Tis the season of pomegranates, and thank goodness for that! This sweet, cherry-red fruit is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other crucial phytonutrients that make it an incredible superfood. The health benefits of pomegranate far outweigh that of both the blueberry and acai berry (that doesn’t go to say you shouldn’t eat those fruits – pomegranate is just boss as kicking them in the butt, antioxidant-wise!).
Pomegranates offer multiple surprising health benefits, ranging from cancer prevention to memory enhancement. They can be eaten whole, or blended into smoothies or pressed into juices. They are a wonderful addition to salads and sprinkled on top of porridge. They are, without a doubt, one tasty miracle fruit!
1. High in Iron
Pomegranate is a pretty good source of iron, an essential mineral used to transport oxygen all over the body. Even a slight iron deficiency can cause anemia (fatigue/weakness), so loading up on iron-rich foods is crucial for healthy blood!
2. Anti-Cancer Benefits
Pomegranates are renowned for their incredible anti-cancer effects. The extracts from pomegranate have the ability to reduce blood supply to tumour cells, starving them, and thus slowing down cancer cell reproduction.
3. Improves Skin Quality
Pomegranate is rich in tannins, which naturally help tighten and tone the skin. The fatty acids (from the seeds) and antioxidants in the juicy fruit help strengthen outer epidermal layers while repairing deep dermal layers. Pomegranates also stimulate collagen production, provide protection from the sun and prevent and smooth wrinkles.
4. Protect Against Osteoarthritis
Studies have shown that pomegranate fruit extracts have the ability to block enzymes that degrade cartilage in diseases like osteoarthritis.
5. High in Vitamin C and Potassium
Pomegranates are a great source of vitamin C (just one pomegranate contains 50% of your RDA of vitamin C!), which is essential for strengthening the immune system, and preventing prenatal health problems and cardiovascular disease. They are also an incredible source of potassium, which is necessary for the heart, kidneys and other organs to work properly.
6. Help Fight Nausea and Morning Sickness
Pomegranates are soothing to the stomach, and help reduce nausea and morning sickness. For best results, drink diluted pomegranate juice in the morning (especially for nauseated pregnant mumma’s out there!)
7. Dental Protection
These fruits help heal tooth and gum disorders, and some studies have even found pomegranate to be an effective mouth rinse to protect against dental plaque microorganisms. Forget the fluoride-infused mint mouthwash, just eat pomegranate!
8. Potent Anti-Inflammatory
Looking for a natural anti-inflammatory? You may want to start eating more pomegranate. Studies have shown that pomegranate extracts inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which play a large role in the inflammatory response, and can offer relief for those experiencing chronic inflammation.
Pomegranate, dubbed the “elixir of youth,” is loaded with antioxidants that help prevent and reverse aging by destroying free radicals. Free radicals normally destroy DNA, and make us age faster – so make sure you load up on pomegranate this season to help feel and look your youthful best!
10. Destroy Intestinal Worms
This anti-parasitic fruit is great for keeping out and destroying any parasitic worms. Drinking freshly juiced pomegranate juice everyday will pretty much eliminate tapeworms.
11. Soothe Stomachaches
The seeds of the pomegranate provide plenty of relief from stomach aches. A great mixture is juicing pomegranate with ginger and lemon and sipping on this until the pain fades away!
12. Useful for Curing Fevers
Pomegranate has been used by some individuals to help reduce fever, usually because it helps quench our thirst, and also helps lower blood pressure, relieving the agonizing heat often felt when we are flushed.
13. Lowers Cholesterol
The fruit of the pomegranate helps block, or slow, the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries when you have elevated fat levels in the blood. The antioxidant content in pomegranate also helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad”) cholesterol.
14. Lowers Blood Pressure
Some studies have found that drinking only 50ml (around 1/4 cup) of pomegranate juice daily for up to 1 year can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure by 5-21%. Pomegranates have also been shown to help keep clear up a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries of the neck (carotid arteries).
15. Improves Erectile Dysfunction
What do pomegranates have to do anything with erectile dysfunction? To start, it clears out your arteries, helping improve blood flow to the genitals. In addition, it boosts nitric oxide levels, which helps dilate blood vessels, and reduce blood pressure, all of which improve erectile dysfunction.
16. Helps Improve Memory
Thanks to their high antioxidant content, pomegranates also help improve our memory. In fact, individuals who consumed 8 ounces of pomegranate juice every day for four weeks found “significant improvement” in their verbal memory tests, as well as increased brain activity during memory and verbal testing.
17. Immune System Booster
As we have seen, pomegranates are loaded with immune boosting vitamin C and other antioxidants (like vitamin E), keeping our bodies clear of pathogenic viruses and bacteria.
18. Great for Pregnant Women
Pomegranate juice may help protect the neonatal brain, according to some studies. Expectant mothers who are at risk for premature birth may have a chance to save their babies brains by drinking pomegranate juice (the juice has the ability to prevent reduced blood flow and low oxygen levels to the brain).
Ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as an aphrodisiac, and some even say that the forbidden fruit of the Bible was not an apple, but a pomegranate! Drinking pomegranate juice can also lower cortisol levels, which corresponds to increased testosterone in women and men, thus leading to heightened sexual desire.
20. Potential To Reduce PSA Levels
Pomegranate juice may slow the growth of prostate cancer, according to a study that found that drinking pomegranate juice extract significantly slows the rate at which PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels rise.