12 Health Benefits of Pomegranate

1. Pomegranates are rich in essential nutrients
Pomegranate, or Punica granatum, is a tree that produces red fruit (1Trusted Source).

Divided as a berry, the pomegranate fruit can be 5-12 cm (2-5 inches) wide. It is red, round and looks like a red apple with a flower-shaped stem.

The pomegranate skin is thick and edible, but hundreds of seeds are eaten inside. Each seed is surrounded by a red, watery, and sugary seed known as aril.

Seeds and arils are edible parts of the fruit – eaten raw or ground into pomegranate juice – but the peel is discarded.

Pomegranates have a profile of attractive elements – one cup of arils (174 grams) contains (2):

Fiber: 7 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Vitamin C: 30% of RDI
Vitamin K: 36% of RDI
Folate: 16% of RDI
Potassium: 12% of RDI
Pomegranate aril is also very tasty, one cup containing 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories.

However, pomegranates really shine in their wealth of powerful plant compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

2. Pomegranate Contains a Blend of Two Plants With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Pomegranates pack two different ingredients that are responsible for many health benefits.

Punicalagins
Punicalagins are the most potent antioxidants found in pomegranate juice and peel.

They are so powerful that pomegranate juice has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea (3Trusted Source).

Extracted pomegranate and powder are usually made with peel, due to its high antioxidant content and punicalagin.

Punicic Acid
Punicic acid, found in pomegranate oil, is a major source of fat in arils.

It is a type of conjugated linoleic acid with strong biological effects.

3. Pomegranate Has Wonderful Effects To Eliminate Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of many serious illnesses.

These include heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even obesity.

Pomegranates have strong anti-inflammatory properties, closely linked to the antioxidant properties of punicalagins.

Experimental studies have shown that it can reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, as well as breast cancer and colon cancer cells (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Another 12-week study in people with diabetes found that 1.1 cups (250 ml) of pomegranate juice per day reduced inflammatory symptoms CRP and interleukin-6 by 32% and 30% respectively (7Trusted Source).

If you are interested in reducing inflammation in your body, pomegranate is an excellent addition to your diet.

4. Pomegranate May Help Fight Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is another common type of cancer in men.

Laboratory studies suggest that pomegranate release may delay cancer cell proliferation and cause apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a blood marker for prostate cancer.

Men with double PSA levels in the short term are at increased risk of dying from prostate cancer.

Interestingly, a human study found that drinking 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice a day increased the duration of PSA recurrence from 15 months to 54 months – a significant increase (10Trusted Source).

A follow-up study found similar improvements using a pomegranate extract called POMx (11Trusted Source).

5. Pomegranate may also be used in the fight against breast cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women.

The release of pomegranate may prevent the regeneration of breast cancer cells – even killing some of them (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

However, the evidence is currently limited to laboratory studies. Further research is needed before any claims can be made.

6. Pomegranate May Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes.

In one study, people with high blood pressure had a significant decrease in blood pressure after consuming 5 ounces (150 ml) of pomegranate juice daily for two weeks (15Trusted Source).

Other studies have found similar results, particularly for systolic blood pressure, which is the highest number in blood pressure studies (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

7. Gromegranate May Help Fight Arthritis and Joint Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common problem in Western lands.

There are many different types, but most include some form of inflammation in the joints.

Given that pomegranate compounds have anti-inflammatory effects, it is logical that they can help treat arthritis.

Interestingly, laboratory research suggests that the release of pomegranate can inhibit enzymes known to damage joints in people with osteoarthritis (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).

This release has been shown to reduce arthritis in rats, but evidence from human-based research is very limited to date (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

8. Pomegranate Juice May Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is currently the world’s most common cause of premature death (22Trusted Source).

It is a complex disease, driven by many different factors.

Punicic acid, the main fatty acid in the pomegranate, can help prevent a few steps in the heart disease process.

A 4-week study of 51 people with high triglyceride levels showed that 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil per day significantly reduced triglycerides and improved triglyceride-HDL (23Trusted Source).

Another study looked at the effects of gromegranate juice in people with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. They noted a significant decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as other improvements (24Trusted Source).

Pomegranate juice has also been shown – in both animal and human studies – to protect LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, one of the most important steps in the path to heart disease (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

Finally, one study concluded that pomegranate juice lowered blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease (29Trusted Source).

9. Pomegranate Juice May Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Oxidative damage can disrupt blood flow to all parts of the body, including erectile tissue.

Pomegranate juice has been shown to help increase blood flow and a better response in rabbits (30Trusted Source).

In a study of 53 men with erectile dysfunction, pomegranate was shown to have some benefits – but not statistically significant (31Trusted Source).

10. Gromegranate Can Help Fight Infectious Diseases And Fungi
Plant compounds in pomegranate can help fight harmful microorganisms (32Trusted Source).

For example, they have been shown to fight certain viruses and yeast Candida albicans (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).

Antimicrobial and anti-fungal effects can also protect against infections and inflammation in your mouth. These include conditions such as gingivitis, periodontitis and dental stomatitis (35Reliable Source, 36Reliable Source).

11. Pomegranate Can Help Improve Memory
There is some evidence that pomegranate can improve memory.

Another study in surgical patients found that 2 grams of pomegranate extract prevented memory loss after surgery (37Trusted Source).

Another study of 28 adults with memory complaints found that 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice a day significantly improved verbal and visual memory markers (38Trusted Source).

Studies in mice also suggest that pomegranate can help fight Alzheimer’s disease (39Trusted Source).

12. Pomegranate May Improve Exercise Performance
Gromegranate is rich in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to improve exercise performance.

A study of 19 athletes running on a treadmill showed that one gram of pomegranate released 30 minutes before exercise significantly improves blood flow, slows the onset of fatigue and increases exercise efficiency (40Trusted Source).

More studies are needed, but it seems that pomegranate – like beets – can be beneficial for physical activity.

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