Health Benefits of the Powerhouse Pomegranate

by 4 Organics

Health benefits of pomegranate

The powerhouse pomegranate (punica granatum), originally native to Persia, is one of the oldest fruits known to man, and has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Over the years many studies have been done on the pomegranate, and it is well accepted that it is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods on earth, full of a range of vitamins very high levels of vitamin C and potassium, pantothenic acid, folates, pyridoxine, vitamin K, minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese, amino acids, antioxidants, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and more. The nutrients in pomegranates have a significant positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. It is a health super food.

Traditional cultures have used the pomegranate for a plethora of ailments, inckuding helping stomach upsets, conjunctivitis, osteoarthritis, menopausal hot flashes, hemorrhoids, stimulating the immune system, preventing and reducing inflammation, reducing risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.

Pomegranate contain powerful compounds called punicalagins and Granatin B that are shown to benefit heart function and blood vessels (protecting endothelial cells by scavenging harmful free radicals), lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and boosting the body's ability to melt away heart blockages (atherosclerosis.) It might also reduce arthritis swelling by slowing the enzymatic activity that breaks down cartilage, as well as generally fighting inflammation.

Studies done on heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages who were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year, found participants had less ischemic coronary heart disease, blood pressure lowered by 12 percent, reduced platelet aggregation, and atherosclerotic plaque reduced by 30 percent compared to a control group who received no pomegranate and who saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 10 percent (Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation:studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5).) The antioxidants may help keep cholesterol in a less-damaging form, and may reduce plaque that has already built up.

An Italian study found that pomegranate juice concentrate reduced oxidant-related cellular changes in blood vessel cells exposed to high shear stresses, the cause of damage to blood vessel walls, such as those produced by disturbed blood flow.

Even more remarkably, studies showed that pomegranate has powerful anti-cancer effects. By boosting the body's immune system, repairing DNA damage, and by preventing vascular issues that promote tumor growth, the nutrients (antioxidants) work via apoptosis to inhibit a variety of cancer cells like breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia (Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, et al. Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate for human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2002;71(3).)

Futhermore, because the sugars in pomegranate are bound to unique phenolic antioxidants and protected in a fibrous shell, they are not harmful to the body and hence an excellent choice for diabetics. according to research from Australia, pomegranate appears to lower blood sugar levels immediately following a meal by inhibiting alpha-glucosidase. In a 2010 study (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010 ) researchers found that foods with high amounts of ellagic acid like the pomegranate, are believed to offer anti-diabetic effects. It is relatively low in caloric value to nutrient value, and is dense with soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, providing about 4 g per 100 g (about 15% of RDA), which aid in smooth digestive and bowel movements, and why it is commnoly used for weight loss.

In Chinese medicine the pomegranate is considered a life extender, used in ways like topical application for skin care. The cosmetics industry believes pomegranate (due to high levels of punicic acid - a rare Omega-5 fatty acid) is a powerful anti-aging ingredient, including it in many rejuvenating and anti-wrinkle creams and lotions.

Pomegranate raises the levels of nitric oxide in the body, a chemical that keeps your arteries supple and flexible, so it is believed to help with erectile dysfunction and sexual health in general.. 

Finally, pomegranate contains phytochemical compounds that promote serotonin and estrogen release, improving symptoms of depression (Mori-Okamoto J, Otawara-Hamamoto Y, Yamato H, Yoshimura H. Pomegranate extract improves a depressive state and bone properties in menopausal syndrome model ovariectomized mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;92(1).)

Total antioxidant strength of pomegranate fruit measured in its oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is 2341 µmol TE/100 g.

If you are looking for a high quality source of organic pomegranate for your daily dietary needs, check out our remarkable ResveraYouth anti-aging supplement, packed full of the most powerful super fruits and with a massive ORAC content.


References:

Esmaillzadeh A, Tahbaz F, Gaieni I, Alavi-Majd H, Azadbakht L. Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated pomegranate juice consumption in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006 May;76.

David Heber, Navindra P. Seeram, Holly Wyatt, Susanne M. Henning, Yanjun Zhang, Lorraine G. Ogden, Mark Dreher, James O. Hill. Safety and Antioxidant Activity of a Pomegranate Ellagitannin-Enriched Polyphenol Dietary Supplement in Overweight Individuals with Increased Waist Size. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2007 October 30. 55 (24), pp 10050–10054.

Sumner MD, Elliott-Eller M, Weidner G, Daubenmier JJ, Chew MH, Marlin R, Raisin CJ, Ornish D. Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2005 Sep 15;96..

Fitoterapia. 2005 Mar;76(2):181-6. Flavonoids from Punica granatum--potential antiperoxidative agents, Sudheesh S, Vijayalakshmi NR. Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, 695581 India.



Content and other information presented on the site is not meant to constitute medical advice or be any substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider. If you are making changes to your regimen, always consult your doctor first.

 


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