11 Proven Health Benefits of Pomegranate

(Last Updated On: August 30, 2018)

Pomegranates are not a well-known fruit but they should be a rising star on the health scene. They have so many wonderful health benefits and they carry an extra bonus! They taste really sweet and like it was mentioned before they are really good for you. Did you know this mysterious fact? Pomegranates are not just touted but they have been revered as a healthy fruit by many cultures for thousands of years. It is one thing to be honored but to be revered puts pomegranates in a world by themselves. Each fruit contains edible pips and juice. Which means you can eat it, blend it, and  drink it as a juice. It can be blended and juiced into a powerful drink. One glass of pomegranate juice contains more antioxidants than wine, green tea and blueberries and it is a top choice for those who are after health, vitality, and beauty.

1. Blood Pressure Reducer

Hypertension or blood pressure is a leading cause for heart attacks and strokes. Pomegranates can help you avoid  both of those harmful healthy conditions. Pomegranates contain a bounty of powerful antioxidants which improve and strengthen the arteries and will present the blood from clotting. Blood clotting can be fatal if left unchecked. Regularly drinking pomegranate juice will improve the flow of vital oxygen to the heart. This will add extra life to the blood pumping organ.

2. Nutrient Rich

Pomegranates have an impressive resume of nutrients including fiber, protein, carbohydrates, Vitamins C and K as well as potassium and folate. This rich combination will both help you to feel fuller longer and you will be offering the body the most nutritious and satisfying health kick you can give it. Pomegranates promote bone, heart, brain and blood health significantly in just a one cup pomegranate snack!

3. The Dentist will Approve

Pomegranates are loaded with with natural antibacterial and antiviral ingredients

Pomegranates are loaded with with natural antibacterial and antiviral ingredients, which help to prove to break down plaque and may prevent the formation of oral diseases. The anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates may help fight oral yeast infections and reduce swelling of gums and mouth tissue. Keep eating those pomegranates because you will keep the teeth and gums in top form without any negative side effects.

4. Athletic Enhancer

Pomegranates are rich in in dietary nitrates, and combined with their effect of increased blood flow may lead to an increased athletic performance. Before working out drink a glass of pomegranate juice it will give your body a boost in energy, alkalinity and anti-fatigue goodness, giving you a major boost for a greater workout or athletic performance.

5. Say Bye Bye to Heart Disease

It is said that the number one cause of death worldwide is attributed to heart disease. What does this mean for you? You need to be proactive and conscientious in monitoring your heart health. Pomegranates contain punicic acid, which has been proven to protect the heart throughout every stage of developing heart disease. (this seems like a contradictory statement because what good is the punicic acid if you are going to develop heart disease anyway?) Pomegranates, as was mentioned before, is loaded with antioxidants which help to combat any damage done to arteries and has been proven to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. The seed are said to to naturally and gently thin blood, reduces the risk of developing clots, and loosens stiffness in hardened and unhealthy arteries.

6. Fights Harmful Breast and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most life-threatening cancer to men and breast cancer is the most life-threatening cancer for women. Pomegranate juice is able to improve blood health to the extent it increases the level of prostate specific antigens, combatting and stopping the development of prostate cancer significantly. The ability to lower cancer and reduce the risk of death is equally apparent in women. Pomegranate juice may be able to reduce the risk of cancer cells developing in women’s breast cavities. Naturally the pomegranate seeds can help reduce cancer risk in the rest of the body because of its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.

7. Anemia Symptoms Cooled

The painful symptoms of anemia include fatigue, dizziness, weakness and even hearing loss. Pomegranate juice can alleviate these symptoms of anemia. Pomegranate juice contains good levels of iron and other vitamins and minerals which means the blood health can be boosted and restored to top performance. This will improve red blood cell count and it will give your bloodstream the needed iron it really needs to keep the body in optimal shape.

8. Vitamin C Powerhouse

Vitamin C is essential in the maintenance of the immune system

Vitamin C is essential in the maintenance of the immune system. One pomegranate provides 40% of the daily requirement for it; Its potent supply of antioxidants and vitamin C is able to help the immune system battle seasonal colds and flu. It also keeps the skin glowing, healthy-looking as well as youthful in appearance. It kills the signs of aging.

9. Say Goodbye to Bone and Joint Problems

Symptoms of poor bone and joint health include stiffness, swelling and terrible aches and pains but pomegranate juice can reduce these symptoms if it is consumed regularly. Studies have proven that pomegranates can block the manufacture of cartilage destroying enzymes which will preserve the cartilage, joint, and bone. The potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in this fruit and its juice, can reduce swelling and stiffness keeping the bones freely moving and  pain free.     

10. Melt those Layers of Fat

Pomegranates are super-charged with fiber and nutrients and they offer a low dose of calories and they have no fat content. You will feel full and hydrated if you incorporate pomegranates into your daily diet. You will then experience a healthy colon and infuse your body with tons of fiber. Watch the fat melt off.

11. Other Benefits of Pomegranates   

Pomegranates contain unique and awesome antioxidants known as Punicalagins. (is water-soluble and has high bioavailability. They are known to hydrolyze into smaller phenolic compounds such as ellagic acid in vivo where one potential mechanism is hydrolysis across the mitochondrial membrane of cultured human colon cells. It is a highly active carbonic anhydrase inhibitor.) which essentially work to repair cell damage in the body. As basically  mentioned before pomegranates contain 300% more antioxidants than wine and green tea. Both of which have healthy amounts of antioxidants themselves.

Pomegranate Seeds Nutritional Chart

Remember these are the elements found in the seed alone. The rest of the fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients as well.

This is what 87 grams or ½ cup of pomegranate seeds contain:

  • 72 calories
  • 16.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.5 grams protein
  • 1 gram fat
  • 3.5 grams fiber
  • 11.9 grams sugar
  • 14.3 micrograms vitamin K (17.9 percent DV)
  • 8.9 milligrams vitamin C (14.8 percent DV)
  • 33 micrograms folate (8.3 percent DV)
  • 205 milligrams potassium (5.9 percent DV)
  • 0.07 milligram vitamin B6 (3.5 percent DV)
  • 31 milligrams phosphorus (3.1 percent DV)

Bacterial Fighter

Pomegranates contain hundreds of bioactive chemicals which include including ellagic acid, ellagitannins, punicic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, anthocyanins, estrogenic flavonols and flavones, and many others. These seem to be the most therapeutic components found in pomegranates. Historically, pomegranate extracts have been used to treat many conditions including parasitic and microbial infections, diarrhea, ulcers, aphthae, hemorrhage and respiratory complications. According to a study published in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine”. It is suggested that pomegranates may stimulate probiotic bacteria which enhances the pomegranate’s effectiveness in fighting bacterial infections.  

Memory Builder

cognitive benefits. Pomegranates contain a lot of polyphenols in their seeds and juice

It is claimed that studies have discovered that polyphenols help with memory and other cognitive benefits. Pomegranates contain a lot of polyphenols in their seeds and  juice. This implies that pomegranates may help with memory enhancement and other brain functions. One particular study published in the “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” states that pomegranate polyphenols will provide long-lasting protection from heart surgery-related memory deficits. True is is a benefit but is limiting for the majority of the world’s population who will never have heart surgery. The study found that there was an improvement of memory among heart patients who consumed pomegranates scored much higher in various memory domains especially in the long-retention memory domain.

Another study indicated that elderly people were separated into groups. These people had complained of memory loss. One group was given pomegranate juice to consume and the other group was given a flavor-matched placebo drink over a 4 week period. The group who drank the pomegranate juice reported a significant improvement in visual and verbal memory tests compared to the placebo group.

Additionally, animal studies conducted by “the Department of Psychology at Loma Linda University” showed that potentially for humans pomegranates could delay or slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This relationship could be a stretch as the connection between animals and humans with Alzheimer’s disease is hard to understand. The study suggested pomegranates can have neuroprotective benefits as well. These benefits were not elaborated upon. Another animal study related that pomegranate seed extract may prove to be effective in memory and muscular coordination. This could be because of the extract’s anti-oxidative and free scavenging abilities. This may prove to be  beneficial study for human beings. The results found in the animal study are promising.

Practical Recipes Using Pomegranates

Maple Pomegranate Glazed Ham

This is a refreshing dish to bring to any dinner party and the unique angle of using pomegranates in the ham will delight any palate and leave a pleasant long-lasting memory for each dinner guest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in ham (the appropriate size for your family, you can get a 10lb one for 4 with leftovers)
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • seeds from ½ a pomegranate

Instructions:

  • Roast ham in a pan covered with foil at 350 degrees until heated to 140 degrees (refer to package for timing, usually about 15-20 min per pound).
  • Once cooked pour off the juices and allow them to set briefly. Tent the ham with the foil and allow to rest.
  • The fat should begin to rise to the top of the drippings. Depending on the fat level of your ham this could be minimal or quite a bit of fat. Skim off as much fat as desired. If you cook the ham the day before and let the juices rest you can skim the fat off the top when it’s cold very easily.
  • Add juices, pomegranate juice and maple syrup to a medium saucepan and boil on high. Boil for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally with whisk until reduced by half and slightly thickened. It will not look like a syrup while it is boiling it thickens as it cools. Add pomegranate seeds and remove from heat.
  • Carve ham and pour sauce over it. Serve immediately.

Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

This bubbly spritzer will quench any insatiable thirst. It has the unique twist of a pomegranate flavoring.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle prosecco
  • 2 ounces peach schnapps
  • 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces pom juice
  • 1 small bottle mango flavored soda water
  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 fresh pomegranate
  • .5 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  • Add 1 cup of water to a small pan with 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, bring to a boil.
  • Add sugar to boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves.
  • Remove from heat, strain rosemary leaves and set to cool.
  • Clean and de-seed pomegranate. Set seeds aside.
  • Pour Prosecco evenly into 4 cocktail glasses.
  • Add .5 ounces of peach schnapps, .5 ounces rosemary simple syrup, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 ounce pom juice and a splash of mango soda water to each glass and stir.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds to each glass.
  • Allow the pomegranate seeds time to float to the top of the glass and garnish with 1 sprig of rosemary.

Note: (Please Read)

Best if made with chilled prosecco and peach schnapps, or with 1 – 2 ice cubes if needed.

Coconut Rice and Pomegranate Porridge

This is a different take on a recipe as it combines coconut rice with pomegranate porridge this may not be a healthy combination forsome people. This recipe is supposed to be gluten-free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice (equals about 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or cream
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  • First rinse your rice. Usually let it soak for 10 minutes. Prepare rice according to instructions. Adding in 1 tbsp coconut oil and dash of salt while it cooks.
  • Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a bowl. Mix in half your pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, coconut cream, and maple syrup. You can either eat right away or let it cool in fridge. Once you are ready to eat, top with the other 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds and nuts. Add more coconut milk and cinnamon if you want a thinner porridge. Spoon into bowls when ready to eat.
  • Feel free to add in more nuts too! Makes about 3 servings all around 3/4 cup. Or 2 large servings.

Note: This is a breakfast recipe.

One-Pot Slow Cooker Pomegranate & Orange Marinated Pork Chops

Obviously you will need to allow a lot of cooking time for this recipe. It is a sweet combination of orange and pomegranates to spice up any pork chop dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2∕3 cup olive oil
  • 2∕3 cup pomegranate juice (or use orange juice)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • orange zest from 1 orange or 2 small mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 tsp dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 boneless pork chops, ¾ inch thick

Instructions:

  • Stir the broth, oil, juice, garlic, zest, rosemary, salt, and black pepper in bowl. Reserve half the broth mixture. Pour remaining broth mixture into resealable gallon-size plastic bag. Add pork and turn to coat. Seal bag and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • 2. Remove pork from marinade and discard the marinade. Set pot to Stovetop high (if using the ninja cooking system OR use a non-stick pan). Add the pork, in batches, and cook uncovered 5 minutes or until pork is lightly browned on both sides.
  • 3. Pour the reserved broth mixture over pork. Set the slow cooker (or ninja cooking system) to HIGH, cover and cook for 3 hours.

Note: On this particular website it was noted that this recipe was slightly modified from a Ninja Cooking System recipe.

Pulsating Conclusion

pomegranates just may be labeled a superfood

Someday pomegranates just may be labeled a superfood. Antiquity tells us that pomegranates have been revered by ancient cultures as one of nature’s superfoods. It has many health benefits that could include life-saving options. Pomegranates are not expensive and they can be purchased just about anywhere. Pomegranates are also versatile in the sense they can be added to many different types of recipes. They taste fabulous as well! The fruit contains many powerful antioxidant properties which exceed the antioxidant properties of green tea and wine. As mention a couple of times previously these two liquids are known for their potent antioxidant properties. Just think pomegranates exceed them both in the antioxidant department.

 

“This article is due to be re-visited, proofread and updated a maximum of 3 years from its original upload date by Dr. Kimberly Langdon, M.D. All the content and media has been uploaded by Lily Greene our webmaster, who is also is in charge of page design.”

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.