Rubies of Health: Pomegranate

Rubies of Health: Pomegranate

Mehvish Hamdare profile Authored by Mehvish Hamdare on 24 Nov 2014 - 15:52.

The name "pomegranate" is derived from a Latin word that means "apple with many seeds", and is often referred to as 'the divine fruit'. Native to Iran and India, these rubies in a shell have been regarded as a treasure among fruits as it is not just a delicious fruit, but is also highly nutritious. Studies suggest that pomegranate consumption can help prevent or treat various disease risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemias and inflammatory activities.

It is demonstrated that certain components of pomegranate such as polyphenols have potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) effects.  The health benefits of pomegranate are innumerable to list down and they can be enjoyed by consuming them in several ways, be it in the form of a juice, syrup, paste, concentrate or as natural seeds.

Nutritive content:

Pomegranate (Punicagranatum), Fresh,Nutrition value per 100 g. 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

83 Kcal

4%

Carbohydrates

18.70 g

14%

Protein

1.67 g

3%

Total Fat

1.17 g

6%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

4 g

11%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

38 µg

9.5%

Niacin

0.293 mg

2%

Pantothenic acid

0.135 mg

3%

Pyridoxine

0.075 mg

6%

Riboflavin

0.053 mg

4%

Thiamin

0.067 mg

5.5%

Vitamin A

0 IU

0%

Vitamin C

10.2 mg

17%

Vitamin E

0.60 mg

4%

Vitamin K

16.4 µg

14%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

3 mg

0%

Potassium

236 mg

5%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

10 mg

1%

Copper

18%

0.158 mg

Iron

0.30 mg

4%

Magnesium

12 mg

3%

Manganese

0.119 mg

5%

Phosphorus

36 mg

5%

Selenium

0.5 µg

1%

Zinc

0.35 mg

3%

Good things often come in small packages, and so are pomegranates. Get a quick low down on its health benefits

Natural blood thinner

Pomegranate juice acts as a natural blood thinner and is often used to help relieve blood clots. The seeds prevent your blood platelets from coagulating and forming clots.

Good for heart health

There is significant research indicating that pomegranates boost heart health. Studies reveal that the diverse and rich antioxidant content decreases inflammation and thickening of the artery walls, remove plaque from the arteries minimizing the risk of atherosclerosis.

Scientists attribute heart healthy benefits to polyphenols, including anthocyanins which are plant pigments that give the pomegranate its attractive red hue. Daily consumption of pomegranate juice may improve stress-induced myocardial ischemia in patients who have Chronic Heart Disease.

Cancer

Studies claim that pomegranate juice helps to fight against breast, lung and prostate cancer. They are rich in specific polyphenols such as tannins, quercetin and anthocyanins, all of which have anti-cancer benefits. According to an article published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in January 2005 powerful antioxidants, polyphenols may improve healthy cell survival, induce cancer cell death and prevent tumour growth.

Increases your libido

According to a research conducted by researchers from Queen Margaret University, a glass of pomegranate juice consumed daily helped boost testosterone levels in both men and women.

Weight management

Pomegranate seeds are low in calories and rich in fibre and vitamins. Snack on pomegranate seeds and give those junk items a skip and help yourself lose weight.

Fight Osteoarthritis/Joint pain

Flavonols (a kind of antioxidant) similar to the ones found in pomegranate fruit have been suggested as treatments for osteoarthritis. Researchers believe flavonols can help block inflammation that contributes to cartilage destruction. In test tubes, pomegranate extract blocked the production of an enzyme that destroys cartilage in the body. Pomegranates or pomegranate extract may help reduce joint pain and decrease inflammation in arthritis sufferers, according to research published in the Israeli Medical Association Journal.

Dental health

Pomegranate has been found to be beneficial for dental health as it has anti-bacterial and antiviral properties.  A natural way to prevent dental plaque might be drinking pomegranate juice daily.

Stomach Disorder

Pomegranates peel, bark and leaves are used to calm the stomach disorder or diarrhoea triggered by digestive problems. Drinking tea made from the leaves of this fruit helps in curing digestive problems.  Pomegranate juice is also used for handling problems of dysentery and cholera.

Help in erectile dysfunction:

Pomegranate juice can improve erectile dysfunction only moderately. A research published in the International Journal of Impotence Research showed that drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice every day can help treat erectile dysfunction.

Cure Anaemia

The high amounts of iron in pomegranates raise haemoglobin levels in your blood to help correct anaemia. The increase in blood flow to the heart due to the iron contained in pomegranate may also help prevent anaemia symptoms that include exhaustion,fatigue, weakness, dizziness and hear loss.

Keeps Alzheimer’s at bay

Pomegranates also reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease among older generations. According to a research conducted by Richard Hartman from Loma Linda University, a daily glass of antioxidant juice could help reduce the build-up of harmful proteins that can cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Skin health

It helps controll aging issues like wrinkles and thus, facilitates youthful and glowing skin. The antioxidants present in pomegranates can help delay the ageing process. Now you have a new beauty secret.

Pregnancy food

Pomegranate juice is high in niacin, folic acid, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron and fibre that help to maintain a pregnant woman’s health and encourage cell growth. Drinking a glass of pomegranate juice daily is certainly the easiest and the tastiest way for pregnant mothers to ensure that their babies get a daily dose of folic acid. Additionally, pomegranate reduces the likelihood of having premature infants and it is also beneficial for expecting mothers to avoid having low weight infants during birth.

Splash in the beautiful red seeds in your meals: The pomegranate seeds can be used in salads, desserts, garnishes, mocktails and whole of other snacks.

Reference

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.