Believed to have originated in Iran as early as 3000 B.C., and then brought to Egypt in 1600 B.C., pomegranates were revered as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. It’s evident through their depictions in Egyptian paintings and tombs how much pomegranates were held in high esteem, and regarded as an important food source.
Over the decades, pomegranates have been regarded as jeweled fruits with high medicinal value, especially in the middle and Far East regions. They are often used to treat digestive problems, but they offer so much more in the way of benefits for your health.
Nutritional Profile Of Pomegranates
Scientific studies show that one pomegranate contains three times the amount of antioxidants found in green tea and red wine. In addition, the juice of one fruit contains more antioxidants than the juices of blueberries and grapes.
It’s this high amount of antioxidants, like ellagic acid and anthocyanin that make pomegranate juice great at protecting against heart diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, as well as many types of cancer.
One of the most abundant types of antioxidants found in pomegranate juice and the peel is punicalagins, which is responsible for more than half of the antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates contain nearly 40% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C.
Vitamins A and E
They are also rich in vitamins A and E, making them an abundant source of anti-inflammatory properties and immune-boosting nutrients.
Pomegranates also provide a slew of minerals, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin, folate, and riboflavin
Yes, you get fiber from these ruby red gems too!
They’re also rich infer punicic acid, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid from the omega family, known for its ability to regenerate and reproduce cells.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
1. Improves Heart Health
Drinking pomegranate juice on a regular basis improves blood flow and has the ability to make blood thinner. This helps keep arteries clear of clots, thus reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Heart disease is a complicated disease, and sadly enough, is one of the most common causes of premature death in the United States and many parts of the world for both men and women.
Luckily, punicic acid found in pomegranates is the main fatty acid in the jeweled fruit and has been proven to significantly reduce LDL, the “bad” cholesterol levels and improve HDL levels. It also lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease.
2. Keeps Blood Sugar Levels in Check
Even though pomegranate juice contains fructose, which is simply fruit sugar, it doesn’t have any negative effects on blood sugar levels, as other types of juices do. Diabetic patients can drink it without having to worry about their blood sugar levels.
As a plus, pomegranate juice can reduce the risk of various coronary diseases. In addition, it reduces the hardening of the arteries, lowering the risk of various heart diseases.
3. Maintains Blood Pressure
Pomegranates are a natural aspirin, which prevent blood from coagulating or forming blood clots. They also act as a blood thinner which allows for good blood flow through the body.
The red juice excretes free radicals and helps limit the development of cancer cells and other diseases. Since it’s rich in antioxidants, it helps stimulate white blood cells to neutralize toxins in the body which promote a strong, healthy immune system.
4. Helps the Digestive System And Curbs Hunger
Pomegranate juice has the ability to help the digestive system function normally because of its high amount of dietary fiber, which helps improve digestion, as well as regulating bowel movements. A great way to treat digestion problems, such as diarrhea and dysentery, pomegranate juice plays an important role in the secretion of enzymes, which help the digestive system function properly.
It can also soothe urinary tract infections. This ruby red juice can control thirst, making it great for those hot, summer days. Moreover, as an added bonus, pomegranate juice can help curb your hunger because of its high fiber intake. In addition, since it has no cholesterol or saturated fats, it’s highly recommended for those who want to shed any extra, stubborn pounds.
5. Boosts The Immune System
Since pomegranate juice has such potent antimicrobial properties, it goes a long way in terms of boosting the immune system.
Moreover, it has the power to ward off microbes and helps decrease the presence of microbes in the mouth that are responsible for cavities and staph infections. This means it does a fantastic job of reducing dental plaque and protects you from various oral diseases.
In addition, pomegranate juice contains a large amount of iron, which helps in restoring the body from any red blood cell deficiency in the body.
6. Helps Regenerate Cartilage
Acting as an inhibitor on the enzymes responsible for causing damage to the cartilage, pomegranate juice is often recommended for patients suffering from chronic conditions, like osteoarthritis, which is characterized by the breaking down of cartilage in the joints. It helps reduce deterioration of the cartilage, and since it’s an anti-inflammatory, it helps relieve symptoms of arthritis and bone inflammation.
7. Beneficial During Prenatal Care
Being a terrific source of an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, which is essential for a healthy prenatal diet, it’s considered an essential part of any pregnant woman’s diet.
Pomegranate juice maintains a healthy blood flow through the body, and of course, to the fetus to ensure its healthy development. This juice is also high in potassium, which can help prevent and ease leg cramps usually associated with pregnancy.
8. Reduces The Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease
The polyphenol known as punicalagin is the most abundant antioxidant in pomegranates, and it is what gives pomegranates their anti-inflammatory powers.
One of its attributes is that it lowers the presence of a specific type of plaque, called amyloid plaque, which builds up between brain’s nerve cells and causes Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice has been proven to enhance cognitive functions in general and enhance overall mental performance.
9. Safeguards Against Cancer
Many studies have been carried out on the components of pomegranate juice and their ability to weaken the chemical signals in the cells, which help in promoting various types of cancer. Moreover, while pomegranates may not be the only cancer-fighting foods out there, they are certainly one of the most capable of killing off and preventing cancer cells from spreading.
While the pomegranate may be the fruit that has it all, there are still some precautions you must be aware of before making it a part of your diet.
- It’s best to avoid drinking pomegranate juice if you’re suffering from a cold, flu, cough, constipation, or if you have a phlegm condition.
- If you’re taking any medication that lowers blood pressure, try to reduce your intake of pomegranate juice since it has antioxidants that lower the blood pressure. Therefore, if combined, they could lead to a condition called hypotension, where your blood pressure becomes dangerously low.
- Pomegranates can also interfere with other types of medications, such as those prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels, antidepressants, narcotic pain relievers, and AIDS medications. Ask your doctor before using.
The health benefits you get from eating pomegranates and drinking their juice, especially freshly squeezed pomegranate juice are unmatched. So much so that they’ll make you forget all that hassle you have to go through to fish out those red beads behind the peel to make a glass of this bright red, tangy, and smooth juice.