Red, delicious and packed with nutrients, Pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits of Earth. This delightful fruit had anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumor properties. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E and folic acid. There are several health benefits of Pomegranate. The antioxidant content of this fruit is higher than that of green tea. It also contains Vitamin B, calcium and phosphorus.
It is this combination of nutrients that make this fruit a wonder fruit for treating ailments. In fact, pomegranate has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal qualities. It has traditionally been used to treat skin inflammation and sore throats. Pomegranate juice is now being studied for its health benefits.
- Also read: Health benefits and nutrients of Banana
Nutrients in pomegranates
Though pomegranates are rich in multiple vitamins and minerals, they contain two unique substances that give them their health properties.
This powerful antioxidant is found in the juice and peel of pomegranates. Punicalagins make pomegranate juice a healthier option as compared to green tea.
Punicic acid, also known as pomegranate seed oil, is a type of conjugated linoleic acid, with numerous biological benefits
One serving (1/2 cup) of pomegranate seeds contains
- Calories – 72
- Carbohydrates – 16.3 grams
- Proteins – 1.5 grams
- Fat – 1 gram
- Fibre – 3.5 grams
- Sugar – 11.9 grams
- Vitamin K – 14.3 micrograms
- Vitamin C – 8.9 milligrams
- Folate – 33 micrograms
- Potassium – 205 milligrams
- Vitamin B6 – .07 milligram
- Phosphorus – 31 milligrams
Health benefits of pomegranates
Pomegranates help our body in some ways. These are some of the health benefits of pomegranates.
1. Cures digestive problems
Pomegranate peel, bark and leaves are used to cure stomach troubles like diarrhoea. Drinking tea made from the leaves of pomegranate is helpful in treating stomach ailments. Pomegranate juice is also beneficial for dysentery and cholera patients.
2. Reduces risk of heart attack
Drinking pomegranate juice helps in maintaining a regular flow of blood in the body. This steady blood flow helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Daily consumption of pomegranate juice is also helpful in keeping the arteries clear of clots.
3. Prevents cancer
Pomegranates contain flavonoids which are known to be effective in dealing with can causing free radicals. People who are at high risk of having prostate or breast cancer should have pomegranate juice daily. Pomegranates also help reduce PSA levels in the body and are useful in fighting the existing cancer cells in the body.
4. Dental care
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of pomegranates are helpful in reducing dental plaque and protecting against other oral diseases.
5. Prevents osteoarthritis
Pomegranates help prevent diseases like atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. Regular consumption of this fruit helps in reducing the thickening of arterial walls in the cartilage and joints. The effects of pomegranate juice on osteoporosis, rheumatic arthritis and joint inflammation has been a subject for numerous studies recently.
6. Helps treat anaemia
Pomegranates are rich in iron. They are thus helpful in treating the symptoms of anaemia like exhaustion, dizziness and weakness.
7. Diabetes control
Drinking pomegranate juice can help reduce the risk of coronary diseases in diabetes patients. It may also help decrease insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.
8. Erectile dysfunction
In a recent study in the Journal of Urology, pomegranate juice has been found to be very useful in curing erectile dysfunction. The University of California and Beverly Hills have also done similar studies.
9. Alzheimer’s disease
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, and this can be very helpful in stalling the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
10. Controls blood pressure
Regular consumption of pomegranate juice helps lower systolic blood pressure. More studies are being done to determine the effect of this juice on overall blood pressure.
11. Helps prevent infections
Pomegranate juice can help prevent illness and fight infections because it contains immunity-boosting nutrients like vitamin C and E. Pomegranates are known to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
12. Helps prevent aging
Pomegranates are high in anti-oxidants. Antioxidants are very helpful in protecting skin from free radical damage that causes aging.
13. Asthma control
Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C which is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Consumption of vitamin C can reduce wheezing in young children with asthma.
14. Helps lower stress levels
According to studies, pomegranates can maintain lower stress levels. Cortisol, a stress hormone that increases in the body during stressful situations, can be reduced if a person drinks pomegranate juice.
15. Improves oxygen level in the body
The anti-oxidants present in pomegranate fight free radicals, reduce cholesterol and prevent blood clots. This nutritional quality of pomegranate helps blood to flow freely, and this improves the level of oxygen in our body.
16. Helps improve exercise performance
Dietary nitrates, which are present in pomegranate, help enhance athletic performance. In a study conducted on athletes, it was discovered that 1 gram of pomegranate extract taken 30 minutes before exercise increases blood flow. This increased blood flow leads to delay in fatigue and improvement in exercise performance.
Ways to consume pomegranate
- Pomegranate seeds can be chilled and eaten raw or used as a garnish for dishes.
- Pomegranate juice is very refreshing and nutritious.
- Pomegranate juice can be used to make jellies, sauce, sorbet, and soup. You can also add it as a flavor for cakes and puddings.
- Pomegranates are used in some Persian dishes like fesenjan (rice pilaf) and ash-e-Anar (soup).
- In Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, the juice of pomegranate is thickened to make grenadine. This grenadine is then used to add flavor to dishes.