Any grocery store regular who peruses the produce department fairly often, is sure to have seen this oddly shaped bottle before.
Pomegranate juice. And at first glance, it might seem underwhelming. After all, the vitamins and minerals section is a bit barren.
However, when it comes to pomegranates, the treasure is in the details. Pomegranates are one of the world’s top superfoods, and extremely rich in powerful antioxidants. You can eat them whole, eat just the seeds, or drink it as juice. Whatever you do, you will want to incorporate pomegranates into your diet. This fruit has some fantastic health benefits that you shouldn’t pass up.
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Pomegranate possesses an excellent blend of vitamins and minerals. A few of them common, and few of them, not so common. Those vitamins and minerals are:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
- Vitamin E
A single serving of pomegranate, offers up a lot of vitamins and minerals in one tasty package. Pomegranates provides around 58% of your DRI for Vitamin K, and 48% of your DRI for Vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber; 45% DRI to be exact.
Pomegranate is also a great source of Folate, Potassium, Copper, (Here’s one that you don’t see (or need to see) often) Manganese, Thiamin, and Vitamin B6: 27%, 19%, 22%, 17%, 13%, and 11% respectively. It is also a good source of Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Vitamin E, and Pantothenic Acid.
Pomegranate is not without its’ downsides however. Saturated fat is low. With only 0.3 grams per serving, but overall total fault amounts to 3.3 grams. Roughly 5% of your DRI.
Pomegranate is also very high in both calories and sugar, with 234 calories and 38.5 grams of sugar per serving. These are pretty high figures and definitely some of pomegranates biggest drawbacks.
But! Don’t let that discourage you. Pomegranates are a superfood for good reason.
Health Benefits of Eating Pomegranates
1.Help Prevent Cancer
Studies have shown that pomegranates have a lot of potential in the fight against cancer. Specifically, they help prevent the growth of cancer cells. Most notably, studies have been most promising in the prevention of prostate cancer cells, but there have also been some glimmers of hope in preventing colon and breast cancer as well.
Pomegranates contain a plethora of antioxidants that are strong fighters against cancer. Particularly antioxidants known as flavonoids. Flavonoids, can reduce the Prostate-specific antigen levels in your body, as well as counteract the effects of dangerous cancer-causing free radicals. Ongoing studies will continue to see if pomegranate (Specifically pomegranate extract) can prevent and fight cancerous cells.
Dietary factors, play a significant role in cancer development, and adding pomegranate to your diet couldn’t hurt. Cancer is the second deadliest killer of Americans, and adding this superfood to your meals will do you a lot of good.
2.Pomegranates contain a lot of antioxidants
Pomegranate is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in existence. Antioxidants provide a variety of benefits such as preventing and or lowering the risk of many diseases like Alzheimer’s and age-related macular degeneration, and cancers.
The main benefit of antioxidants, is that they fight off free radicals produced by the body, and prevent the negative effects of free radicals from affecting you. Your body doesn’t produce enough antioxidants on its’ own to effectively combat free radicals, and as such, getting a lot of antioxidants from your diet, is crucial to healthy living.
3.It’s a good mood food
Foods rich in antioxidants, are often referred to as “good mood foods”. This is because antioxidants, have been shown to elevate the moods of people and effectively combat things like anxiety and depression.
Studies have proven, that an excess amount of free radicals, can result in a number of bad situations, one being an increase in oxidative stress, which can lead to psychological disorders and worsen the effects.
Since antioxidants fight off the negative effects of free radicals, people should be getting a healthy amount of them every day, and pomegranates can help you reach your daily quota.
4.Promotes Great Heart Health
Pomegranates, are great for keeping your ticker in great condition. The abundance of antioxidants in pomegranates, lowers your blood pressure, and well as helps clear your arteries of cholesterol. Pomegranate juice reduces bad cholesterol known as LDL, or low-density lipoprotein in your body.
All of this in turn, can lower the risk of you contracting nasty, cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and atherosclerosis. It can also lower your risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
The anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants located in pomegranates, make this superfood a notable combatant against several forms of arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Inflammation is the biggest factor for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and it can severely worsen the symptoms.
Being an anti-inflammatory food, pomegranate juice is often recommended to those suffering from arthritis is help ease the symptoms and lower the pain. It can also help prevent the degradation of cartilage.
For osteoarthritis, pomegranate can help lower the symptoms, by decreasing the oxidative stress in your body.
6.Naturally Lowers Blood Pressure
Pomegranates contain nitrates which can relax the arteries, which in turn enables the heart to do its job more smoothly and meet less resistance.
This is what helps lowers your blood pressure, making pomegranate an excellent tool for this task. Backed by studies, pomegranate is one of the best natural ways to lower blood pressure out there.
7.Builds up Testosterone
Testosterone is important for both men (Especially), and women, and pomegranate is an excellent supplementary tool for keeping your testosterone levels high.
Pomegranate contains high levels of ellagittanins which effectively keep your male hormones, also known as androgens, from turning into estrogen; effectively lowering the production of estrogen.
Although a lot of estrogen is good for women, it isn’t for men, as too much estrogen can have some serious negative effects. High levels of estrogen in men severely reduces their testosterone which can reduce their libido and their muscle mass.
It can also decrease their libido, increase their body fat, and in the most extreme of cases, it can lead to gynecomastia, and even heart disease and prostate cancer.
It is crucial for men to keep their testosterone levels high, especially older men, as our testosterone levels decrease steadily as we age, and our estrogen levels increase.
Women also need to have a small level of testosterone, and with pomegranates incorporated into their diets, should never run into testosterone deficiency.
Side Effects of Eating Pomegranates
Pomegranates are great, but have some pretty notable side effects. One of which is actually linked to one of pomegranates beneficiary effects.
They’re high in sugar
Everything should be eaten in moderation, but this is especially the case for pomegranates, as they are sky-high in sugar. A single serving of pomegranates, contains 38.5 grams of sugar.
This is a very high number, and keep in mind, that you are presumably going to eat something other than a pomegranate for the rest of the day. Because of this, be sure not to get carried away with pomegranates.
They might not be great for those with diabetes
Pomegranates can have some positive effects for those with diabetes, however, due to the high levels of sugar in pomegranates, some diabetics might want to give this superfood a pass.
Pomegranates can also potentially lower you blood sugar levels beneath the desired threshold, which could in turn, lead to hypoglycemia.
This isn’t an umbrella case, and you should consult your doctor before making a decision, but better safe than sorry is a saying to live by.
They can lower your blood pressure to dangerous levels
As stated above, pomegranates are a great nature way to lower your blood pressure levels. And for most people that is a good thing.
However, for those who are already using blood pressure medication, this could be potentially dangerous, as coupled with pomegranate, your blood pressure levels, could sink too low and give way to hypotension.
People with hypotension, can suffer from a number of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, lack of concentration, depression and breathing problems.
Not the best food for those on a diet
Pomegranate has a large amount of calories, which isn’t good for anyone who is on a diet.
Although there may be some benefits to pomegranate juice for workout purposes, as it is a healthier alternative to energy drinks, pomegranates simply have too many calories and sugar.
In moderation, it should be fine, but if kept unchecked, it could hamper your progress and make it more difficult for you to lose weight. Many people tend to get “soft-addicted” to drinks that provide them with energy. If pomegranate juice is this drink for you, then it could be more of a detriment than an aid.
May Adversely Affect Liver Function
Enzymes that are located in pomegranates are a double-edged sword. They provide some benefits, such as helping to detox your liver, however, they can also affect the functionality of enzymes location within the liver and hinder their performance.
This could be problematic for anyone, but especially bad for those currently combating any liver disorder or disease. If you fit this profile, you should consult with your doctor before eating pomegranates.
There you have it folks. You should be sold on the superfood pomegranate by now, and all you have to decide, is how you want to incorporate it into your diet.
Eating a pomegranate whole and raw, can be a bit tricky, especially for first-timers, and I am sure that you don’t want to waste time watching a tutorial on how to eat a fruit. The more common ways of getting in pomegranates are juice and via the seeds.
POM is very well-known, and proven to be very beneficial to those who drink it. Just keep in mind how many calories and sugar they have. The bottles may be small, but the sugar and calorie concentrations are very high.
The other, and more creative way, is by eating pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate seeds, can be added to nearly anything you can think of: Water, salad, pies, ice cream, and oatmeal. Some even stuff chicken with it. The possibilities are endless, and there are a myriad of recipes online, in case you are feeling adventurous.
Eaten (Or drank) in moderation, pomegranates can vastly improve the quality of your life.