10 possible benefits of pomegranates for your health
The pomegranate, botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae that grows between 5 and 8 m (16 and 26 ft) tall.
The fruit is typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from
September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. As intact arils or juice, pomegranates are used in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine.
The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran,
and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. It was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and California, by Spanish settlers, in 1769.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent,
Central Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin.It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California. In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
In the Indian subcontinent’s ancient Ayurveda system
of traditional medicine, the pomegranate is frequently described as an ingredient in remedie.
Here are top 10 reasons you should include them in your diet.
1# Prevent heart disease: Pomegranates are loaded with polyphenols that have powerful antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants prevent free radical damage of the walls of arteries, thus preventing heart disease. They also prevent oxidation of cholesterol, which causes plaque formation and development of coronary artery disease.
2# Lower blood pressure: Pomegranates help lower blood pressure by preventing the activity of serum angiotensin-converting enzyme. Punicic acid is one of the main constituents of pomegranates that help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and reduce blood pressure. A study has shown that pomegranate components reduce risk factors for heart disease, in patients with diabetes and high LDL levels of the blood.
3# May help prevent cancer: From prostate cancer to breast cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer, pomegranates can help prevent and treat several forms of cancer. This property of the delicious fruits is also attributed to the presence of polyphenol antioxidants in them. Studies have shown that pomegranate juice can inhibit the growth of tumour cells and induce natural death in them. Certain compounds in pomegranates have an anti-inflammatory ability that also contributes to its anti-cancer property.
4# Help digestion: To keep your digestive system healthy, you need to include fibre-rich sources in your diet. However, our busy lifestyle and personal liking for junk food have deprived us of the goodness of fibre in fruits and vegetables. Eating a pomegranate every day is a good way to add fibre to your daily diet. One pomegranate can fulfil about 45% of your daily recommended intake of fibre, which is about 20 to 35g.
5# Boost immunity: Being rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, pomegranates are extremely healthy for those suffering from immune-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and osteroarthrits. They are also rich in vitamin C, which boosts antibody production and development of immunity. Pomegranates can thus help you maintain a healthy immune system and stave of common illnesses and infections.
6# Increase your libido: Since ancient times, pomegranates have been considered as a symbol of fertility. According to a research conducted by researchers from Queen Margaret University, a glass of pomegranate juice boosts testosterone levels in both men and women. This property makes natural aphrodisiac that is great for your sex life. Also, studies suggest that pomegranates contain certain compounds that are similar to sex steroids found in the human system, explaining why it improves sex stamina and desires.
7# Keep you looking younger: Ever wondered why we grow old and our skin develops wrinkles and other signs of ageing? Well, it is because of free radical damage that affects your cells. Polyphenolic compounds in pomegranates are powerful antioxidants that can delay the process of aeging. Therefore, eating pomegranate keeps your skin glowing and radiant for a long time.
8# Lowers stress levels: Apart from reducing the body’s internal oxidative stress, pomegranates also help lower psychological stress that you go through your personal and professional life. According to a study conducted by Queen Margaret University, people who drank pomegranate juice had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is increased under stressful situations.
9# Keep Alzheimer’s at bay: Imagine being stuck on a road having forgotten where you live? If you wouldn’t want it to happen to you for real, pomegranates should form a part of your daily diet. Researchers suggest that pomegranates play in important role prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted by Hartman and colleagues showed that pomegranate juice reduces the deposition and accumulation of amyloid in the hippocampus region of the brain by 50%, which could be considered for Alzheimer’s disease improvement.
10# Prevent plaque formation: If you mouth wash to keep improve your oral health, pomegranate juice can be a better option than alcohol containing mouth washes available at pharmacy stores. Certain compounds in pomegranate exhibit strong antiplaque effects. A study showed that hydroalcoholic extract of pomegranate effectively lowered dental plaque formation due to microorganisms build up by almost 84%.