Pomegranate is a beautiful round fruit with shiny red seeds called arils. This seasonal fruit which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber is aptly known as a storehouse of nutrients. Termed as a superfood by health experts, this juicy red fruit has several curative properties and is considered as one of the healthiest fruits available. So if you are wondering whether to buy pomegranate or not this season, then here is what you need to read first!
Packed with powerful antioxidants called punicalagin, pomegranates have been found to have 3 times the antioxidant activity of red wine, grape juice, cranberry juice or even green tea. The fruit is relatively low in calories (eating a medium-sized fruit can provide around 234 calories only) which makes it an ideal option for anyone watching their weight and eat healthy food. Moreover, a 100 g serving of pomegranate seeds provides around 12% of Vitamin C, 16% of Vitamin K and 10% of folate. The seeds also contain good amounts of minerals such as iron, potassium, and calcium.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF POMEGRANATE
Pomegranate has been used as a traditional medicine in many countries. The seeds as well as the skin of the fruit as known to be loaded with various compounds beneficial for overall health. This fruit is known to aid in digestion, help fight infections, improve your hemoglobin level, and also protect you from cancer. Here are some amazing health benefits of pomegranate you need to be aware of.
1. Keeps The Heart Healthy
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases. And studies have reported that pomegranate juice can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health. According to studies, consuming pomegranate juice daily can lead to a 5% drop in systolic BP, which in turn can significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20% and the risk of mortality by 7%.
It is also shown that pomegranate juice decreases the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the level of HDL (good cholesterol). It also reduces the formation of plaque in the arteries, thereby lowering the risk of heart attack and keeping the heart and circulatory system healthy. So make sure to include pomegranate salad, prepared with a cup of its seeds lemon juice, salt, pepper and a dash of olive oil, in your diet to keep your heart healthy.
2. Fights Inflammation
Pomegranate seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and have anti-inflammatory, antiviral & anti-tumor properties. This is the reason why these seeds are beneficial for chronic conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. The presence of compounds such as ellagitannins (ET) and ellagic acid (EA), which are polyphenols, are known to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of inflammatory conditions.
De-seed a pomegranate and prepare the juice. Wash the skin along with the rind. And boil it with 2 glasses of water. When reduced to half, cool it, strain it and keep sipping the water at regular intervals. This remedy has been proven to be extremely beneficial in controlling diarrhea and in reducing the inflammation in the small and large intestines. Acid reflux can also be controlled by mixing 2 teaspoons of honey in 250 ml of the juice and having it first thing in the morning.
3. Increases Haemoglobin Levels
Pomegranate is packed with iron and Vitamin C which makes it a healthy option for people suffering from low hemoglobin levels. As Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron from the foods, taking this drink on a regular basis can help improve red blood cell count and also lower your risk of anemia (caused due to low hemoglobin count).
People suffering from low hemoglobin levels would do well to include a glass of this juice in their diet. A teaspoon of dried pomegranate seeds boiled with 2 cups of water, reduced to half, taken every morning, helps increase the red blood count. Women suffering from heavy menstrual flow would benefit from this as well. A beetroot could be included for added iron boosting effects.
4. Fights Cancer
Pomegranate is packed with antioxidants, and regular consumption of pomegranate juice has shown to prevent various types of cancer. It can be used in the treatment of prostate cancer because it could inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis. It has polyphenol antioxidants that inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and the anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the size of tumors too. Recent research has also shown the benefits of pomegranate juice in patients suffering from breast cancer.
Drink 250 ml of fresh pomegranate juice every day, add a dash of sea salt and a pinch of pepper for taste. Avoid canned/packaged juices as they have too much sugar and added preservatives which can prevent you from reaping the benefits of the fruit.
5. Boost Brain Function
The presence of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin in pomegranate is known to improve cognitive function, memory and also prevent degenerative diseases. Its juice is known to slow down the degeneration of the brain cells and prevent memory loss. It could also provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease and improve brain health.
The phenolic content of the juice, which has incredible benefits for the body, is adversely affected by processing and pasteurization techniques. So always opt for fresh and homemade juice. The best way to enjoy this fruit is to eat its seeds rather than taking its juice.
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