“Pomegranate seeds are the diamonds in a bowl.” ~ Saurav Jaiswal.
When our friends or relatives are sick, it’s traditional for many people to bring them a basket of fruit.
In India, pomegranate is often included in the basket as it has enormous healing potency.
Pomegranate is very nutritious. It has more powerful antioxidants than most fruits.
It belongs to the Lythraceae family.
Consisting of more than 100 plant compounds, pomegranate may effectively help lower the risk of major diseases.1<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/> And it has been used as a medicine for a long year.
Let’s learn what pomegranate is good for.
In this article, we will review:
- Pomegranate Nutrition Facts
- Health Benefits of Pomegranate
- How to Add Pomegranate to Your Diet
- Pomegranate Safety Concerns
- Conclusion and My Recommendation
Pomegranate Nutrition Facts
To know your daily quota of each nutrient, you may check this2<https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/> link.
Pomegranate’s glycemic index is low, which means it does not significantly elevate blood sugar.
Generally, I believe in eating whole fruits rather than juice alone because juice does not contain fiber and may give you a blood sugar spike.
But when it comes to pomegranate, the juice is not a problem as its glycemic index is still low. You lose approximately 11.3 g of fiber that you’d get from eating the whole fruit, though.
Pomegranate and its juice may be safe for diabetes patients; still, it would be better to consult your doctor before consuming pomegranate if you have diabetes.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Pomegranate May Help Fight Certain Cancers
Prostate cancer is common in men.
PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a blood test to screen for prostate cancer.
The risk of death increases when a patient’s PSA levels rise at a faster rate.
A human study found that consuming 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice a day slowed PSA doubling time from 15 months to 54 months.5<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16818701/>
Breast cancer is an issue for many women.
Pomegranate extracts may prevent reproduction of breast cancer cells or even kill them.6<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23359482/> 7<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21861726/> 8<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16379557/>
Pomegranate May Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease and strokes.
We know high blood pressure is a common problem.
Gone are the days when high blood pressure was only a problem for older adults; today, our young guns face it too.
We need to balance our life with the right habits, including healthy eating.
We should focus on foods that nourish us and prevent common health enemies like high blood pressure.
Pomegranate May Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Like high blood pressure, heart disease is a significant issue worldwide.
To prevent the risk of heart disease, physicians strongly recommend modifying their lifestyle and eating healthy foods like pomegranate.
LDL, the bad cholesterol, is a substantial determinant of heart disease.
It causes a fatty build-up in the arteries, which causes blockage and may eventually lead to a heart attack or, worst, heart failure.
In a study, diabetes patients with hyperlipidemia who consumed pomegranate juice had a significant reduction in LDL.11<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17048194/>
Pomegranate is also known to prevent LDL and HDL cholesterol from oxidation, protecting from atherosclerosis.12< https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678830/>
The red color of pomegranate comes from polyphenols. These plant compounds are powerful antioxidants.
Pomegranate has three times more antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea, according to one study.13<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11052704/>
The antioxidant properties of pomegranate may help prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation, both of which can trigger chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
One 12-week study in people with type 2 diabetes correlated drinking 1.1 cups (250 ml) of pomegranate juice per day with significantly reduced inflammation.14<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24949028/>
May Boost Skin Health
Pomegranate benefits for skin are many. Its vitamin C content is very high.
Many of us know how vital vitamin C is for our skin. Most skin products contain it.
Vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis.
Collagen is a protein essential for optimum skin well-being. Its benefits include wrinkle reduction, increase in elasticity, and wound healing.
May Aid Memory Retention
Studies found that pomegranate supplementation may protect against memory dysfunction post-surgery, especially post open-heart surgery.15<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789410/>
Another study showed a similar result when 28 adults with memory issues who consumed 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice per day showed excellent verbal and visual memory improvement.16<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23970941/>
How to Add Pomegranate to Your Diet
Pomegranate is very easy to add to dishes. Here are some ways you can try:
- Eat them fresh for breakfast or as snacks.
- Mix them in green or fruit salad.
- Grind them into smoothies or juice them.
- Add them to mocktails.
- Make them a part of a sandwich.
- Sprinkle pomegranate arils in yogurt or oatmeal (arils are the tiny red ones inside, you may eat the crunchy white-fiber-rich seeds, too).
Pomegranate Safety Concerns
Although pomegranate is safe for most of us, there are concerns for some people, including:
- Allergy: Those who are allergic to pomegranate may experience itching, swelling, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.
- Drug interactions: Pomegranate may interact with some drugs, including cholesterol medications, calcium channel blockers, antiarrhythmics, statins, immunosuppressants, and protease inhibitors.
- Low Blood pressure: Pomegranate may reduce blood pressure, so individuals whose blood pressure is already low may need to avoid it. This may also be an issue after surgery.
Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitute for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.
Conclusion and My Recommendation
I am sure you agree pomegranate is a gem of a fruit. I mean, look at how nutrient-dense this fruit is.
No surprise that it was used medicinally in ancient times. Even today, it can contribute considerably to our well-being.
Pomegranate has countless benefits; a few I have mentioned are heart disease prevention, protection from certain cancers, skin health, memory retention, and lowered blood pressure.
Containing a large number of plant compounds having antioxidant properties, pomegranate may ward off chronic diseases.
If you don’t have contraindicated conditions, eat this incredible fruit, which I believe is one of the best fruits in the world.
So, from now on, you don’t have to go to a jewelry shop for diamonds. Just go to the nearest fruit vendor and ask for pomegranate.
What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Sources & References