Proven Health Benefits of Pomegranate (Fruit, Juice, Seeds) Based on Scientific Studies

Proven Health Benefits of Pomegranate (Fruit, Juice, Seeds)

Pomegranate is a delicious fruit packed with edible seeds that have many benefits for your health. Consuming pomegranate seeds may also help improve your heart health, reduce pain and inflammation, and help improve digestion. Drinking pomegranate juice is also good if you have diabetes and to improve physical performance.

Many of the health benefits of pomegranates come from the fact that they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Pomegranates also contain important antioxidants that help you resist infection and keep your brain healthy. Also, the anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranate can help protect you against chronic disease.

In this article, you will learn about the many reasons why pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds are good for you.

What Is Pomegranate?

The pomegranate (botanical name, Punica granatum) is a red-colored edible fruit that grows in the Middle East and in countries around the Mediterranean.

Pomegranate fruits grow on trees and have a thick skin and are full of edible seeds surrounded by arils. Pomegranate arils are tiny seed pods and there are about 600 of them in each pomegranate. (1)

The peel of pomegranates is too thick to be eaten. However, pomegranate peel extracts can be made into pomegranate powder and used for their antioxidant properties.

The seeds from the pomegranate fruit are encased in small red-colored sacs (pomegranate arils). Pomegranate seeds can be eaten raw or can be pressed to produce pomegranate seed oil. Researchers have discovered that edible pomegranate seeds contain antioxidants and have protective effect against free radicals. (2)

The journal Advanced Biomedical Research reports that pomegranates have been linked to lowering a person’s risk of coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. (1)

Many people say that pomegranates have a sweet taste with hints of sharp, tart taste. Researchers say that the unique taste of pomegranates comes from the many volatile compounds in the flesh and seeds. These can give pomegranates a taste that some describe as “earthy”, “sweet”, “floral”, or “fruity”. (3)

To get the benefits of pomegranates, you can eat the seeds straight from the fruit or drink pomegranate juice.

What Is Pomegranate Juice?

Pomegranate juice is a potent health drink that is extracted from the pomegranate arils.

Many researchers describe pomegranate juice as a “heart-healthy fruit juice.” Pomegranate juice is extremely good for you because it has a high antioxidant content. Consuming pomegranate juice can help lower blood pressure and has even been linked to fighting various bacterial infections. (4, 5)

Another reason why pomegranate juice is good for you is that it contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health. Concentrated pomegranate juice may even have more minerals such as magnesium and potassium than regular pomegranate juice. (5)

It is very easy to juice a pomegranate to enjoy a delicious healthy drink. Cut one pomegranate in half and gently knock out the pomegranate arils or seeds. Put all the removed seeds into a blender and blend until the seeds are broken up. Strain the liquid into a cup to obtain the pomegranate juice. If the pomegranate juice is too tart for you, you can sweeten it by adding a teaspoon of raw honey.

Pomegranate Nutrition Facts

Pomegranate seeds and juice are packed with nutrients that have many health benefits.

For example, the seeds and arils from one pomegranate contain 234 calories, 52 grams of carbohydrates and 38 grams of sugar. This 282-gram serving of pomegranate contains 11 grams of fiber which is 45% of your recommended daily intake (RDI). (6)

Regularly consuming pomegranates can bolster your immune system because one cup of pomegranate seeds contains 9 mg of vitamin C which is 15% of your RDI.

Pomegranate is also good for your blood and liver health because a whole pomegranate has 46 mcg of vitamin K which is 58% of your RDI.

Pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds also contain good amounts of vitamin E and many of the B-group vitamins.

A glass of pomegranate juice (250g) also contains minerals such as calcium (3% RDI), potassium (15% RDI), manganese (12% RDI), and magnesium (4% RDI).

Pomegranate juice is a powerhouse of antioxidants

The high number of antioxidants is one of the reasons why pomegranate juice is good for your heart, brain, and immune system.

Pomegranates contain an impressive amount of vitamin C which is a natural antioxidant.

Scientific studies have shown that phenolic compounds in pomegranate juice such as tannins have a potent antioxidant effect. These tannins help to kill off free radicals that cause oxidative damage and can increase the risk of chronic diseases. (7)

Research has also shown that the antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice is 3 times greater than green tea or red wine. (7)

Why Pomegranate Is Good for You

Pomegranate is a nutrient-rich fruit that has many medicinal properties.

Pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds have therapeutic use in addressing a number of health issues. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tannins, and fatty acids in pomegranates all play a role in good health.

The journal BioMed Research International reports that some reasons why pomegranates are good for your health are the following: (8)

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Lowering your risk of coronary heart disease
  • Managing diabetes
  • Improving cognitive function
  • Reducing the effects of aging
  • Improving male fertility

Benefits of Pomegranate (Fruit, Juice, Seeds)

Let’s look in more detail at the many benefits of consuming more pomegranate fruit in your diet.

Pomegranate Is Good for Your Heart Health

The potent effect of plant-based antioxidants (polyphenols) in pomegranate seeds and juice help to improve your cardiovascular function.

Researchers have found that compounds such as tannins and anthocyanins have a powerful effect in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

For example, one of the heart benefits of pomegranate is its ability to reduce a buildup of artery plaque (atherosclerosis). In one clinical trial, patients consumed a glass of pomegranate juice daily. After 3 months, scientists observed that blood flow to the heart was increased when compared to the control (placebo) group. (9)

Pomegranate fruit juice can help lower blood pressure

One of the ways that consuming pomegranate juice improves your heart health is that it has an anti-hypertensive effect.

A study involving men with hypertension found that consuming 150 ml of pomegranate juice a day lowered their blood pressure. The pure pomegranate juice helped bring down blood pressure in a 4 to 6-hour period. The scientists concluded that consuming pomegranate juice could be an effective method to treat hypertension. (10)

Another study involving hypertensive patients found that taking a glass of pomegranate juice had a hypotensive effect when consumed daily for 2 weeks. (11)

Learn about other natural methods to treat hypertension without having to resort to medication.

Pomegranate fruit and seeds may lower cholesterol

Pomegranate drinks can benefit your cardiovascular health because the juice can help lower levels of cholesterol.

Researchers have found that the regular consumption of pomegranate juice affects levels of LDL cholesterol (or, “bad” cholesterol) and prevents a buildup of plaque in the arteries. (12)

Other studies have shown that consuming concentrated pomegranate juice can help lower cholesterol levels in diabetic patients. (13)

If you suffer from high cholesterol, you can find out about other natural remedies to help treat your condition.

Pomegranate Promotes Good Digestive Health

Pomegranate juice contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve your digestion.

The reason why pomegranates are good for your digestive health is that they reduce gastric inflammation. Studies have shown that pomegranate extracts have an anti-inflammatory action in the gut. (12)

Research into pomegranate extract compounds has found that they may also help to improve the health of the gut microbiota. This can help to increase the number of “good” bacteria in the gut and improve your gastrointestinal health. (12)

Research on mice has shown that pomegranate extracts can help to repair gastric injury caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Scientists noted that pomegranate extracts can help treat gastric pain and protect against gastric ulcers. (13)

There are many more natural remedies to improve the digestive system that you can learn about. You can also find out how probiotics can boost your digestive system and immunity.

Pomegranate and Pomegranate Juice Reduce Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate juice may help to protect you against various chronic diseases.

Although short-term inflammation helps to combat infection, long-term inflammation is connected to the development of diseases like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and inflammatory bowel conditions. (14)

The journal Nutrients reports that polyphenols in pomegranate seeds and juice can help lower the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases. Some studies on animal subjects have shown the potential use of pomegranate in treating inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and psoriasis. (15)

Another study found that punicic acid, a bioactive compound of pomegranate seed oil, is very effective against various chronic diseases. (34)

Scientists point out that more research needs to be done into the effect of pomegranate in combating inflammatory diseases.

Learn about other anti-inflammatory foods that can help reduce your risk of complications from chronic inflammation.

Pomegranate Helps Reduce Pain and Joint Inflammation in Arthritis

Pomegranate fruit is good for you if you suffer from painful symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Research into the benefits of pomegranate has shown that it has an anti-arthritic effect. Extracts from pomegranates work in a similar way to NSAIDs to inhibit COX enzymes that are connected with inflammatory pain. (16)

Consuming pomegranate can help to reduce cartridge breakdown and reduce joint inflammation. The researchers concluded that pomegranate compounds can help to treat osteoarthritis and reduce pain and inflammation. (16)

One study involving 55 people with rheumatoid arthritis found that taking pomegranate capsules 250 mg twice a day helped to lower pain intensity and inflammation over an 8-week period. (17)

If you suffer from any form of arthritis, find out what other foods you should add to your diet to help cope with chronic pain.

Pomegranate is Good for You if You Have Diabetes

Consuming pomegranate juice can help to manage many of the symptoms associated with diabetes.

One study involving 50 diabetics found that consuming 250 ml of pomegranate juice daily helped lower inflammatory markers. (18)

Other studies have found that taking concentrated pomegranate juice for diabetes can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to its high levels of antioxidants. Patients took 50 g a day of concentrated pomegranate juice daily. (19)

A review of the anti-diabetic properties of pomegranate found that pomegranate seed extract can help to lower fasting blood glucose levels. (20)

Find out about other foods, not just pomegranates, which can help manage some of the symptoms of diabetes.

Pomegranate Boosts Brain Health

Regularly consuming pomegranate juice helps your brain perform better and can protect against neurological diseases.

A study involving 32 adults found that drinking pomegranate juice daily for 4 weeks significantly improved memory function. Scientists also noted that the group taking pomegranate juice showed better signs of functional brain activation. (21)

Bioactive compounds in pomegranate such as ellagitannins and urolithins can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. (22)

Another research found that a polyphenol called punicalagin, found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in brain cells which can lead to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers worse. (33)

Learn about other herbs and foods that can help to improve your cognitive performance.

Pomegranate Fruit Improves Physical Performance

Pomegranate juice and extracts have the potential to protect against oxidative stress and improve cardiac function that helps to boost exercise endurance.

The 2018 review published in The British Journal of Nutrition found that pomegranate supplementation can enhance endurance and strengthen performance during physical activity. The results of many studies show that taking pomegranate supplements before exercising increases post-exercise recovery. (23)

A small study involving 19 men and women found that extracts from pomegranate help improve blood flow and boost exercise performance. (24)

Learn more about other natural ways to boost your energy and improve performance.

Pomegranate Juice Promotes Good Dental Health

The antimicrobial properties of pomegranate juice can help kill off germs and bacteria that lead to gum disease.

In one clinical trial, dentists found that rinsing the mouth with sugar-free pomegranate juice reduce the number of oral bacteria. There was an average reduction of 32% of germs when compared to swishing the mouth with plain water. (25)

Further reading: How to Get Rid of Gum Infection (Gingivitis) Naturally.

Pomegranate May Help Improve Male Sexual Health

Pomegranate seeds can improve sperm quality and prevent erectile dysfunction.

One randomized controlled trial involving 42 men found that consuming pomegranate juice helped to prevent erectile dysfunction. (26)

Scientists theorized that the powerful antioxidants in pomegranate helped to increase blood flow, improve erectile response, and prevent erectile tissue damage. (27)

Other studies have shown that pomegranate fruit is linked to male fertility because it helps to improve sperm concentration and movement. (28)

Learn about other natural ingredients that help improve the lifespan of sperm and increase fertility.

Pomegranate Has Anticancer Properties

Pomegranate juice and other pomegranate extracts have potential use in cancer treatment and in slowing down the progression of tumors.

The journal Oncology Reviews in 2018 reported that pomegranate has anti-metastatic, anticancer, and anti-invasive properties on cancer cells. Pomegranate seed oil has also shown effectiveness in treating colon cancer and skin cancer. (29)

Pomegranate juice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that are useful in colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.

Pomegranate benefits men with prostate cancer

Scientists have discovered that compounds in pomegranate juice have a synergistic effect in helping to treat prostate cancer. One study showed that consuming pomegranate juice helped to decrease Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels in men. (30)

Some research has pointed to the fact that walnuts and pomegranate juice help to inhibit enzymes in the prostate that are connected with tumor growth. (30)

Other studies have shown that taking pomegranate juice extracts can help to slow down the rise of PSA levels. (31)

Pomegranate may help women fight breast cancer

Research into the effects of pomegranate seed oil on breast cancer has also shown positive results.

One study found that omega-5 fatty acids in pomegranate seed oil help to prevent the spread of breast cancer cells. Also, consuming fermented pomegranate juice had an anticancer effect on breast cancer. (32)

Of course, more research needs to be carried out on how pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds can be used in successfully treating cancer in humans.

Learn about other foods for breast cancer prevention according to science.

How to Eat Pomegranate

The best part of the pomegranate to eat are the delicious crimson arils or seeds contained in the fruit. The pomegranate arils are surrounded by a white pith which is bitter to taste.

Pomegranate skin is too thick to consume, but you can dry the peel and then grind it to make a powder.

To get the seeds out of a pomegranate, gently score the thick pomegranate skin around the middle of the fruit and split the fruit in half. Hold each half face down and gently tap on the skin with a wooden spoon to extract the delicious seeds.

Just be careful when getting the seeds out as the red juice of pomegranate arils can stain fabric.

You can eat pomegranate seeds fresh or you can store them in the freezer to consume at a later date.

You can also boost your health by making a refreshing cup of pomegranate tea. Seoklyu-cha, or pomegranate tea, is popular in Korea for its health benefits. All you have to do is fill a cup ¼ full with fresh or frozen lightly crushed pomegranate seeds. Fill the cup with hot water, steep for a few minutes, add some honey to taste once it has cooled somewhat, and enjoy your health-boosting pomegranate tea.

Don’t forget to eat the pomegranate seeds after you have finished your cup!

Side Effects

Pomegranates are a delicious, healthy fruit that can be safely eaten in normal doses.

Because pomegranate juice helps lower blood pressure, you should be careful when drinking pomegranate juice regularly. The juice may cause your blood pressure to become dangerously low if you already suffer from low blood pressure.

Some people could have an allergic reaction to consuming pomegranate juice or pomegranate seeds.

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