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10 Top Pomegranates Health Benefits

Top health benefits of pomegranates:

1. They are rich in antioxidants.

Pomegranate arils contain a wealth of polyphenol antioxidants, as highlighted by Maggie Moon, MS, RD, who serves as the head of nutrition communications for POM Wonderful. Moon emphasizes that polyphenols, belonging to a category of bioactive plant compounds, possess antioxidant properties crucial for neutralizing unstable molecules that have the potential to inflict damage on your cells gradually. Termed as free radicals, these detrimental molecules are effectively countered by the protective attributes of polyphenols, ultimately safeguarding your cells from long-term harm.

In particular, pomegranate arils boast a presence of anthocyanins, a specific type of flavonoid categorized under polyphenols. Notably, research has illuminated a potential link between anthocyanins and a diverse range of health benefits, including the reduction of blood pressure and the inhibition of cancer growth. The captivating ruby hue of pomegranates can be attributed to the anthocyanins they harbor. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the intensity of the fruit’s color is directly proportional to its antioxidant content. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that deeply red pomegranates emerge as a plentiful source of these valuable compounds.

2. They are a good source of fibre.

Pomegranate arils furnish a substantial four grams of fiber per serving, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This translates to nearly 15% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) of fiber for adults, encapsulated in just about a half cup of these arils. More specifically, it’s noteworthy that the majority of the fiber content in pomegranates falls under the category of insoluble fiber.

3. They provide vitamin C.

According to Moon, pomegranate arils emerge as a commendable source of vitamin C in a half-cup serving. Within that modest half cup, you can expect to find approximately 9 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, constituting approximately 10% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for this crucial micronutrient in adults.

Exploring the extensive repertoire of advantages offered by pomegranates reveals not only their delectable taste but also their potential to enhance various facets of well-being. Let’s delve into the specific benefits and their interconnectedness:

a. Enhanced Workout Performance:

Adding yet another layer to the benefits, antioxidants present in pomegranates showcase a connection to exercise improvement. According to Moon, these antioxidants play a role in potentially increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide by safeguarding it from degradation within the body. The resulting vasodilation, or widening of blood vessels, facilitated by nitric oxide, contributes to improved blood flow during physical activity. Moon elucidates that this enhancement in blood flow ensures the body receives the requisite oxygen and nutrients, thus optimizing exercise performance.

b. Alleviation of Inflammation:

Shifting our focus to another health dimension, Kelsey Lorencz, RDN, nutrition advisor for Fin vs Fin, underscores the anti-inflammatory potential of pomegranates and their juice. Lorencz highlights that research indicates regular consumption of pomegranate juice may lead to a reduction in inflammatory markers such as Interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. Recognizing chronic inflammation as a precursor to several diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, Lorencz advocates for incorporating nutritious foods like pomegranates into one’s diet. It’s crucial to note that while diet plays a role, contributing factors to inflammation encompass stress, alcohol intake, exercise, and autoimmune conditions.

c. Promotion of Heart Health:

The interconnectedness of inflammation and heart health becomes apparent, with pomegranates emerging as potential allies in cardiovascular well-being. Research indicates that the consumption of pomegranate juice may contribute to lowered blood pressure, a pivotal factor in heart health. Lorencz accentuates the protective effects of pomegranates and their juice for individuals with heart disease, citing a clinical trial where daily consumption of one cup of pomegranate juice led to significantly reduced intensity, occurrence, and duration of chest pain compared to a placebo group. The overarching evidence supporting the consumption of polyphenol-rich fruits, including pomegranates, further underscores their potential role in managing heart disease.

d. They provide potassium.

“Pomegranate juice provide a good source of potassium, an important electrolyte for healthy muscle function,” Moon says. Potassium is also necessary for healthy nerve function and regulation of heart rate.

The juice provides nearly 533 mg of potassium per cup, while the arils provide 205 milligrams of potassium per half-cup serving.

e. They may help improve kidney health.

Kidney stones, which are like small rocks that can form in our kidneys, occur in around 11% of men and 6% of women in the U.S. If left untreated, they can cause blood in the urine, severe pain, and severe kidney complications.

One study supports pomegranates as allies in kidney stone prevention and management thanks to the antioxidant dietary phytophenols, which were found to be effective for the prevention of forming stones.

f. They offer complex carbohydrates.

In fact, we need carbs to come from around half (or more, depending on your specific needs) of our intake. Including pomegranate arils and juice at meals and snacks can help us to meet our carb needs.

g. They may add to eating pleasure.

Some studies how that eating pleasure, including enjoying the sensory experiences of food while eating and cooking, may foster healthy food and nutrition behaviors.

Unravelling the nutritional tapestry of pomegranates further unveils a spectrum of benefits, seamlessly woven together by the richness of this captivating fruit. Let’s traverse through additional facets of its health contributions:

7. Potassium Provision:

According to Moon, pomegranate juice emerges as a noteworthy source of potassium, a vital electrolyte pivotal for ensuring robust muscle function. Beyond its muscle-centric role, potassium is indispensable for maintaining healthy nerve function and regulating heart rate. Quantitatively, the juice delivers an impressive 533 mg of potassium per cup, while the arils contribute a respectable 205 milligrams per half-cup serving. This potassium bounty underscores the fruit’s potential to fortify various physiological functions.

8. Enhanced Kidney Health:

Shifting our focus to the renal realm, pomegranates showcase potential benefits for kidney health. Moon emphasizes the prevalence of kidney stones and their associated complications, noting that around 11% of men and 6% of women in the U.S. grapple with these crystalline formations. Drawing from research, pomegranates emerge as allies in kidney stone prevention and management. The antioxidant dietary Phyto phenols found in pomegranates prove effective in thwarting the formation of these discomfort-inducing stones.

9. Complex Carbohydrate Contribution:

Navigating through prevailing diet culture narratives, Moon counters the carb-related apprehensions by spotlighting the significance of carbohydrates as a crucial macronutrient. Contrary to misconceptions, carbs are essential and should constitute a substantial portion of our dietary intake, Moon affirms. Pomegranate arils and juice step in as allies, offering a palatable means to meet our carbohydrate needs, with their inclusion in meals and snacks serving as a strategic nutritional move.

10. Aesthetic Pleasure in Eating:

Beyond the realm of quantitative nutrition, the act of consuming pomegranates extends to the realm of sensory satisfaction. Various studies suggest that deriving pleasure from the sensory experiences associated with eating and cooking fosters healthy food and nutrition behaviors. In this context, the act of savouring the flavours and textures of pomegranates contributes not only to gustatory pleasure but also to the promotion of positive eating habits.

With their festive colour, and dynamic texture and taste, chances are good pomegranate arils may contribute to a heightened sensory experience both in the eating and cooking processes.

“The beautiful ruby red arils make any dish special – from bejewelling my basic breakfast smoothie bowl to all my holiday mains and sides” says Moon. And she says that pomegranate juice retains antioxidants during cooking: “If you like to cook, pomegranate juice is for you. The antioxidants in pomegranate juice are tough enough to survive simmering on the stovetop for up to two hours.”

Are pomegranate seeds better than juice?

Like with many fruits and veggies, pomegranate juice does not provide the same fibre content as pomegranate arils. Fiber gets lost in the juicing process, along with the fruit’s vitamin C — both of which are essential nutrients. But if your preferred method is to drink pomegranate juice, you will still reap all the benefits of the pomegranate’s antioxidants, key nutrients like potassium and other health benefits.

Are there side effects of consuming pomegranates?

According to Moon and Lorencz, there are some points of caution to consider when consuming pomegranates. “Caregivers who are introducing new foods to infants should be mindful about their development levels and what kinds of foods they can tolerate,” says Moon.

As mentioned, pomegranate juice is a good source of potassium. Moon says this “is a great thing for generally healthy folks, but some people need to watch their intake if their kidneys have trouble regulating it. Situations can vary by individual, so it’s best to work with your health care provider on any questions.” Lorencz points out that eating pomegranates or drinking pomegranate juice in large amounts could cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea, “possibly due to the high sugar content of pomegranates,” she says. On that note, anyone who needs to have a heightened awareness of blood sugar levels, like people with diabetes, can certainly enjoy pomegranates. However, pairing the arils or juice with a protein and/or fat source (such as yogurt) can help with blood sugar stability.

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