Pomegranate fruit is red, round and looks kind of like a red apple with a flower-shaped stem. It is classified as berry and is about 5–12 cm (2–5 inches) in diameter. The skin of the pomegranate is thick and uneatable. However, there are hundreds of edible seeds within called arils. People eat the arils either raw or process it into juice.
Pomegranate contain a wide range of healthy plant compounds, unequaled by other foods. Studies have shown that they may have several benefits for your body, possibly lowering your risk of various diseases.
Here are 10 health benefits of pomegranate based on evidence.
Pomegranates Contain Medicinal Properties
Pomegranates pack two inimitable substances that are responsible for most of their health benefits; punicalagins and punicic acid.
Punicalagins: Punicalagins are exceptionally powerful antioxidants found in pomegranate juice and peel. Pomegranate juice has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea. Pomegranate extract and powder is typically made from the peel, due to its high antioxidant and punicalagin content.
Punicic Acid: This is found in pomegranate seed oil. It is the main fatty acid in the arils. It’s a type of conjugated linoleic acid with powerful biological effects.
Pomegranate May Help Treat Breast Cancer
Though, the evidence is presently limited to laboratory studies. More research is needed before any claims can be made.
Pomegranate Juice May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
One of the most common cause of premature deaths globally is heart disease. Punicic acid may help protect against several steps in the heart disease process.
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A 4-week study in 51 people with high triglyceride levels indicated that 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil per day significantly lowered triglycerides and enhanced the triglyceride-HDL ratio.
4. Pomegranate May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks and strokes. Conclusions from a study found that people with hypertension had a significant reduction in blood pressure after consuming 5 ounces (150 ml) of pomegranate juice daily for two weeks.
- Pomegranate May Help Improve Memory
According to studies, pomegranate can improve memory. A study in surgical patients found that 2 grams of pomegranate extract prevented deficits in memory after surgery.
Also, studies in mice also suggest that pomegranate may help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Pomegranate May Improve Exercise Performance
Pomegranate contains dietary nitrates, which can improve exercise performance. A study in 19 athletes running on a treadmill showed that one gram of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before exercise significantly enhanced blood flow, delaying the onset of fatigue and increasing exercise efficiency (40).
Pomegranate Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Chronic inflammation like type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart attack, is one of the leading drivers of many serious diseases. Pomegranates have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which are largely mediated by the antioxidant properties of the punicalagins.
Test-tube studies have shown that they can reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.
8. Pomegranate May Help Fight Arthritis
There are many different types of joint pain, but most involve some form of inflammation in the joints. Since plant compounds in pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effects, they can help treat arthritis.
Pomegranate Juice May Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Oxidative damage can damage blood flow in all areas of the body, including erectile tissue. Pomegranate juice has been shown to help increase blood flow and erectile response in rabbits.
Pomegranate Can Help Fight Infections
The plant compounds in pomegranate can help combat bacterial and fungal infections. They have been shown to combat yeast Candida albicans. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects may also be protective against infections and inflammation in your mouth.