A quick visit to any fruit market is likely to reward you with the sight of lush red fruits with a little crown on top. Of course, we talk of pomegranate, one of the tastiest and most beneficially versatile fruits known to man. From pomegranate juice benefits for skin products to reduce erectile dysfunction, the use of pomegranate is diverse. The sweet and slightly sour taste that most varieties of pomegranates have makes it delightful.
The fruit juice obtained from pomegranate is somewhat sourer due to a lower pH. Biologically speaking, the pomegranate is a fruit of the berry type, with the entire pulp and seeds originating from a single flower.
Origins and Popularity Of Pomegranate
The king of fruits originated from the Asian region, including the area between modern-day Iran and India’s northern parts. It is popularly cultivated in most Middle Eastern countries and the Mediterranean basin and northern plains of India. It came into West America during the 18th century. Since then the fruit was domesticated and farmed well in the region between California and Arizona.
Currently, the fruit is an integral part of Iranian cuisine. They extensively use it to treat many of their prevalent diseases. Pomegranate fruit and dried seeds in the form of Anar Dana are popularly used in Indian cuisine while making curries, chutneys, and other popular dishes. In other middle easter countries along with Turkey, pomegranate sauces do the magic. Syrups made from pomegranate are also a popular delicacy in these countries. Apart from its role in many of the Middle Eastern and South-east Asian cuisines, pomegranate also finds extensive mentions in the Indian system of traditional medicine, known as Ayurveda. The fruit is described as part of many of Ayurveda’s popular remedies due to its nutritional values.
Benefits of Using Pomegranate
As discussed above, pomegranate finds extensive use as an ingredient in many cuisines from across the world. It is a popular fruit across many regions and is widely consumed. We will now look at some of the pomegranate juice benefits that make its consumption highly beneficial.
Pomegranates Are Super Foods
Before we dive into pomegranates’ role as a superfood, let us understand what a superfood is. To-do things, it is essential to understand the concept of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of the various wear and tear processes that our body goes through daily. These free radicals are responsible for the gradual degeneration and aging of our bodies. Antioxidants, however, help to counteract this phenomenon, as they neutralize the free radicals, or at least minimize their effect on our body. Thus, certain foods that are rich in antioxidants are referred to as superfoods.
Now pomegranate falls right into this category. The fruit comes with essential vitamins and rich in antioxidants. The pomegranate properties have prompted its use in traditional forms of medicine across the world, including Ayurveda. The fruit can cure common ailments, including hemorrhoids, stomach upsets, and hot flashes of menopausal women. It reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients and significantly boosts our immune system.
Pomegranate also has an excellent effect on the cardiovascular system, as it lowers cholesterol levels, thus, reducing the chances of cardiac diseases such as heart attacks. Pomegranate juice is also commonly used as a famous cleansing agent, as it helps remove toxins from the body, thus helping you stay refreshed and rejuvenated. The numerous health pomegranate juice benefits make it a superfood that one should consume as much as possible.
Apart from the general Pomegranate juice benefits, there are specific beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system that need to be addressed separately. As mentioned earlier, pomegranate lowers cholesterol levels and has high antioxidant content. These two factors combined ensure that pomegranate’s regular consumption reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by a significant margin.
This benefit of pomegranate has been widely covered in many published research papers and medical journals, with reports claiming that pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant content than popular antioxidant-rich foods such as green tea and blueberry. Its role in lowering hypertension also indirectly benefits the cardiovascular system since it reduces the heart’s load.
Highly Beneficial for Prostate Cancer and Diabetes
Diabetes is perhaps one of the most prominent life-limiting diseases at the moment, matched only by cancer. Luckily, pomegranate has beneficial effects for patients of both diseases. Diabetic patients require continuous sugar monitoring and have a limited sugar intake to maintain their blood sugar levels. Pomegranates help diabetic patients in two ways. Firstly pomegranate has the right concentration of sugar, making it an alternative to traditional sugar in food items.
Pomegranate sugar is not like free sugar that cannot break down or contribute to blood sugar levels. Instead, it remains in bound form with pomegranate antioxidants, ensuring it gets absorbed slowly. Thus, it makes sure there is no sudden spike in blood sugar levels. The second way in which pomegranate helps diabetic patients is through its antioxidant effects. Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants. It has been reported that these antioxidants prevent the uptake of bad LDL cholesterol, which is a high precipitating factor for one of the most dangerous manifestations of diabetes, namely atherosclerosis.
Pomegranate is effective for prostate cancer patients. It prevents prostate cancer’s metastasis to other parts of the body. The process reduces the spread of the disease in other parts of the body.
Great for Making Wine
Pomegranate has a distinct sweet and sour flavor that provides a unique taste different from most fruits. This unique taste has also made it one of the popular choices for making wine. Pomegranate wines have a distinct taste and aroma, becoming more and more popular among the consumer wine market and the high-end wine market. Many of the most popular Middle Eastern wine exporters opt to go with pomegranate wine rather than the traditional grape wine.
The sweet and sour combination of flavors that most pomegranate wines come with is crucial behind its popularity in the wine market. This trend has migrated from the Middle East to Western countries. Many wine producers in the California and Napa valley of western America are trying out pomegranate wines in their wine markets.
Varieties, Varieties, and More Varieties
Pomegranates have multiple sub-varieties, which come with their characteristics and slightly different tastes and flavors. This makes them one of the most different fruits in the market. Some of these different varieties result from natural evolution, whereas some are made by genetic manipulation, giving them beneficial properties. Considering only Israel, one of the significant pomegranate exporters of the Middle East, one can come across as many as three different and distinct varieties of pomegranate.
Some newer types have a brighter color, making them more appealing and more comfortable to sell, whereas others are tastier with a more definite and more distinct taste. Some varieties mature and ripen quicker, helping farmers bring them to the market early into the pomegranate season, allowing customers to enjoy the royal fruit for a longer duration every year. The diversity is one of the most significant Pomegranate juice benefits.
Pomegranate juice benefits for skin aging
One of the well-documented pomegranate juice benefits has been its anti-aging properties. It has been used for a long time in various treatments for longevity and giving a younger and youthful look. The Chinese first started using the bright red colored fruit in their traditional remedies to keep people fresh and rejuvenated. The modern-day cosmetic industry has adapted this anti-aging property of pomegranate juice based on antioxidants’ property, which the fruit is rich in. Pomegranate extracts help create creams and lotions for several brands across the world. These are perfect for topical application to look glowing and keep wrinkles at bay.
The component of pomegranate extract that is most useful in this regard is punicic acid. It contains a relatively rare omega five fatty acids of the conjugated type. It has the remarkable properties of maintaining skin elasticity and skin tone, thus providing a younger look. The most damage that our skin faces daily is via the harmful effects of UV rays, which is a potent source of free radicals. The antioxidant feature of pomegranate extract helps to protect our skin against this. Apart from the cosmetic industry, pomegranate extract tastes amazing in numerous food products and drinks.
Snacking is something that all of us engage in every day. Snacking often involves consuming unhealthy fast foods that lack nutritional value and have high carbohydrates and saturated fats. Pomegranates offer a healthy alternative to snacking with typical fast foods. It’s a tangy and sweet flavor, and small berry-like consistency makes it the ideal fruit to snack with. The numerous health benefits which it provides, along with a healthy dose of natural fruit fibers, make it a perfect candidate for your favorite snack.
Great For Patients With Arthritis
One of the relatively newly discovered benefits of pomegranate is its preventive action for those who have arthritis. Arthritis happens due to the enzymatic breakdown of the cartilages in numerous joints of the body. Pomegranate contains natural antioxidants that prevent this enzyme induced breakdown of the cartilages, thus preventing and slowing down cartilage breakdown. This provides relief to arthritis patients and acts as a preventive measure in the disease’s initial stages.
Acts as Oxygen Promoter
Another physiological benefit which pomegranate provides is by acting as an oxygen mask. This is yet another attribute of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help reduce blood clot occurrences and lowers cholesterol. It promotes a healthy flow of blood by acting as a thinner of blood. Thinning of blood and free flow maintenance ensures higher amounts of oxygen supplied to different parts of the body. Further, it lowers ischemia and body ache incidences in the different parts.
Pomegranate juice benefits for men
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common sexual ailments that males suffer from. Erection depends mainly on sufficient blood flow to the penis on stimulus. Erectile dysfunction happens due to reduced blood flow into the penile artery. Pomegranate antioxidants help thin blood and improve its flow. Thus, the process reduces erectile dysfunction caused by the lows flow of blood to the penis.
High Nutritious Value
We have talked about the health-improving components of pomegranate above. However, pomegranate is a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients from the nutritional standpoint alone. One cup of pomegranate seeds can supply up to 150 calories and 24 grams of sugar. It is rich in vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. It is also a storehouse of good fruit fibers that improve bowel movement. One cup of pomegranate seeds also contains 7gm of protein. All of these nutrients make it one of the most nutrient-rich fruits in the market.
Great For Memory
As confirmed by multiple clinical trials, those regularly taking pomegranate juice have improved visual and verbal memory. It is also a great option to give to those suffering from memory impairment diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Pomegranate is a highly nutritious superfood, rich with nutrients and packed with antioxidants. There is immense goodness in drinking pomegranate juice on an empty stomach. You must try adding this to your diet and see your body’s changes in a few days.