 minutes before a workout could help enhance blood flow and delay fatigue during exercise.[17] Another study linked pomegranate juice to better recovery following strength training.[18]

12. Pomegranates May Improve Your Mood

Research suggests pomegranates do more than support physical health, some research reveals that the fruit may aid mental and emotional health. In a study involving both men and women, drinking pomegranate juice helped improve participants outlook, mood, and response to anxiety.[19]

How to Add Pomegranate to Your Diet

There are many ways to incorporate pomegranates into your diet or supplementation routine.

Eat Raw, Organic, Locally-Grown Pomegranates

Be conscious of where your food comes from and how it was grown. Eating organic food is a fantastic foundation for everyone, especially pomegranates if they’re available in your area. The seeds of the pomegranate make a nutritious, crunchy snack, while ready-made pomegranate juice offers an easier way to drink antioxidants and nutrients, minus the fiber.

Can’t Buy Organic? Grow Your Own!

When organic fruits and vegetables are not readily available, grow your own. The pomegranate tree does best when planted in well-drained soil. Although it can grow in partial shade, this fruit-bearing tree loves full sun and warmth and is fairly drought tolerant.

It’s best to buy pomegranate cuttings from a local nursery. Look for cuttings approximately fifteen inches in length. Don’t expect to harvest fruit right away, you’re going to need a little patience. Pomegranate trees yield fruit approximately three years after planting. The red, bulbous fruit of the pomegranate should be harvested when the color is a deep red hue. You can also tap the fruit to listen for a tinny, metallic sound that will indicate it’s ripe. A pomegranate tree of average size can yield approximately 8-10 fruits per crop, and produces two to three average crops of fruit per year.

Pomegranate Extract and Supplements

Often combined with other health-promoting herbs, pomegranate extract is included in many supplements. Global Healing Center’s Cell Fuzion™ is a concentrated formula of powerful antioxidants that support healthy cellular aging, mitochondrial function, and DNA integrity. It’s an exceptional formula that integrates organic, naturally-sourced pomegranate extract with a blend of powerful antioxidants.

Are you hooked on pomegranates? Do you have a favorite recipe? Have you ever tried to grow your own? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

References (19)
  1. United States Department of Agriculture. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release” Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
  2. Kulkarni AP1, Mahal HS, Kapoor S, Aradhya SM. In vitro studies on the binding, antioxidant, and cytotoxic actions of punicalagin. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1491-500.
  3. Khan N, Hadi N, Afaq F, Syed DN, Kweon MH, Mukhtar H. Pomegranate fruit extract inhibits prosurvival pathways in human A549 lung carcinoma cells and tumor growth in athymic nude mice. Carcinogenesis. 2007;28(1):163-73.
  4. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, Javanmard SH. Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:100.
  5. Freedland SJ, Carducci M, Kroeger N, et al. A double-blind, randomized, neoadjuvant study of the tissue effects of POMx pills in men with prostate cancer before radical prostatectomy. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013;6(10):1120-7.
  6. Ryu D, Mouchiroud L, Andreux PA, et al. Urolithin A induces mitophagy and prolongs lifespan in C. elegans and increases muscle function in rodents. Nat Med. 2016.
  7. Liu W, Ma H, Frost L, Yuan T, Dain JA, Seeram NP. Pomegranate phenolics inhibit formation of advanced glycation endproducts by scavenging reactive carbonyl species. Food Funct. 2014;5(11):2996-3004.
  8. Gould SW, Fielder MD, Kelly AF, Naughton DP. Anti-microbial activities of pomegranate rind extracts: enhancement by cupric sulphate against clinical isolates of S. aureus, MRSA and PVL positive CA-MSSA. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009;9:23.
  9. Pai MB, Prashant GM, Murlikrishna KS, Shivakumar KM, Chandu GN. Antifungal efficacy of Punica granatum, Acacia nilotica, Cuminum cyminum and Foeniculum vulgare on Candida albicans: an in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res. 2010;21(3):334-6.
  10. Zarfeshany A, Asgary S, Javanmard SH. Potent health effects of pomegranate. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:100.
  11. Hosseini B, Saedisomeolia A, Wood LG, Yaseri M, Tavasoli S. Effects of pomegranate extract supplementation on inflammation in overweight and obese individuals: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016;22:44-50.
  12. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(5):1062-76.
  13. Pisipati SV, Pathapati H, Bhukya G, et al. Lycopene: redress for prostate cancer. J Basic Clin Pharm. 2012;3(2):261-4.
  14. Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, Takada Y, Sand D, Heber D. Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(3):980-5.
  15. Ghoochani N, Karandish M, Mowla K, Haghighizadeh MH, Jalali MT. The effect of pomegranate juice on clinical signs, matrix metalloproteinases and antioxidant status in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Sci Food Agric. 2016;96(13):4377-81.
  16. Ghavipour M, Sotoudeh G, Tavakoli E, Mowla K, Hasanzadeh J, Mazloom Z. Pomegranate extract alleviates disease activity and some blood biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016.
  17. Trexler ET, Smith-ryan AE, Melvin MN, Roelofs EJ, Wingfield HL. Effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014;39(9):1038-42.
  18. Trombold JR, Reinfeld AS, Casler JR, Coyle EF. The effect of pomegranate juice supplementation on strength and soreness after eccentric exercise. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(7):1782-8.
  19. Emad Al-Dujaili & Nacer Smail. Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 28 P313.

The post 12 Incredible Benefits of Pomegranates appeared first on Dr. Group’s Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Source: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/12-benefits-of-pomegranates/

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