Pomegranates are believed to be among the healthiest fruits available to us, and also have the distinction of being extremely tasty as well. They are a virtual storehouse of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial substances. They are estimated to have three times the amount of antioxidants present in green tea and oranges.
They are a wonderful source of ellagic acid, which is a potent antioxidant, and punicic acid, which is an omega 5 poly unsaturated fatty acid useful in cell proliferation and regeneration. Pomegranates are also a great source of vitamins A, E, and C apart from essential minerals like phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium, niacin, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folates etc.
One of the other benefits of pomegranate is that it is considered to be a natural aphrodisiac, that is, it helps in boosting libido and helps in treating various sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction etc.
The following are some major benefits of Pomegranate
1. Pomegranate improves skin health:
Pomegranate contains high amount of zinc, copper, vitamin E, antioxidants which impart antiseptic properties to this fruit. Vitamin E helps in maintaining a healthy skin by providing moisture and elasticity to it. Whereas, zinc regulates basal cells growth, which are the precursor cells that help in rejuvenating skin tissues by healing scars. It also aids in activating an antioxidant i.e. superoxide dismutase which protects skin from damage. The copper present in pomegranate helps in regeneration of skin cells and prevents hyperpigmentation. It maintains optimum levels of melanin in the body, which is responsible for the colors of the hair, skin, and eyes, and also prevents hyperactivation of melanin.
Pomegranate is very famous for its high levels of vitamin C which is required for the production of essential oils in the skin. Vitamin C helps in minimizing the appearance of acne scars. Pomegranate seed oil is also known for its beneficial properties in the regeneration of the upper layer of skin called as epidermis, which helps in faster healing of scars. If included in the daily diet, pomegranate can help in getting rid of acne.
It is also very well-known for its high concentration of iron, which is an important constituent of hemoglobin, a substance which helps in transportation of oxygen. High level of iron helps in carrying more oxygen to the skin cells making it look young, fresh, and bright. Pomegranate can also be used as a toner by grinding it and applying the juice on the face.
A concoction of pomegranate juice can help in slowing down the process of aging and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Any form of damage caused to the skin by long exposure to the sun which causes loss of elasticity and moisture from can be restored if pomegranate is included in the diet. Drinking a glass of pomegranate juice helps in regaining elastin and collagen, which provide support and strength to the skin, making it supple and keeping its young and firm look.
2. Pomegranate prevents Anaemia
Pomegranate contains high levels of iron which helps in dealing with Iron deficiency in the blood. Iron is an important constituent of hemoglobin which helps in transportation of oxygen.
Deficiency of iron causes fatigue, weakness and if left untreated, can be fatal in some cases. Anemia also causes hair fall and several respiratory problems as well. Including pomegranate in the daily diet is one of the fastest ways to increase hemoglobin levels in the blood. Pomegranate juice mixed with sugar also helps in treating nose bleeds. Introduction of a couple of drops in the nostrils fixes the issue of nose bleeding.
3. Pomegranate helps in preventing Infections
Pomegranate also has antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in fighting against various infections and organisms like candida. Pomegranate juice helps in significantly reducing microbial population in the mouth, which is commonly responsible for staph infections and cavities. Various constituents of pomegranate such as ellagic acids, polyphenols, and tannins help in inhibiting the growth of bacteria which are responsible for plaque. They also contain a high amount of fiber, and chewing the seeds with the pits can help in clearing up plaque and tartar, which goes a long way in denying bacteria and other organisms an environment to thrive in.
Because of the presence of a specific constituent called punicic acid, pomegranate helps in keeping bacteria at bay and ensuring that the skin remains healthy.
4. Pomegranate prevents Heart Diseases
One of the most important health benefits that pomegranate provides is the protection against heart diseases. Pomegranate reduces LDL cholesterol without disturbing the levels of HDL cholesterol. As it contains iron, it helps in increasing oxygen levels and this improves blood circulation. It keeps the arteries flexible and helps in reducing inflammation in the inner lining of blood vessels. It helps in lowering the risk of having blockages which cause reduced blood flow to the brain and heart, potentially causing strokes and heart attacks.
Including pomegranate in daily diet helps in improving blood circulation. Good circulation helps in thinning out the blood and removes plaque from the arteries, which minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis.
It also helps in lowering high blood pressure, which is considered to be one of the major precursors of heart attacks and strokes. Punicic acid in pomegranate helps in lowering the blood pressure. It is considered a natural aspirin as it helps in lowering the rate of blood coagulation majorly responsible for blood clots. Because it acts as a blood thinner, it helps in improving the blood circulation throughout the body and allows unhindered flow of blood to the brain and heart.
5. Pomegranate reduces the risk of Cancer
According to various studies, it has been suggested that pomegranate juice helps in reducing the risk of various types of cancers like lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer etc. It does so by eliminating free radicals present in the body, which are majorly responsible for the development of cancerous cells and other diseases. Pomegranate, being high in antioxidants, helps in neutralizing toxins and stimulating the production of white blood cells and hence promotes a healthy and strong immune system. It is also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron which are also helpful in fighting the free radicals.
It is also believed that pomegranate induces apoptosis, which is the process of cells destroying themselves after the cell cycle is complete which is reversed in the case of cancer. Cancer cells never undergo apoptosis and thereby form tumors.
Pomegranate is also said to block an enzyme called as aromatase, that converts the androgen in the body to estrogen and plays a critical part in the occurrence of breast cancer.
6. Pomegranate helps to treat arthritis and joint pains
Pomegranate is also used in treating various joint disorders like joint pains, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Daily intake of pomegranate in acceptable limits can help in providing strength and density to bones, thereby helping to prevent osteoarthritis. Studies suggest that pomegranate extract and the various compounds present in it can be responsible for blocking certain enzymes which are known to cause damage to the joints. Pomegranate extract could also help in treating osteoporosis by delaying cartilage dilapidation. It has been widely accepted in many cultures that the application of pomegranate juice helps in reduction of deterioration of the cartilage, thereby protecting the joints from osteoarthritis. Natural pomegranate juice is also known for its medicinal value and pain management property in relieving the symptoms of bone inflammation.
Protein interleukin 1-b, which is responsible for deformation and degradation of cartilage, is found to be blocked by including pomegranate in any of its forms in the daily diet.
7. Pomegranate helps in digestion
Pomegranate juice helps in maintaining the pH of various stomach acids and also helps in aiding the normal functioning of liver. Pomegranate’s antibacterial property helps in fighting stomach infections, diarrhea, dysentery, and hemorrhoids of any kind. It can also be used as a laxative to treat constipation or to get rid of intestinal worms which can cause various other digestive tract infections.
Apart from pomegranate juice, pomegranate flowers, seeds, and peels are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties which help in keeping the gut and intestines healthy and free from various viral infections like cholera.
Pomegranate is also known for the high quantity of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber it contains, whether consumed directly or in the form of juice. This helps in improving bowel movement and digestion.
It is also recommended to be included as a regular part of breakfast for people who wish to lose weight as it does not contain any cholesterol or saturated fat.
8. Pomegranate aids in pregnancy and treats fertility problems
Pomegranate has high estrogen generating compounds and is known to be one of the best natural ways of increasing estrogen content in blood.
It is also rich in calcium, potassium, niacin, folate, and iron – all of which are known to be very important for pregnant women. All of the above minerals help in encouraging cell growth and reduce cramps, which helps an expecting mother to sleep well. Leg cramps are common during pregnancy and can be treated by including high potassium foods such as pomegranate in the daily diet.
As pomegranate is considered to be responsible for increased blood flow and good hemoglobin levels, it helps in reducing the risk of brain-damage in the baby and improving the overall health of the baby and the mother. When pomegranate is consumed by pregnant women, it significantly reduces the chances of premature birth of the child and prevents the child from having a low birth weight.
Some people may be allergic to pomegranates, and those allergies may manifest in the form of a runny nose, itching, and difficulty in breathing.
Some studies also suggest that consumption of high amounts of pomegranate can also cause premature abortion. Therefore, consumption of pomegranate during pregnancy should be discussed with an experienced gynecologist.