Saturday, March 8, 2014


One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) which means ‘seeded apples’ is an original native of Persia. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life.

Pomegranate is a thick skinned super seedy fruit, vibrant red coloured sweet, and tangy fruit  known as ‘Punica granatum’ in botanical terms, belong to the family, punicacea.  Dating back to somewhere between 4000 and 3000 B. C Pomegranates with their origin from Persia have been appreciated from Biblical times to the 18th century, when Spanish sailors introduced them to the southern United States.

Nutritional Facts of Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a great source of ellagic acid, and antioxidant and punicic acid, an omega 5 polyunsaturated fatty acid which is highly beneficial for cell regeneration and proliferation. The juice of this fruit is an exceptional source of vitamin A, C and E and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, folic acid, niacin, thiamin, folates and riboflavin.

Nutritional values per 100 grams

Fat                                         0.3 gm
Dietary Fiber                        0.6 gm
Sugars                                 16.57 gm
Carbohydrates                   17.17 gm
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)            0.3 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)      0.063 mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)         0.03mg
Protein                                 0.95 gm
Iron                                     0.3 mg
Calcium                               3 mg
Vitamin C                            6.1 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)           6 mg
Vitamin B6                         0.105 mg
Vitamin B5                         0.596 mg
Energy                               70 kcal
Zinc                                    0.12 mg
Potassium                          259 mg
Phosphorus                       8 mg
Magnesium                       3 mg

Health Benefits of Pomegranate 

A nutrient-dense rich food source containing phytochemical compounds, high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols. Pomegranate has been used for medicinal purposes in the middle and Far East regions for over thousands of years. It was used as a tonic to heal ailments like ulcers and diarrhea. The juice of pomegranate contains antioxidants like anthocyanin and ellagic acid, compounds like gallic acids, and flavonoids like quercetin which offer protection from diabetes, heart diseases, osteoarthritis and several kinds of cancer. Apart from antioxidant properties, they also contain anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that offer potential therapeutic benefits.

Antioxidant Properties of Pomegranates
A rich source of antioxidants, the crunchy Pomegranates are one of the few fruits whose juice is just as beneficial as its fruit or seeds. The juice contains more antioxidants than red wine or green tea. The inedible peel contains the maximum quantities of antioxidants, which are released when the fruit is squeezed out for juicing.

Fight Free Radicals
Packed with antioxidants, Pomegranates buffer the free radicals produced in the body. The free radicals that cause oxidation are because of both internal and external sources such as exposure to harmful environmental toxins, chemical pollutants and the harsh UV rays of the sun.

Reduce Bad Cholesterol
Packed with antioxidant vitamins and enzymes, Pomegranates prevent oxidation of cholesterol thereby reducing the bad cholesterol namely the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol  and increasing the HDL (High-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol.

Pomegranates play the role of an aspirin, preventing blood platelets from clumping together to form dangerous blood clots that normally lead to atherosclerosis.  Various studies indicate that the anti-thrombotic property of the fruit  apart from preventing formation of blood clots also help reverse atherosclerotic plaque.

Blood Circulation
Since Pomegranate acts as a blood thinner, they ensure proper blood circulation to the heart and to the entire body.

Maintains Blood Pressure
Pomegranates are also known to reduce high blood pressure. The juice of this fruit reduces lesions and the inflammation of blood vessels in heart patients. It is a natural aspirin, which keeps the blood from coagulating and forming blood clots. It even acts as a blood thinner allowing for an unrestricted flow of blood through the body.

Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
Although pomegranate juice contains fructose, it does not elevate the blood sugar level as other fruit juices do. Studies have shown that there was no significant increase in the blood sugar level of diabetic patients who drank this juice daily for a period of 2 weeks.

Coronary Heart Disease
According to studies, Pomegranate could improve blood flow to the heart by more than a third, which keeps the arteries clear reducing the likelihood of developing heart conditions including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. It is known to reduce atherosclerosis, which is one of the leading causes of heart disease. It lowers the risk of blockage in the arteries which can cause a restriction in the flow of blood to the heart and brain. 

Protection from Cancer
Pomegranates contain high levels of antioxidant known as flavonoids, which are extremely effective at neutralising cancer-causing free radicals.  Ellagic acids in pomegranates are cancer cell destroying agents that may induce apoptosis, a process, which causes self-destruction of cancerous cells.  Drinking the juice or just eating the fruit regularly help fight cancer and slows down the growth of cancerous cells.

Alzheimer Disease
According to studies done by California’s Londa Lima University, Alzheimer’s is a build-up of plaque from dead brain cells. However, Pomegranate high in Vitamin B riboflavin, thiamine and niacin content may reduce the accumulation of harmful proteins and help slowing down brain degeneration associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Pomegranate juice has strong anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties which help fight viruses and bacteria and boost our immunity system. It significantly reduces microbes that are found in the mouth commonly responsible for cavities and staph infections.

Improves Digestive Health
The pomegranate plays a vital role in secretion of enzymes. Therefore, this fruit improves the function of digestion.   The high amount of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble in pomegranate juice helps to improve digestion and regulate bowel movement. Therefore, for ages, they have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. They also act as a laxative and help increase peristaltic movements of the intestines thereby relieving constipation.

Since Pomegranates enhance digestive health, they boost appetite

Loaded with vitamin C Pomegranates may help prevent symptoms of flu and cold.

Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, Pomegranates alleviate the soreness and redness in the throat.

Dental Care
Another benefit of pomegranate is that its juice, along with its antibacterial and antiviral properties, helps reduce the effects of dental plaque.

Pomegranate Benefits for Men

The Greeks credited pomegranate with aphrodisiac qualities, which has been proved by Modern science. Researchers at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh have found that men and women who drank daily a glass of the fruit juice for a fortnight experienced a surge in the hormone testosterone, which boost sexual desire in both genders.

Erectile Dysfunction
Due to enhanced blood circulation, Pomegranates make an excellent remedy for erectile dysfunction in men. Therefore, regular consumption of the fruit may prove beneficial.  New studies indicate that a glass of pomegranate juice every day apart from easing erectile dysfunction may even increase sperm quality.

Prostate Cancer
The antioxidant properties in pomegranate may also help in fighting prostate cancer in men.  According to a study done by University of California drinking pomegranate juice helped to stabilize the PSA, which is a compound released in the incidence of prostate cancer levels in men suffering from this disease.  This finding indicates that pomegranate juice may help in fighting the development of prostate cancer for those with a family history.

Pomegranate Benefits for Women

Pomegranate juice is a great source for folic acid, which is needed for the healthy development of babies. Folic acid is a necessary component in the formation of red blood cells and DNA.  Hence, women with higher folic acid levels during early pregnancy were more likely to have healthier babies.

Prevents Anaemia
Anaemia is a condition caused by the deficiency of red blood cells in the body. Since pomegranate juice contains ample amount of iron it helps in surmounting a deficit of red blood cells in the body if any and support healthy blood flow and help relieve symptoms of anaemia such as exhaustion, dizziness and weakness.  The vitamin C content in Pomegranates also helps to improve absorption of iron in the body.

PMS and Menopausal Problems
Pomegranate helps balance the estrogen levels in women.  Therefore, daily intake of a glass of pomegranate juice or Pomegranate kernels can help combat PMS and provide relief from hot flashes and other menopausal problems.

Morning sickness
Pomegranate juice is also helpful to avoid morning sickness.

Neonatal Brain
Studies show that expectant mothers at a risk of premature birth may protect the neonatal brain by consumption of pomegranate juice, which helps prevent any brain damage to the baby due to insufficient blood flow.  The juice contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that make the blood vessels stay open and allow proper blood supply to all the body parts of the baby.

The most recent discovery about pomegranate’s health benefits recommends that extracts of the fruit could prevent the onset of osteoarthritis.  Samples of human cartilage damaged by osteoarthritis were treated with the extract by Scientists in America and observed that it inhibited the production of the enzyme responsible for causing the damage. Therefore, drinking a glass of Pomegranate juice or eating one whole Pomegranate daily can inhibit the onset of Osteoarthritis.  However, further research is needed to establish the effectiveness concerning consumption of extract for cartilage protection.

Benefits for Healthy Skin

The Pomegranate a good source of powerful antioxidants with vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E are known to protect the skin from damaging free radicals and help combat skin wrinkles.  Besides this an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands of the skin, is one of the root causes of acne.  Vitamin C in pomegranates helps regulate the production of sebum, thereby preventing acne.  Due to their iron content, which is a constituent part of haemoglobin; pomegranates help absorb oxygen and carry them to the skin rejuvenating and imparting a fresh and smooth texture making them noticeably soft.

A diet high in pomegranate juice can help to slow down the process of ageing by reducing wrinkles and fine lines on the face caused by constant exposure to sun. It also helps to sustain the regeneration of the skin cells and prevent hyper pigmentation and occurrence of dark spots.

Pomegranate juice works wonders for dry skin. Its small molecular structure penetrates deeply into the skin to provide ample moisturisation and hydration to the skin.  Thus it soothes dry and irritated skin. Its content of punicic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid keeps the skin constantly hydrated by sealing in the moisture. Pomegranate juice is beneficial for oily and pimple prone skin too. Application of pomegranate juice on oily skin prevents the outbreak of pimples and controls the production of sebum.

Pomegranate helps in the regeneration of cells in the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. It has an ability to hasten the process of healing of wounds. Even the oil of pomegranate seeds is loaded with skin friendly nutrients which are beneficial for the strengthening and regeneration of the epidermis. It also protects the skin from sun burns and heals the damage caused to the skin due to constant exposure to the sun.

Improves the Texture of Skin
Pomegranates are also known to extend the life of fibroblasts which are responsible for the production of collagen and elastin that tighten the skin and prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen and elastin provide strength and support to the skin. When the fibers of collagen and elastin break down, the skin develops laxity which causes wrinkles and jowl. Pomegranate is also very useful for lightening the skin tone. Drinking a glass of pomegranate juice daily gives a fair and glowing skin tone.

Mix1 teaspoon each of powdered green papaya, grape seed oil, and grape seed extract with2 teaspoons of pomegranate juice and apply it on the face. Leave it on for about an hour and wash it off with lukewarm water.

You can also us a cotton ball to apply pomegranate juice directly on the face after cleansing.

Prevents Skin Cancer
Pomegranate contains anthocyanins and hydrolysable tannins which possess strong anti-oxidant and anti-tumor promoting properties. When applied directly on the skin, ellagic acid, a polyphenol antioxidant found in pomegranates inhibits the growth of cancer of the skin.


Whatever may be the benefits this fruit has to offer it is wise to take pomegranate herbal or dietary supplement in consultation with a doctor for in certain cases, Pomegranate juice may interact with some prescription medications, such as high blood pressure and heart medications.

Pomegranate juice is not recommended for people suffering from influenza, cough, and constipation or for those with a phlegmatic condition.

Pomegranate juice has certain antioxidants that lower the blood pressure. Therefore, consumption of this juice in combination with medication prescribed to lower blood pressure can result in a condition with dangerously low blood pressure, known as hypotension.

People with certain plant allergies and asthma are always at a greater risk of developing an allergic reaction to this fruit. General allergic reactions include, vomiting, red itchy eyes, hives and difficulty in breathing.

Just like grapefruits, pomegranate is also known to interfere with some medicines, particularly those to lower cholesterol levels known as statins. It can also interfere with antidepressants, medication for AIDS and narcotic pain relievers.

Drinking one glass of pomegranate juice is all that is needed to experience the advantages of pomegranate juice. It is never too late to add this miracle juice to your daily diet plan as the amount of benefits that you would be reaping, definitely outweighs the drawbacks.

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