Pomegranates are a delicious fruit which seeds resemble little red jewels that look and taste great when used in the cooking of certain exotic dishes, or sprinkled liberally onto salads. This high antioxidant superfood has a whopping 100+ phytochemicals and has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
These 16 pomegranate health benefits will prove just what a powerful punch this gorgeous looking fruit contains, especially when it comes to boosting health, vitality, and even anti aging to help keep wrinkles at bay.
Antioxidants in general are fundamental to good health, and need to be consumed in abundance if you want to feel amazing from the inside out, and let’s face it, who doesn’t? As luck would have it, pomegranates are choc full of the antioxidants that are so good for every aspect of your health and vitality, and it’s all due to the phenols that give them their stunning bright red colour, And another amazing fact – their true antioxidant value is 3 times HIGHER than that of green tea and red wine… say whattt!
You should make it your absolute mission, if you want to accomplish a truly healthful lifestyle, to incorporate as many antioxidant rich foods of all kinds to your diet daily for a full array of phytochemicals, antioxidants and nutrients. Variety is key, and a rainbow of different coloured fruits and vegetables will ensure you cover all nutritional bases.
Chronic inflammation may be the root cause of certain diseases, as it induces oxidative stress. This inflammation can be due to a variety of factors, including a poor diet full of highly acidic foods, alcohol, smoking, and some things that are out of your control such as the environmental toxins found in heavy industry, exhaust fumes, pesticides and fertilisers.
Anti-inflammatory foods like those found in abundance on the plant based diet can help alleviate chronic inflammation, and this includes the amazing pomegranate as its high antioxidant content can help prevent the damage caused by this oxidative stress in the first place.
3. ENDURANCE DURING EXERCISE
Pomegranates most definitely deserve the same reputation as beetroot juice when it comes to their ability to boost physical performance.
This is due to their super high antioxidant capacity that can help reduce muscle soreness during AND after exercise. It can also fasten recovery time and reduce the aging nightmare that is oxidative stress, which is induced in the body during stressful and taxing exercise. NOT that exercise is bad, it’s not – it’s vital to health, but it does produce free-radicals in the body, which is why you need to make sure you are eating lots of high antioxidant rich foods if you work out a lot – and most definitely if you’re an athlete.
4. HIGH NUTRIENT CONTENT
A great source of nourishing nutrients – pomegranates help keep you healthy from the inside out, and are high in not only vitamin C, but also vitamin K and vitamin E (another antioxidant vitamin), folate and potassium. This makes them one of nature’s healthiest natural multivitamins alongside a healthy diet.
5. ANTI AGING
Pomegranates are a super slick anti aging food, again down to those powerful antioxidants that lie within the phenols in its ruby red colour. In fact, you have probably seen pomegranate extract being highlighted as the active ingredient in some anti aging creams and potions for these very reasons. Those fabulous antioxidants can help delay the signs of aging, reduce wrinkles, and give your skin a youthful, beautiful glow.
6. SUPER HIGH IN VITAMIN C
Just one Pomegranate contains over 40% of your daily vitamin C requirements. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that is needed in the body for a strong immune system, repair of connective tissue and blood vessels, skin anti aging, and cardiovascular health among many other things.
It’s always good to get your vitamin C from natural sources where possible, as this will boost bio availability in the body. The body, clever little machine that it is, absorbs nutrients far better from whole food products left in their natural state as this is what it was designed to break down.
Always make your own fruit juices:-
If you are drinking pre-made fruit juices to get your vitamin C, then you will need to be sure that you either squeeze the fruit yourself or buy only freshly squeezed and cold pressed products. Much of a juice’s vitamin C content will be lost in the pasteurization process, and most supermarket juices have been through this so they will be lacking in this department.
The flavenols in pomegranates can help block the inflammation that contributes to cartilage damage and osteoarthritis. Some studies have shown that pomegranates can help ease arthritis and joint inflammation, meaning adding pomegranate to your diet may actually help aid motility.
8. ANTI VIRAL
As well as high amounts of vitamin C pomegranates also contain the immune boosting antioxidant vitamin E, and these work in harmony together to help ward off and fight infections and illnesses.
9. MAY HELP LOWER RISK OF HEART DISEASE
As one of the biggest killers of our times heart disease takes center stage, but daily pomegranate juice may help protect both the heart and the arteries (alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan of course). Studies show it can help improve blood flow to the heart and help stop arteries from becoming thick and stiff (which is a precursor to heart disease).
The pomegranate’s high antioxidant content can also help bad cholesterol from accumulating in the first place, so it’s probably best (especially if you have family history of heart disease) to get in there early and start drinking it now for potential protection.
11. POSSIBLE CANCER PREVENTION
Recent research (though still in the preliminary stages) has discovered that pomegranate may hinder the growth of prostate cancer. Multiple studies are now being done to investigate this further, but results so far are encouraging and should be taken into consideration.
If you do happen to be at high risk of prostate or breast cancer, then adding pomegranate to your diet can only be of help, especially considering the evidence so far. Pomegranate juice may also help fight pre-existing cancer cells, due to it being so high in antioxidants.
Pomegranate’s encourage healthy blood flow in the body and will also offer iron to the blood, thus reducing the anemia symptoms of tiredness, weakness, and dizziness whilst also boosting energy levels.
Although pomegranates are high in fruit sugars, they are not ‘free sugars’ as they are attached to its unique phenolic antioxidants. At 6oz of juice per day, studies have shown that pomegranate juice did not raise blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics, and this is a rare thing to find in fruit juices that have had their fiber removed. However, do remember that pomegranate juice is high in calories, and should obviously be added against your daily allowance if you don’t want to gain weight.
When consumed in moderation, pomegranates can help to lower blood sugar and have been used for a long time by Ayurvedic practitioners to help treat diabetes, but of course, this needs to be alongside a healthy low GI diet as well.
Pomegranates can help digestion by relieving and reducing the inflammation of the gut caused by Crohns, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases. However, it is recommended by most doctors to steer clear of pomegranate if you are already suffering from a bout of diarrhea, as it could make it temporarily worse!
As the pomegranate’s powerful antioxidant content has such a high impact on oxidative stress (which lowers fertility in women and can cause sperm dysfunction in men), it makes it a great aid for boosting fertility.
It also boosts testosterone in both men and women, which heightens sex drive and makes chances of conceiving even higher – for obvious reasons.
16. DENTAL PLAQUE
Due once again to its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, pomegranate can reduce the inflammation caused by dental plaque, and may also offer protection against some other oral diseases.
Juice or whole pomegranate?
Be sure to always either eat the fresh pomegranate whole, or buy only the pure juice with ‘No Added Sugars’. Be sure to read labels as there are lots of ‘juice drinks’ on the market that only contain a very small percentage of actual pomegranate juice. These are definitely NOT the same, and will actually be harmful to health due to excess refined sugars, flavourings and additives.
Eating the whole fruit is a delicious way to get more pomegranate into your life, either alone as a snack, or added to meals and salads. It’s a good idea to eat the seeds as they add roughage and lower the glycemic index further.
How to eat a pomegranate
You can either cut them in quarters and munch them straight out of their skin (like I do), which can be messy so make sure you have some wet wipes to hand. Or you can de-jewel them as in the video shown below and add them raw to salads, onto homemade high protein muesli or breakfast porridge, into smoothies, savoury couscous, use as a splash of colour on deserts, or add into drinks and cocktails.
Pomegranate juice, is, for the most part a wonderful and safe drink to consume, however some evidence suggest that it may interact with certain kinds of prescription drugs such as warfarin, and also some drugs that treat high blood pressure and cholesterol. If you are taking any of these then you should check with your doctor first before drinking pomegranate juice on a regular basis.
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