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Pomegranates are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits. From preventing or treating various diseases to lowering inflammation, pomegranates have a wide range of health benefits . The fruit is called 'anar' in Hindi and it is widely used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.
Pomegranates have a hard shell on the exterior and in the inside, there are small juicy edible seeds called arils which are either eaten raw or are processed into pomegranate juice. One pomegranate holds over 600 seeds and they are full of nutrition. The seeds are also used to make pomegranate seed oil, which has many positive health effects; both internally and externally.
Nutritional Value Of Pomegranates
100 grams of pomegranates contain 77.93 g of water and 83 calories. They also contain
- 1.17 grams total lipid (fat)
- 18.70 grams carbohydrates
- 13.67 grams sugar
- 4.0 grams total dietary fibre
- 1.67 grams protein
- 10 milligrams calcium
- 0.30 milligrams iron
- 12 milligrams magnesium
- 36 milligrams phosphorous
- 236 milligrams potassium
- 3 milligrams sodium
- 0.35 milligrams zinc
- 10.2 milligrams vitamin C
- 0.067 milligrams thiamin
- 0.053 milligrams riboflavin
- 0.293 milligrams niacin
- 0.075 milligrams vitamin B6
- 38 µg folate
- 0.60 milligrams vitamin E
- 16.4 µg vitamin K
Health Benefits Of Pomegranates
1. Promotes sexual health
Pomegranates are known to have positive effects on your mood.
According to a study, this fruit is known to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction by increasing the blood flow in the erectile tissues, thus curing impotency  ,  . It also increases testosterone levels which increase sexual desire in both men and women.
2. Boosts heart health
Pomegranate can boost heart health as well due to the presence of a fatty acid called punicic acid and other potent antioxidants like tannins and anthocyanins which can help protect against heart disease  . A study found that people who consumed pomegranates had an increase in good cholesterol and a breakdown of the harmful oxidized lipids, thereby cutting the risk of atherosclerosis .
3. Prevents cancer
Pomegranate seeds have been found to cut the risk of prostate cancer, the most common type of cancer in men  . The seeds possess anti-cancerous properties that can be attributed to the presence of punicic acid that prevents cancer cell proliferation and also induces cancer cell death  . This cancer-fighting food can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells too and stimulate the cell death of breast cancer cells  ,  .
4. Prevents obesity
Eating pomegranates will help in the prevention of obesity as they are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins and tannins, all of these aid in speeding up the fat burning process and boost your metabolism  . Eating pomegranates or drinking a glass of pomegranate juice helps in suppressing your appetite, thus reducing the chances of being obese.
5. Reduces arthritis risk
Pomegranate seeds can help ease arthritis and joint pain because they are a good source of antioxidants called flavonols, which act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body. Studies have found that pomegranate seed extract has the ability to block enzymes that damage the joints in people suffering from osteoarthritis . Another animal study shows that pomegranate extract reduces the onset and incidence of collagen-induced arthritis  .
6. Improves athletic performance
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, athletes who drank 500 ml of pomegranate juice for 15 days saw an improved athletic performance  ,  . It is because pomegranate juice improves the endurance level and aerobic performance in athletes within 30 minutes of ingestion due to the presence of antioxidants.
7. Delays ageing
Pomegranates contain antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E which help in neutralising the effect of free radicals in the body. Free radicals in the body make your skin look aged much before you age. The beneficial plant compounds in the fruit help in skin cell regeneration. This aids in keeping wrinkles and sagging skin at bay  .
In addition, the antioxidant content in pomegranates can help combat skin inflammation, acne breakouts and boost the skin's ability to protect itself from sun damage.
8. Improves hair health
If you are suffering from hairfall, consume pomegranate seeds. They help to strengthen the hair follicles thanks to the punicic acid, a fatty acid that keeps your hair strong. Pomegranate seeds also improve blood circulation in the scalp and trigger hair growth.
9. Treats anaemia
Pomegranates are a good source of iron that can help increase your haemoglobin levels  . Haemoglobin is an iron-rich protein found in red blood cells which is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Low haemoglobin levels lead to anaemia. In addition, pomegranates contain vitamin C which helps in better absorption of iron in the body.
10. Soothes stomach problems
The pomegranate seeds contain powerful antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties which help ease stomach-related problems such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera  . The presence of bioactive compounds, antioxidants and punicic acid are beneficial in treating inflammation in the gut and fights bacterial infections.
In addition, eating pomegranates or drinking pomegranate juice after meals helps in digesting food faster, thus improving digestion  .
11. Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
Numerous studies have linked the effectiveness of pomegranates in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes. Pomegranates contain ellagic acid, punicalagin, oleanolic, ursolic, uallic acids and gallic acid which are known to have antidiabetic properties. Also, pomegranates have antioxidant polyphenols that help treat and prevent type 2 diabetes .
12. Protects the teeth
Pomegranates are effective in fighting against oral bacteria, as they possess antimicrobial properties. It also prevents the build-up of plaque micro-organisms that destroy the tooth enamel. A study published in the Ancient Science of Life found that consumption of pomegranates lowers the formation of plaque by 32 per cent  .
13. Lowers Alzheimer's risk
Improved memory and better cognitive function are attributed to the polyphenol antioxidants found abundantly in pomegranate seeds. Punicalagin, a specific type of polyphenol is known to reduce levels of amyloid plaque that accumulates between the brain's nerve cells which cause Alzheimer's disease  . Eating pomegranates daily will improve your cognitive performance.
14. Prevents fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease occurs when fat is accumulated in the liver. It can pose a health risk when it progresses leading to liver scarring, liver cancer and liver disease. If consumed daily, pomegranates can prevent liver inflammation and fatty liver disease  . In addition, the fruit can help protect your liver when you are suffering from jaundice  .
When To Eat And How Much To Consume
The best time to eat pomegranate is in the morning after drinking a glass of water. However, you can have it as an evening snack or after meals. According to the Unites States Department of Agriculture, the daily recommended amount is 2 cups of pomegranate per day.
Ways To Eat Pomegranate
- You can consume pomegranate in the form of juice or smoothie.
- Sprinkle pomegranate in your oatmeal or in your fruit and vegetable salads.
- Use it as a topping in your plain or flavoured yogurt.
- Prepare a yogurt parfait with pomegranate seeds, berries and granola.
- While sautéing chicken breasts you can sprinkle pomegranate seeds for sweetness.
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