Health & Wellness

The 5 Pomegranate Nutritional Benefits You Haven’t Heard About

If you’re interested in expanding your palate a bit to include more exotic foods, you’re going to be excited to learn about some pomegranate nutritional benefits I’ve recently discovered.

This colorful fruit has a tart, sweet flavor that bursts in your mouth, making it a delicious addition to desserts, salads, and even breakfasts. What’s more is that it offers some incredible health benefits as well!

So, let’s learn more about this delicious fruit and then you can head on over to your grocery store to grab some pomegranate seeds and get munchin’!

 

All About Pomegranates

Grown on trees in their native land throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, pomegranates are a tart, sweet fruit with edible seeds (also known as arils). Each pomegranate holds, on average, about 600 juicy seeds!

In the U.S. Most of the pomegranates are grown in California, as they need consistent heat to grow and ripen. And while their peak season is in the fall, from September to November, they have a long shelf life.

As a result, you may be able to find them in your local grocery stores well into the winter months.

While pomegranates are officially categorized as a berry, they’re much larger than the more common strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries you’re likely more familiar with. In fact, pomegranate seeds more closely resemble what you may think of as berries.

It’s important to note that while the skin cannot be eaten, the seeds offer incredible pomegranate nutritional benefits that give this fruit it’s amazing health-promoting properties.

In more recent years, pomegranates have been termed as a “superfood” thanks to the loads of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds found in their seeds.

While they contain a lot of sugar (about 9 grams per one-half cup serving!), they’re also a great source of fiber. [1] Meanwhile, they also serve as a great source of potassium, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, copper, manganese, selenium, and more! [2]

As you can see, you get a lot of nutritional “bang” for your buck when you regularly incorporate pomegranate seeds into your dietary regimen. So, let’s take a look at some of the top pomegranate nutritional benefits you can expect to get from eating them!

5 Incredible X Pomegranate Nutritional Benefits

Here are five of the most impressive pomegranate nutritional benefits for your health.

1. Supports healthy blood pressure levels

One of the more well-known pomegranate nutritional benefits is its impact on blood pressure levels.

According to a 2017 meta-analysis of eight randomized placebo-controlled trials, consuming pomegranate juice significantly reduced high systolic and diastolic blood pressure. [3]

On average systolic blood pressure was reduced by 4.96 mmHg and diastolic was reduced by 2.01 mmHg.

Interestingly, systolic blood pressure was reduced regardless of the amount of juice consumed or the duration. Meanwhile, people had to drink more than 240 cc of the juice to reduce their diastolic blood pressure.

Other studies have shown that this benefit is due to the incredible antioxidant power in pomegranates, as they fight free radicals in the body. This not only helps to lower blood pressure but also supports the overall health of your arteries and heart. [4]

2. May help fight prostate cancer

Amazingly, pomegranate nutritional benefits also extend to fighting cancer—specifically, prostate cancer.

Several studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice helped to slow prostate cancer reproduction/spread.

In fact, according to one study, drinking just eight ounces of pomegranate juice each day significantly prolonged the doubling time of PSA (prostate-specific antigen, a blood marker for prostate cancer). [5]

So, how long was it prolonged? Well, the doubling time increased 2.6 times, or from 15 months to 54 months. As a result, it’s believed that pomegranate juice could help induce the death of prostate cancer cells and drastically slow its spread.

3. Contains anti-viral and antibacterial properties

You may be surprised to learn that one of the powerful pomegranate nutritional benefits lies in its ability to fight viral and bacterial illnesses.

Studies have shown that, due to the high levels of polyphenols found in pomegranates, this fruit contains anti-viral properties. Researchers specifically studied the impact of pomegranate on the influenza virus.

They found that, in addition to the polyphenol content, the acidity of pomegranate juice contributed to the rapid flu-fighting activity they saw. [6]

Additionally, numerous studies have found that various phytochemical compounds in pomegranates contain anti-microbial activity, with particular effectiveness shown against the bacteria that causes salmonella poisoning, staph infections, and more! [7]

4. Boosts memory and cognitive performance

If you suffer from short-term memory loss or know someone who does, this is one off the pomegranate nutritional benefits you’re going to want to take special note of!

Researchers noted that there’s increasing emphasis on the potential of dietary antioxidants in preventing memory loss and also supporting overall neurological health. And, as a result, they decided to test the effects of pomegranate juice on memory.

In a 2013 study, researchers followed 32 subjects with memory complaints who were asked to drink either eight ounces of pomegranate juice or a flavor-matched placebo for four weeks.

After four weeks, the group who drank the pomegranate juice showed significant improvements in verbal memory tests as well as an increase in antioxidant capacity. [8]

In addition, they had increased frontal brain activation during verbal and visual memory tasks. As a result, the researchers stated that pomegranate juice may help to augment memory function.

5. Traditionally used to fight diabetes

Finally, one of the last pomegranate nutritional benefits I want to mention is its long-term use to help fight diabetes.

Because the antioxidants in pomegranates are known to help reduce oxidative stress, they can, in turn, also help reduce fasting blood sugar levels.

In fact, according to a 2017 study, consuming pomegranate juice helps to reduce post-meal glycemic response, or blood sugar spikes, of high-glycemic foods such as bread. Amazingly, the juice decreased the spike by about 33 percent! [9]

As a result, the researchers stated that pomegranate polyphenols showed potential to help control blood sugar metabolism in the body.

 

Pomegranate nutritional benefits - Dr. Pingel

 

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re interested in expanding your palate a bit to include more exotic foods, consider taking advantage of some of the benefits of eating pomegranate.
  • In recent years, pomegranates have been termed as a “superfood” thanks to the loads of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds found in their seeds.
  • Some of the top pomegranate health benefits include: supporting healthy blood pressure levels, helping to fight prostate cancer, fighting viral and bacterial infections, boosting memory and cognition, and fighting diabetes.

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