Health benefits of pomegranate: From boosting immunity to protecting your heart, nutrition facts you must know
Have you ever come across a richer and more nutrient-packed fruit than a pomegranate?
The red rich fruit is known to be one of the healthiest for a reason. It is called as a divine fruit because it is the most mentioned fruit in theological books. Pomegranate has anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumor properties and is said to be a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid. It contains two compounds – punicalagin and punicic acid which give it all the potent benefits. In fact, you will be surprised to learn that the antioxidants present in pomegranates are almost three times higher than wine or green tea. Eating pomegranates on a daily basis, or drinking the juice can be an excellent aid for your immunity, fight Type-2 diabetes, keep blood pressure in check, smoothen digestion and make your skin glow too.
So, the next time you want to pick up a snack, munch on a pomegranate.
1. Protects us from free radicals
Pomegranate is rich in anti-oxidants and thus protects our body from free radicals, which are responsible for premature ageing. Free radicals are formed by exposure to sun and due to harmful toxins in the environment.
2. It thins your blood
Antioxidants present in pomegranate act as a ‘thinner for your blood’. The seeds of pomegranate prevent your blood platelets from forming clots and coagulating.
There are two types of blood clots, first is the good one which speeds the recovery during a cut or an injury and second is when there is any internal clot, like in heart, arteries or anywhere else inside the body. These type of clots are not good and can be fatal.
3. Prevention of atherosclerosis
With increasing age and the type of lifestyle we live, the walls of our arteries become harder due to cholesterol, resulting in blockages sometimes. The anti-oxidant property of pomegranate prevents bad cholesterol from oxidizing. So, eating pomegranates removes the excess fat and prevents the hardening of artery walls.
4. It acts like an oxygen mask
Pomegranate helps to pump the level of oxygen in our blood. Due to anti-oxidants present in pomegranate, it fights free radicals, reduces cholesterol and prevents blood clot. All this eventually helps blood to flow freely and thus improve the level of oxygen in your body.
5. It prevents arthritis
Pomegranate can reduce the damage of the cartilage by fighting the enzyme that does so. Pomegranate also has the ability to reduce inflammation.
6. Fights erectile dysfunction
Though it is not a wonder drug but yes pomegranate juice can slightly improve erectile dysfunction. And a lot of theories prove this as true.
7. Fights heart disease and prostate cancer
Two studies claim that pomegranate juice has the ability to fight prostate cancer. An experiment showed that pomegranate juice slowed the growth and even killed cultured cancer cells. And as we have already mentioned in the second point, pomegranate juice thins the blood and thus improves its condition which in turn prevents cardiovascular diseases.
8. Pomegranate is loaded with beneficial nutrients
A cup of pomegranate seed contains 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories. A cup of pomegranate seeds contain following nutrients:
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Folate: 16 per cent of the RDA
- Potassium: 12 per cent of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 30 per cent of the RDA
- Vitamin K: 36 per cent of the RDA
9. It improves memory
A study was conducted where people who had a problem with their memory were given 237ml of pomegranate juice every day. After a certain period of time, a lot of improvement was seen in their verbal and visual memory. In fact, another experiment done on mice shows that pomegranate consumption can also prevent Alzheimer’s. But the experiment is yet to be done on humans.
10. It lowers blood pressure
Punicic acid is one of the main constituents of pomegranate that help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and reduce blood pressure.
11. Helps in digestion
We all know fibre is good for digestion. But due to our lifestyle where we are inclined towards eating junk food, we miss the goodness of fibre in our vegetables and fruits. Adding pomegranate to your everyday diet can be one the best ways to include fibre in your daily routine. One pomegranate contains 45 per cent of your daily recommended intake of fibre.
12. Boosts immunity
Being rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, pomegranates are extremely healthy for those suffering from immune-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. They are also rich in vitamin C, which boosts antibody production and helps in the development of immunity. Pomegranates can thus help you maintain a healthy immune system and keep common illnesses and infections at bay.
13. Lowers stress levels
Apart from reducing body’s internal oxidative stress, pomegranates also help lower psychological stress that you go through in your personal and professional life. According to a study conducted by Queen Margaret University, people who drank pomegranate juice had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is increased under stressful situations.
14. Prevent plaque formation
You use mouth wash to improve your oral health, but much to your surprise pomegranate juice can be a better option than alcohol containing mouth washes. Certain compounds in pomegranate exhibit strong antiplaque effects.
A study showed that hydroalcoholic extract of pomegranate effectively lowered dental plaque formation due to microorganisms build up by almost 84 per cent.
15. Strengthen bones and athletic performance
Several studies conducted over the years have testified that regularly eating pomegranates could be excellent for your bone health. Animal studies have also shown that the fruit could have a preventive effect on bone loss. High flavanols present in the fruit actively help fight any inflammation which could cause problems like cartilage damage and osteoarthritis. There are growing researches being done to study its effect on reducing problems like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and other joint problems. In fact, the antioxidant content found in pomegranate juice also benefits athletic performance. Runners are actively encouraged to consume the fruit as well since it could potentially enhance performance, aerobic activity and build endurance.
16. A natural fertility booster
There's another hidden benefit to the red fruit. Pomegranates, with its rich antioxidant content, has been found to lower oxidative stress levels in the body. Oxidative stress has been linked to sperm dysfunction as well as decreased fertility in women. Studies are underway to understand other potent benefits it may carry for the reproductive system.
Apart from this, pomegranates could also power up your sex life. The fruit has been shown to increase testosterone levels, the sex hormone in both men and women. It also increases blood flow to the genital region. For this reason, the fruit also earns the nickname of being 'natural viagra'.
Caution: Pomegranate juice is good for cardiovascular health but in rare cases, it may react with a patient’s medication.