10 Most Fabulous Health Benefits of Pomegranates
What Are Pomegranates?
Just in case you’re hearing about pomegranates for the first time: Pomegranates are the orange-sized fruits with a firm ruby-red outer skin and sweet arils – a red gelatinous flesh containing lots of seeds. Despite the many beliefs, the pomegranate seeds are edible and absolutely healthy. In fact, each part of pomegranate has health benefits – even the skin is used in dietary supplements as it’s an excellent source of the polyphenols, including prodelphinidins, catechins, and condensed tannins.
The History of Pomegranates
Originally grown as decorations, pomegranates are native to a region from modern Iran to the northern part of India and have been cultivated throughout the South Asia, Middle East, and Mediterranean region for thousands of years. Pomegranates are mentioned in the Book of Exodus, Babylonian texts, and the Homeric Hymns, and are believed to have been found in the Garden of Eden.
Pomegranates were known in early Bronze Age and a dry pomegranate was found in the tomb of Thoth, one of the Ancient Egyptian deities, making us think that pomegranates were more popular during the ancient times than they are now.
The ancient Spanish city of Granada was renamed after pomegranate during the Moorish period but despite all the efforts to introduce the fruit to the different countries, including England, pomegranate kept staying a hidden gem that nobody noticed.
Nowadays, Greek and Turkish cultures see the pomegranate seeds as symbols of prosperity and good fortune, and other cultures are still trying to discover this miracle fruit.
Pomegranate Nutrition Facts
Pomegranates belong to a superfood category, which means they are plentiful in nutrients that can protect every aspect of your health.They’re fortified with protein, fiber, omega-6 fatty acids, copper, calcium, selenium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins C, K, B6 and E. Pomegranates are also a small source of riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate, and choline. Flavonoids found in both pomegranate synapse xt fruit and its outer skin contribute to a better whole body health. Pomegranates are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol as well as have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they don’t cause a significant spike in blood sugar. 100 grams of fresh pomegranate contains:
• 83 calories
• 13.7g of sugar
• 4.0g of dietary fiber (16% of recommended daily intake)
• 18.7g of carbs (6% of RDI)
• 1.7g of protein (3% of RDI)
• 10.2mg of vitamin C (17% of RDI)
• 0.6mg of vitamin E (3% of RDI)
• 16.4mcg of vitamin K (21% of RDI)
• 0.1mg of vitamin B6 (4% of RDI)
• 0.1mg of thiamin (4% of RDI)
• 38.0mcg of folate (10% of RDI)
• 7.6mg of choline
• 0.1mg of riboflavin (3% of RDI)
• 236mg of potassium (7% of RDI)
• 10mg of calcium (1% of RDI)
• 12mg of magnesium (3% of RDI)
• 0.4mg of zinc (2% of RDI)
• 36mg of phosphorus (4% of RDI)
• 0.1mg of manganese (6% of RDI)
• 0.3mg of iron (2% of RDI)
• 0.2mg of copper (8% of RDI)
10 Best Health Benefits of Pomegranates
The science never stays still and it keeps exploring new superfoods day by day. Luckily, many researchers around the world have paid attention to pomegranates and what they have already found surprised even them. It turns out, pomegranates can promote not only better health, but also a longer life. Pomegranate juice, in particular, has been proven to control blood sugar, improve heart health and fight overall body inflammation. Have a look at the 10 best health benefits of pomegranates researchers have found:
1. Promote heart and artery health
A large number of studies and experiments have been conducted to explore the heart-healthy benefits of pomegranates. A study done by the Rambam Medical Center, in Israel showed that drinking a pomegranate juice regularly helps to reduce the amount of plaque, lower high blood pressure and prevent inflammation and oxidation. The study was conducted with 10 patients who had been drinking a pomegranate juice for 1 and 3 years.
Another study done by the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, in Iran, that involved 22 diabetic patients, found that a fresh pomegranate juice can help to reduce the cholesterol level. The patients had been drinking the juice for 8 weeks.
In another study 13 men aged 39-68 who suffered from high blood pressure drank 5 ounces of pomegranate juice and after 6 hours, their overall high blood pressure was decreased by 7%. Plus, the experiment showed that pomegranate juice consumption improves artery function.
The researchers from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California conducted a big study that involved the patients with ischemic coronary heart disease. The patients were given 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for 3 months. As a result, the blood flow was improved and the blood pressure was decreased. The conclusion is, regular pomegranate juice consumption may better stress-induced myocardial ischemia in people who suffer from heart disease.
2. Fight chronic inflammation
Pomegranates have been shown to decrease inflammatory activity in colon cancer and breast cancer cells – that’s all thanks to the punicalagins found in the fruit. Pomegranate juice can also help to prevent and treat chronic inflammation, which mostly leads to serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
3. Protect the skin against killer sun-induced damage
Pomegranates boast the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote the skin health as well. A study done by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that pomegranate fruit can help to protect your skin against harmful sun-induced damage and keep it younger longer due to its anti-aging properties.