Pomegranates are a delicious fruit whose seeds resemble little red jewels. They look and taste great when used in the cooking of 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, antioxidant rich superfood contains. Especially so 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.
Pomegranates are bursting with the antioxidants that are so good for every aspect of your health and vitality. It’s all due to the phenols that give them their stunning bright red colour. In fact, their true antioxidant value is 3 times HIGHER than that of green tea and red wine.
You should make it your mission, if you want to accomplish a truly healthful lifestyle, to incorporate as many antioxidant rich foods of all kinds to your diet daily. This will give you a full array of phytochemicals, antioxidants and nutrients.
Variety is the spice of life, and a rainbow of different coloured fruits and vegetables will ensure you cover all nutritional bases.
Chronic inflammation is now said to be the root cause of certain diseases because it induces oxidative stress. This inflammation can be due to a variety of factors including a poor diet full of highly acidic foods. Also, 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. This includes the amazing pomegranate thats 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 boost is due to their super high antioxidant capacity that can help reduce muscle soreness during AND after exercise.
Beetroot 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. This 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. They are high in not only vitamin C, but also vitamins K and E (Vitamin E is another antioxidant vitamin), folate and potassium. This makes them one of nature’s healthiest natural multivitamins, alongside a healthy diet.
5. Anti Aging
Pomegranates have great benefits for skin. That’s again down to those powerful antioxidants that lie within the phenols of 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. Very 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 because this will boost bio availability in the body. The body, clever machine that it is, absorbs nutrients far better from whole food products left in their natural state because this is what it was designed to break down.
Pomegranate juice benefits:-
If you are drinking pre-made pomegranate 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. This means 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. 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 centre 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 pomegranate can help improve blood flow to the heart and help stop arteries from becoming thick and stiff (a precursor to heart disease).
The pomegranate’s high antioxidant content can also help bad cholesterol from accumulating in the first place. But, 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 Anti Cancer
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 encourages healthy blood flow in the body. It 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. This is a rare thing to find in fruit juices that have had their fibre removed.
However, do remember that pomegranate juice is high in calories! You should obviously be add it against your daily allowance if you don’t want to gain weight.
When consumed in moderation, pomegranates may help to lower blood sugar. They have been used for a long time by Ayurvedic practitioners to help diabetes, but of course, this needs to be alongside a healthy low GI diet as well.
Always consult your Doctor if you think you have diabetes. This is a serious condition that needs Medical help.
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.
Pomegranate can also boost testosterone in both men and women. It can heightens sex drive and makes chances of conceiving even higher.
16. Dental Plaque
Due once again to its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, pomegranate can reduce the inflammation caused by dental plaque. It may also offer protection against some other oral diseases.
Should I drink the juice or eat the whole pomegranate?
Be sure to always either eat the fresh pomegranate whole, or buy only the pure juice with ‘No Added Sugars’.
Also, 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 your pomegranate into quarters and munch them straight out of their skin, eating pips and all.
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 smoothie bowls, savoury couscous, use as a splash of colour on deserts or add into drinks and cocktails.
Pomegranate juice, for the most part, is 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 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.