Pomegranates are loaded with nutrients required for optimal health. The reason being their benefits – which are pretty impressive. Like, say, the various antioxidants in them that protect the heart and prevent cancer. And also..well..we aren’t telling you everything here!
Also called grenade in French, raman in Arabic, and anaar in Hindi, pomegranate is both delicious and nutritious. To know more, just keep reading.
How Do Pomegranates Benefit You?
Pomegranates For Skin
Being rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, pomegranates can help delay the signs of aging. These antioxidants also fight skin inflammation and treat acne breakouts and dark spots. They also naturally brighten the skin.
1. Boost Skin Health
Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, a nutrient quite important for skin health. They are also packed with antioxidants like proanthocyanidins and flavonoids that work great for the skin by delaying the signs of aging (like wrinkles).
You can take 2 tablespoons of pomegranate peel powder and add to it 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice and honey. Mix well to form a smooth paste. Apply this to your face and neck and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water. This face pack can remove dark spots and treat pigmentation and even brighten the skin naturally. It also has anti-aging effects.
|As per a study by The University of Michigan Medical School, pomegranate seeds can facilitate skin repair by promoting the regeneration of the epidermis (1).|
2. Treat Several Skin Issues
The antioxidants in pomegranate seeds/powder combat acne breakouts and the resultant inflammation. A face pack consisting of 2 tablespoons of crushed pomegranate seeds and 1 tablespoon of turmeric can work wonders. You just need to apply it to the affected areas and wash with cold water after 15 minutes.
Application of pomegranate seed oil is known to help cure eczema and psoriasis. And pomegranate leaves might also help manage vitiligo – some sources say mixing crushed pomegranate leaves with water and drinking it can help ease the condition. We need more research here, though.
Pomegranates can also boost the skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun, and this can be helpful in treating melasma. Eating a pomegranate daily can also help treat rosacea, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit – which inhibits the inflammatory activity of human mast cells.
Pomegranates For Hair
The powerful antioxidants in pomegranates strengthen the hair follicles and improve circulation to the scalp. The seed oil has been known to be an effective treatment for frizzy, kinky, and entangled hair.
3. Improve Hair Health
Eating pomegranate seeds can help strengthen the hair follicles. Because the seeds, and especially the seed oil, contain punicic acid – an ingredient that makes the hair strong. It also is known to improve circulation to the hair scalp and stimulate hair growth.
The oil can also be used in hot oil treatments for smoothing frizzy hair and conditioning kinky, curly and wavy hair – the oil also detangles your hair and moisturizes the hair shaft.
Pomegranate seed paste might also reverse graying.
Pomegranates For Health
Being antioxidant-rich, pomegranates boost heart health by lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They also possess anticancer and anti-diabetic properties. While the fiber in them improves digestive health and helps in weight loss, other antioxidants fight inflammation, cancer, and arthritis.
4. Pomegranate Seeds Can Boost Heart Health
Eating pomegranate seeds can boost heart health as well. The powerful antioxidants in the fruit increase the activity of the good cholesterol and break down the harmfully oxidized lipids – thereby cutting the risk of atherosclerosis (2).
The fruit (and especially the leaf extract) was also found to reduce serum cholesterol levels (3). In another study, cells treated with pomegranates suffered less stress-induced damage. The study concludes by stating how pomegranates can help improve clogged arteries (4).
The seeds also lower blood pressure levels. They not only improve the blood flow to the cardiovascular system but also reduce high blood pressure and treat inflammation.
5. Pomegranates Cut Cancer Risk
Pomegranates have been found to cut the risk of prostate cancer. Though more research is warranted, this is an encouraging step in the right direction.
The anticancer properties of pomegranate seeds can be attributed to certain components called ellagitannins that prevent cancer cell proliferation and also induce cell death. They also help prevent skin cancer (5). Pomegranate seeds were also found to have chemopreventive effects against cancers of the colon and lungs (6).
Pomegranate extracts also help cut the blood supply to tumors, thereby starving them and making them smaller (7).
6. Aid Diabetes Treatment
Studies have shown that the sugars in pomegranates had no negative impact on diabetes parameters. They were also found to cut the risk of diabetes-related atherosclerosis (8).
Some other important compounds in pomegranates like ellagic, gallic, and ursolic acids, were found to have anti-diabetic properties. The sugars in the seeds also possess unique antioxidant polyphenols that can help prevent type 2 diabetes (9).
7. Pomegranate Seeds Can Help Fight Inflammation
Eating pomegranate seeds can help fight inflammation and the related inflammatory disorders. Studies have shown that the consumption of pomegranates can reduce inflammation and the oxidative damage caused by free radicals (10).
This anti-inflammatory property of pomegranates is further beneficial for individuals suffering from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. There is evidence showing how pomegranates can reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by decreasing the tenderness of and the pain in the joints, suppressing inflammation, and inhibiting the production of a cartilage-destroying enzyme (11).
Pomegranates might also help fight gout by helping reduce excess uric acid. However, we need more information on this.
8. Pomegranates Strengthen Teeth
Recent studies have proven that pomegranates work wonderfully well in strengthening the gums and fastening loose teeth. They are also effective against oral bacteria as they possess antimicrobial properties. Research has found that pomegranate seeds can have a positive effect on dental plaque microorganisms (12).
In another study, a gel made from the fruit was found to be effective in treating gingivitis (13).
9. Pomegranate Seeds Boost Digestive Health
Pomegranate seeds boost digestive health as they have B-complex vitamins. These vitamins help your body convert fat, protein, and carbohydrates into energy. The seeds also contain fiber, another essential nutrient for digestion. This fiber prevents and treats constipation as well.
And given the anti-inflammatory properties, the seeds can treat other gastrointestinal issues like ulcerative colitis (14).
But please keep in mind that pomegranate is an acidic food (has a pH of 3), and it can aggravate certain digestive problems like heartburn, acid reflux, or even GERD (and stomach and mouth ulcers as well). Hence, check with your doctor in this regard.
10. Promote Weight Loss
Evidence states that pomegranates have been used in numerous instances to promote weight loss. And this can be attributed to the fiber in the fruits.
Studies also show how pomegranate seeds can play a preventive role in obesity (15). The seeds, and especially the pomegranate leaf extract, were found to induce fat loss. This can be a positive step towards healthy weight loss (16).
11. Pomegranate Seeds Strengthen The Immune System
The powerful antioxidants in pomegranate seeds strengthen the immune system. Studies show how they can effectively combat bacteria and viruses that otherwise affect human health (17).
And not just that, pomegranates also help treat several other ailments associated with a weakened immune system. One preliminary study (we need more information, though) talks about how pomegranate might help treat obstructive pulmonary disease (18). Though the fruit hadn’t improved the effects of the drugs, there is hope. It might also heal other respiratory ailments like bronchitis and throat infection (studies are being conducted on this).
Since pomegranate is rich in nutrients, it helps combat fatigue and exhaustion. It is rich in iron and improves blood health. And it also helps maintain a normal platelet count, which is crucial for recovery from diseases like dengue and malaria. Pomegranate also reduces liver injury associated with malaria.
|According to one Saudi Arabian study, pomegranates can reduce liver injury often associated with severe malaria (19).|
Some sources say it might also aid typhoid treatment, but we don’t know that for sure yet.
12. Are Beneficial During Pregnancy
Consuming pomegranates during pregnancy, as per studies, can lower the risk of injury to the placenta. The antioxidants in them protect the placenta from damage by free radicals. And given they are also rich in folate, they can boost your health during pregnancy and prevent birth defects.
Pomegranate seeds can also reduce brain damage in the newborn. But do talk to your doctor about this once – as pomegranate extracts were found to cause uterine contractions in pregnant women. Eating them could be the best way to avail their benefits.
Giving pomegranates to women with high-risk pregnancies late in their first trimester can help them have healthier babies (20). And pomegranates also work well for new mothers – they increase the production of breast milk, according to some sources. They also work as a great blood purifier.
Though evidence is limited, pomegranates might also treat infertility in women.
13. Pomegranates Can Improve Menstrual Health
Preliminary studies have confirmed that pomegranates can help with menstrual irregularity. They can also trigger uterine contractions and, in a way, boost uterine health. But we need more studies to confirm this.
And since pomegranates are rich in fiber, they can also aid the treatment of yeast infection. They kill the responsible fungi and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. Irregular periods can also be due to anemia – and since pomegranates are rich in iron, they can treat this issue.
14. Pomegranates Can Treat Erectile Dysfunction
One American study had proved that pomegranates could treat mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (21).
They were also found to improve male fertility.
15. Treat Kidney Stones
Pomegranates can improve kidney function and flush stones and other toxins from your system. They also lower the acidity levels of urine – and this plays a role in cutting the risk of potential kidney stones in the future.
They are also rich in antioxidants – which help prevent bacteria from latching onto the walls of the urinary bladder. This helps ward off urinary tract infections. And the vitamin C in them boosts immunity and helps fight such infections.
16. Can Prevent Fatty Liver Disease
Pomegranate seeds reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, and, as a result, help fight fatty liver disease. Regular consumption of pomegranates was found to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (22).
They have also been found to protect the liver in the case of jaundice (23).
17. Other Possible Benefits
Though we have information from some sources, there is very less research on these. Pomegranates might boost thyroid health, improve vision, treat migraines and varicose veins, and enhance sleep quality.
But we suggest you talk to your doctor before using pomegranates for any of these benefits.
That’s with the benefits. But wait – there must be an ideal dose, right?
What Is The Recommended Daily Allowance Of Pomegranate Seeds?
Though there is no strict dosage as such, you can eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the seeds on a daily basis.
But why should you even eat the seeds on a daily basis? Because of their rich nutritional profile.
What Are The Most Important Nutrients In Pomegranate Seeds?
Just one cup of pomegranate seeds contains 7 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein (and 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories). It also contains 18 grams of vitamin C (30% of the RDA) and 29 micrograms of vitamin K (36% of the RDA). It also contains 16% of the RDA of folate and 12% of the RDA of potassium.
Juicy and delicious, pomegranates are simple to eat and also offer optimum nutrition. Include them in your diet today.
And tell us how this post has helped you. Simply leave a comment below.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How long can you store pomegranate seeds in the fridge?
While the whole fruit can be refrigerated for up to 2 months, the fresh seeds can stay in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
What is the best time to eat pomegranate seeds?
In the morning, after taking a glass of water.
How can you tell if a pomegranate is bad?
The pith around each seed must be white, and the seeds must be bright red. If the pith is brownish, the fruit is bad.
What are pomegranate molasses?
It is a simple ingredient made from pomegranates. It is nothing but pomegranate juice that has been reduced to a thick syrup (with or without sugar).
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