Pomegranates are among the world’s most ancient fruits, with references to it found in historical records from different parts of the world including the Middle East and Asia. The fruit also has a long history of cultivation in the Indian subcontinent and has been highly regarded in Ayurveda for its health benefits. The pomegranate fruit is still grown across much of central and southern India to this day. Adding local produce to your diet is not just eco-friendly but it also offers incredible health benefits because of the complexity of pomegranate nutrition.
Health Benefits Of Pomegranates
- Antioxidant Protection
Primary Benefits: Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage, which is linked to inflammation and a number of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders . Pomegranates contain several types of antioxidants, such as punicalagins, anthocyanins, hydrolysable tannins, and beta-carotene.
- Healthy Skin
Secondary Benefits: The natural beauty industry has popularised pomegranate benefits for skin, but many benefits can be derived from eating the fruit, not just using topical applications. The fruit’s vitamin C content is important for collagen synthesis, which helps to preserve skin elasticity and health .
- Aids Weight Management
Secondary Benefits: Half a cup of pomegranate seeds measuring about 90 grams contains just 72 calories but it’s high in nutrition giving you 12% of your fibre requirement and 10% of vitamin C . Aside from pomegranate calories, much of the fibre is insoluble fibre, which increases satiety and stabilises blood sugar, thus helping with weight loss.
- Blood Pressure Reduction
Primary Benefits: High blood pressure is known to be a risk factor for kidney damage, stroke and heart disease, making pomegranate benefits especially important. Studies indicate that pomegranate eating benefits include reduction in blood pressure .
- Cholesterol Control
Primary Benefits: Some research indicates that pomegranate health benefits for heart health may be linked to its effect on cholesterol levels. It can help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels and also reduces hepatic lipid peroxidation, which contributes to heart disease progression. This is one of the pomegranate skin benefits as these results are observed in studies that use pomegranate peel extracts .
- Strengthens Heart Health
Primary Benefits: Pomegranates can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, which are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Pomegranates can also prevent or reverse atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Pomegranates do this by enhancing the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes and widens the blood vessels, improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart and other organs .
- May Help in Cancer Prevention
Secondary Benefits: Another benefit of pomegranates is their potential to prevent or treat some types of cancer. Pomegranates have been found to inhibit the growth and spread of various cancer cells, such as prostate, breast, colon, lung, and skin cancer .
- Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Secondary Benefits: Although eating fruits is generally regarded as healthier than drinking juice, a study found that pomegranate benefits may also be derived from drinking the juice. It showed that consuming about 230 ml of pomegranate juice a day could improve the quality of erections .
- Helps Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis
Primary Benefits: This is yet another one of many pomegranate benefits linked to its antioxidant content. A study published in the International Journal Of Clinical Practice demonstrated that pomegranate antioxidants reduced inflammation and improved rheumatoid arthritis symptom management .
- Musculoskeletal Health
Secondary Benefits: Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, which does more than boost immunity. The vitamin is needed for wound healing, the absorption of iron, and in the formation of cartilage, muscle and bone structure .
- Improves Exercise Performance
Primary Benefits: Pomegranate benefits for athletes and bodybuilders are notable as research shows that pomegranate accelerates muscle recovery and boost performance . As a result, recovery time is reduced and exercise duration can be increased.
- Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
Primary Benefits: This is one of the many pomegranate seeds benefits that you cannot get from the juice as it is linked to the presence of fibre. In addition to blood sugar regulation with fibre, pomegranates also contain compounds that can help to lower levels of fasting blood sugar .
- Kidney Stone Prevention
Primary Benefits: When it comes to kidney health, most people think of cranberries, but pomegranates can also be helpful. Phytophenols in pomegranates have been shown to reduce stone formation, making it a healthy antidote to kidney stones .
- Improves Memory
Secondary Benefits: Drinking pomegranate juice is one of the tastiest ways to boost your brain function as research indicates that daily intake of pomegranate juice could improve learning skills and memory .
- Helps Boost Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease
Secondary Benefits: There is also evidence that pomegranates may offer some protection against degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s that are associated with aging. Consumption of the fruit may prevent amyloid plaque formation and reduce markers of Alzheimer’s disease .
With all of these pomegranate benefits, there’s no denying its reputation as a superfood. The pomegranate fruit is also versatile and easy to include in your diet as the seeds can be eaten raw, added into salads, mixed in with breakfast cereal or smoothies and so on. To enjoy all of the health benefits, just make sure that pomegranate is a part of a healthy balanced diet.
Disclaimer: This article is written from a health and lifestyle perspective.