Pomegranates are beautiful. They are vibrant. They are difficult and messy to open (we’ll solve that below). And, they are incredibly nutritious. In fact, they have been well-studied and there are many science-backed health benefits of pomegranates (1).
What’s more, pomegranates are festive. However, more are used for decoration than consumption in our country. let’s change that.
If you’re interested in serving pomegranate this Holiday Season, you’re in luck. They are currently in-season. What’s more, if you break one open and simply put out a bowl of delicious pomegranate seeds as a Holiday appetizer, you’re sure to please.
Here’s how to easily open pomegranates, and the top 10 science-backed health benefits of pomegranates once you do.
Disclaimer: Since they do contain considerable grams of carbohydrates, pomegranates are not a Keto Zone food, but they are still a healthy one. A great way to get in the health benefits of pomegranates while in the Keto Zone? Try Red Supremefood!
Pomegranates, or Punica granatum, contain bright red edible seeds. Actually, the seed itself if the white portion in the middle, and the red juicy outer layer of each is called an aril. In full, these seeds-arils are small but packed with nutrition.
In fact, each cup of arils and seeds provides (2):
In all, this is quite a nutrition-punch for a little juicy seed.
While punicalagins don’t sound particularly healthy or appetizing, they are amazing, potent, antioxidant compounds that are responsible for many of the health benefits of pomegranates.
In fact, the punicalagins found in pomegranate juice cause it to have 3 times the antioxidant power of red wine and green tea (3).
The peel of pomegranates is also very high in punicalagin, making pomegranate extracts and powders great sources as well.
Like punicalagins, punicic acid is a highly nutritious compound found in pomegranates. It is actually a fatty acid, found in pomegranate seed oil. Lucky for us, the seeds are what you eat when you eat a pomegranate.
Amazingly, in lab studies, punicic acid has been found to be anti-obesity. It actually inhibits the proliferation of fat cells (4).
In fact, pomegranate juice and seeds have been found to lower high blood pressure in just 2 weeks in studies. Specifically, it affects systolic blood pressure (5, 6).
High triglycerides are another big health concern for heart disease. One 4-week study found that daily pomegranate seed oil lowered triglycerides and improved their ratio to HDL cholesterol (7). What’s more, another study showed a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol in those with type 2 diabetes (8). And maybe most importantly, pomegranate juice, as a super-antioxidant drink – protects LDL cholesterol from being oxidized. Oxidation is what causes the cholesterol to stick to the artery wall and form plaques (9).
Many adults suffer from joint pain and arthritis. And unfortunately, this pain is often worse during the colder Winter months.
Pomegranates display anti-inflammatory effects, and this can offer relief to inflamed joints.
What’s more, studies have found that pomegranate extract may actually block damage to joints in those with arthritis, and have been shown to be an effect arthritis-reliever in mice studies (10, 11).
Pomegranate compounds are strongly anti-inflammatory and can affect almost all body systems. In fact, inflammatory diseases affect the heart and brain and are linked to Diabetes and obesity.
In studies, pomegranates have been shown to be effective against inflammation in the digestive tract, breast cancer cells, colon cancer cells, and whole-body (12, 13,).
Pomegranates have lowered inflammatory markers such as CRP and interleukin-6 by up to 32% in just 12 weeks in studies on those with diabetes (14).
Another set of health benefits of pomegranates involves memory.
But, what does the science say?
In one study, pomegranate extract was linked to fewer memory deficits after surgery. Another found that pomegranate juice significantly improved verbal and visual memory in older adults (19, 20).
Animal studies have also suggested it may reduce the risk of, or fight Alzheimer’s disease (21).
Excellent, I love it. Thank you so much for making this known.
Hi Ryan, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Have a Merry Christmas!