Pomegranates are among the healthiest fruits on earth.
It is found almost all over the world particularly tropical & cold region This fruit is a shrub that produces a red fruit. Categorized as a berry, this fruit is about 5-12 cm (2-5 inches) in diameter. It is red, round and looks kind of like a red apple with a flower-shaped stem.
The skin of this fruit is thick and inedible, but there are hundreds of edible seeds called arils within.
The arils are what people eat, either raw or processed into pomegranate juice.
The pomegranate, botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae that grows between 5 and 8 m tall.
This fruit originated in the region of modern-day Iran.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the drier parts of and parts of the Mediterranean Basin.It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California.In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere
Many studies have shown that they have incredible benefits for your body, and may lower the risk of all sorts of diseases.
12 Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Pomegranates have an impressive nutrient profile:
One cup of arils (174 grams) contains :
- Fiber: 7 grams.
- Protein: 3 grams.
- Vitamin C: 30% of the RDA.
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA.
- Folate: 16% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 12% of the RDA.
The pomegranate arils (seeds) are very sweet, with one cup containing 24 grams of sugar, and 144 calories.
However, where pomegranates really shine is in their content of powerful plant compounds, some of which have potent medicinal properties.
They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds, but they also contain some sugar.
Pomegranates Contain Two Plant Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
There are two unique substances in pomegranates that are responsible for most of their health benefits.
Punicalagins are extremely powerful antioxidants found in the juice and peel of a pomegranate.
They are so powerful that 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, also known as pomegranate seed oil, is the main fatty acid in the arils.
It is a type of conjugated linoleic acid with potent biological effects.
It contains punicalagins and punicic acid, unique substances that are responsible for most of their health benefits.
Pomegranate Has Impressive Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Chronic inflammation is among the leading drivers of many killer diseases.
This includes heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even obesity.
Pomegranate has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are largely mediated by the antioxidant properties of the punicalagins.
Studies have shown that it can reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells .
One study in diabetics found that 250 ml of pomegranate juice per day for 12 weeks lowered the inflammatory markers CRP and interleukin-6 by 32% and 30%, respectively .
Pomegranate May Help Fight Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men.
Laboratory studies have shown that pomegranate extract can slow down cancer cell reproduction, and even induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells . The PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a blood marker for prostate cancer.
Men whose PSA levels double in a short period of time are at increased risk of death from prostate cancer.
Interestingly, a human study found that 237 ml (8 oz) of pomegranate juice per day increased the PSA doubling time from 15 months to 54 months, which is huge .
Pomegranate May Also be Useful Against Breast Cancer