3 Life-Saving Benefits of Pomegranates
I love pomegranates, in spite of their difficulty to eat. Their delicious juicy-sweet-tart gel-wrapped seeds taste good eaten plain or thrown in salads or with other fruit.
Pomegranates are actually classified as berries, as they have hundreds of juice wrapped seeds called arils inside of their somewhat tough skin.
Pomegranates possess some very powerful unique antioxidants called punicalagins. These are contained in the juice and also the peel of the pomegranate, with the majority of the phenolic compounds located in the peel and the pericarp (the membrane that divides the seeds).
Pomegranates are considered to have three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea. What’s more, pomegranates surpass grape juice, cranberry juice, and acai juice for antioxidant power.
Pomegranates powerful antioxidants that combat oxidative stress from free radicals and protect against heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even dementia. Pomegranates also contain a type of fatty acid or oil, called punicic acid, which is actually a type of conjugated linoleic acid that also has powerful properties as well.
1. Cancer Fighting
A pomegranate has anti-inflammatory effects that can protect against cancer and other chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and even dementia. In fact, two recent studies have looked at the effects of a pomegranate extract on cancer stem cells.
The first study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, showed the effectiveness of pomegranate on colon cancer cells, and the second study published in the journal of Nutrition and Cancer, evaluated pomegranate extract for its ability to negatively alter breast cancer stem cells and prevent their proliferation.
Pomegranate possesses anti-angiogenic properties, meaning it can prevent growing tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger—basically starving the tumors.
Pomegranate is one of the few foods that contain a natural aromatase inhibitor that helps inhibit estrogen production, reducing breast cancer risk and slowing the negative effect of xenoestrogens (artificial estrogens) we get from our environment, which disrupt our hormones—in both men and women.
2. Guards against Heart Disease
Pomegranate’s amazing array of antioxidants help to reduce LDL oxidation (the process where LDL cholesterol builds up in the arteries), by reducing inflammation. Laboratory and clinical studies show amazing benefits to slowing or stopping heart disease. It is believed this is accomplished through pomegranate’s ability to reduce oxidative stress, support the process of creating nitric oxide, which helps to relax and open up the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure, and reducing inflammation.
In one study of patients with severe carotid artery blockages, after one ounce of pomegranate juice daily, there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. By contrast, the participants in the control group, who did not take the pomegranate juice, had an increase in atherosclerotic plaque by 9 percent!
3. Lowers Blood Sugar and Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes and heart disease are often tied together, and pomegranate helps protect against both chronic health issues. Pomegranate’s powerful properties can actually help to lower blood sugar immediately after a meal, according to one study from Australia. This suggests that pomegranates must block the breakdown of sugar and carbohydrates into glucose somehow. This action affects the post-meal blood sugar spike, and helps reduce the need for insulin in diabetics.
In addition, since pomegranate is effective at protecting against the damage from oxidative stress, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart disease—all things which accompany diabetes, pomegranate is a double-edge sword to help battle diabetes.
Pomegranate offers a variety of protective benefits for people with diabetes, from preventing damaging high blood sugar levels to protecting the heart against the potentially devastating cardiovascular consequences of diabetes.
Pomegranate’s antioxidant activity is also valuable to help prevent osteoarthritis, slow Alzheimer’s, preserve dental health, protect the skin, and detox the liver.
Pomegranate is one of nature’s best sources of powerful antioxidants, and research continues to accumulate on its outstanding benefits. This once-exotic fruit is inexpensive, and easy to find and goes a long way towards protecting your valuable health.
It’s best to eat the fruit in its original form as opposed to a sweetened processed juice, but you can also find 100% pomegranate juice—just read the labels. This is where you will get the most value from this fantastic fruit.
Mike’s note: Keep in mind that pomegranate juice is high in sugar, so what I personally do is add about 2 cups of pomegranate juice to an entire gallon of unsweetened iced tea… that way, in each glass of iced tea, you’ll only get a few grams of sugar from the pomegranate juice, but over the course of a couple days, you’ll have consumed a decent amount of antioxidants from pomegranate, without the surge of sugar all at once. I add this pomegranate juice to our unsweetened iced tea several times a month so that I’m always getting low levels of the beneficial nutrients in pomegranates without the excess sugar bombs.
Removing and eating the edible arils from a pomegranate is not that difficult. You can either peel back the skin and remove them or try cutting the whole fruit in half and turning it inside out.
Pomegranates appear in many grocery stores mostly from October through February. Be sure to purchase a few and enjoy them on salads, in smoothies, on main dishes, or just eaten out of hand. You will love their juicy, tart, sweet taste!
If you enjoy eating healthy foods that add value to the quality of your life such as pomegranates and all the other wonderful tasting foods that we write about on this blog you are going to LOVE our diabetic-friendly nutritional guide- Click on the following link so you can learn more about this and discover the 1 Simple trick to REVERSE your type 2 Diabetes (This also helps get rid of stubborn belly fat too!)
Here’s another article about pomegranates that you might find interesting in regards to beauty: