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What are the Health Benefits of Pomegranates?

Pomegranate seeds.
Glass of pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates have more antioxidants than red wine.
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  • Written By: Hillary Flynn
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2014
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Nutrition enthusiasts have begun an exploration of the health benefits of pomegranates. This fruit-bearing shrub produces a berry that packs a wallop of cancer fighting antioxidants. Though the fruit is rather cumbersome and tedious to eat whole due to the time consuming extraction of edible pieces, pomegranate juice can be found in most stores, and has been climbing quickly to the top of the favorite juices list. In fact, researchers have suggested pomegranate juice has a higher concentration of antioxidants than red wine or green tea.

Studies have shown that pomegranate juice can slow the time it takes for some cancers to progress, so experts are studying pomegranates to determine whether or not they contain other properties that increase the effects of the antioxidants found within the pomegranate berry. Polyphenolic flavonoids are the chemicals believed to control this positive effect. Flavonoids are also linked to studies conducted on slowing the aging process. With two to three times the amount of flavonoids as wine and tea, pomegranates are becoming the forerunner in healthy beverage selection.

The health benefits of pomegranates also include improvement of cardiovascular health. Studies show pomegranate juice drinkers have less oxygen deficiency to the heart during rigorous activity than non-drinkers. This indicates pomegranate juice increases blood flow to the heart, so it would behoove heart disease patients to drink a few glasses of pomegranate juice each week. Arterial plaque was reduced by as much as 30 percent in another study.

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Patients who have cholesterol issues also seek out the health benefits of pomegranates. Pomegranate juice inhibits the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol. LDLs only become an issue when oxidized, so pomegranates have a major impact in the fight to lower cholesterol. Other antioxidant filled beverages also have the ability to lower cholesterol, but none to the degree researches have seen in pomegranate juice.

Improving erectile dysfunction is yet another recently discovered benefit on the list of the health benefits of pomegranates, though perhaps the discovery is not as recent as it seems. The pomegranate was known as the "love" fruit thousands of years ago. Tied to procreation and fertility, the goddess of love, Aphrodite, is said to have planted the pomegranate shrub on Cyprus island. Studies suggest free radicals are a factor in erectile dysfunction, and the high concentration of antioxidant in pomegranates seems to alleviate the condition when added to the long term diet.

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allenJo
Post 4

@everetra - I know this is a little off topic, but I think that Acai health benefits are comparable to the pomegranate.

Acai is supposed to be some super berry that is very high in antioxidants and is bottled and sold as a juice. I realize that marketers tend to exaggerate claims about the health benefits of their product, but the Acai berry is proven to be better than other berries for its antioxidant properties. So I think their claims have some merit.

everetra
Post 3

@miriam98 - I am a great believer in using nutrition for health. Discovering that pomegranates can be used to ward off cancer cells is exciting indeed.

When you think about it, where does the pharmaceutical industry get the inspiration for all its miracle drugs? They look to nature, whether herbs or vegetables or fruits.

They find the potent ingredient in these plants that have medicinal properties, and then extract that and refine it into a drug. I’d rather we all just went to the source. That way you can get the benefits of pomegranate nutrition without the side effects like drugs would give you.

miriam98
Post 2

@Mammmood - I like the fact that pomegranates win out over wines for antioxidant benefits. I don’t drink and so in the past I’ve always fallen back on grape juice for an alternative to wine, but since learning about pomegranates and their benefits I've taken to them instead.

Remember not to throw the seeds away when you cut open the pomegranate. There are many health benefits of pomegranate seeds, including a rich source of B vitamins, flavonoids and vitamin C.

Mammmood
Post 1

I love this fruit and have long known about pomegranate benefits. I am from the Middle East and this fruit is quite common. If you wish, it’s said that Adam and Eve actually took a bite of a pomegranate and not an apple. Only a fruit as delicious and nutritious as this could qualify as a “forbidden” fruit.

Its reputation as an aphrodisiac is well established too, going back to Biblical times. It’s amazing that science is only now discovering the potency of the fruit in that regard.

I can eat the pomegranate whole (which is quite messy) or puree it in a blender and make juice. You can of course buy the juice bottled from a supermarket but I prefer to make my own. One thing I should point out is that the juice can stain your clothes quite easily, so be careful when you prepare it.

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