There are a lot of fruits that we usually eat on an almost daily basis. Apples, bananas, strawberries, and a handful of others that you see in just about every person’s house. However, you don’t see pomegranates sitting around the kitchen all that much. For hundreds of years pomegranates have been grown in what is now Iran, and was brought into North America during the 1700’s.
Despite being around for so long, we didn’t know much about the great benefits that pomegranates could bring until recently. Because of that, there has been a boom in the demand for pomegranates, and juice that comes from the fruit has been more popular than ever. So how much should you be adding pomegranate (and the many ways to consume it) into your daily routine? Let’s look at the great benefits that you can get, and how you can get them.
Pomegranates are great when it comes to foods that are low in calories but still rich with nutrients and vitamins. Eating a whole pomegranate has around 230 calories, but many people don’t consume the whole thing. If you do, then you are getting nearly half of your recommended daily amount of dietary fiber. There are carbohydrates (18 percent), but that’s a small price to pay.
In terms of vitamins, pomegranates are packed with more than half of your daily recommended amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C will help you prevent a lot of different diseases while vitamin K prevents osteoporosis, blood clotting and much more. You can also find high amounts of thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper and manganese. There is also around 20 percent of your recommended potassium intake, and you know about many of the great benefits that potassium can bring.
The most common type of cancer found in males is prostate cancer, while the most common for women is breast cancer. Eating more pomegranates can help reduce both types of cancer. While eating pomegranates isn’t the treatment for cancer, extracts have been shown to stop the reproduction of breast cancer cells, while treatments have even killed some of these cells.
For prostate cancer, pomegranate extracts slowed down the reproduction of cancer cells by a large margin, taking more than three times as long. In more successful studies, cancer cells have even been eradicated after being introduced to the extract. Tests are still being run on different forms of cancers, but the future looks bright for pomegranate in the fight against cancer.
Heart disease is all too common these days, and an improved cardiovascular system performance will help you live a longer life and even be able to exercise more efficiently. Taking a daily supplement of pomegranate seed extract will not only raise your good (HDL) cholesterol while decreasing your bad (LDL) cholesterol. This has been shown in studies with an almost perfect success rate.
Your blood pressure will also be likely to improve just by drinking pomegranate juice, which many people do just for the taste. Those with high blood pressure have seen large improvements from just a few ounces of pomegranate juice each day over a short amount of time. Now just imagine that over an extended period, and you will be able to stabilize your blood pressure in a big way.
Studies have also shown a significant reduction in artery blockage from those that regularly consume pomegranates. The study showed the reduction was nearly 30 percent, while those on the same diet without juice saw their chance of blockage increase. This increased blood flow will help you exercise, and other studies have backed this up as runners won’t get fatigued as quickly in their cardio exercises.
All in Your Head
The heart is definitely one of the two most important organs in your body, with the other being the brain. Pomegranates will help you in that department, as well, starting with the increased blood flow helping to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Pomegranates have also been found to help out with memory loss.
Drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis has shown to help the brain perform at a higher function. This helps you remember smaller details more consistently, and the studies proved this through testing and even MRI scanning of brain activity. Drinking a glass of pomegranate juice per day can finally help you remember where you kept your car keys in the morning.
Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants that assist your digestive system. Those that are consistently dealing with stomach cramps or diarrhea can drink a small amount of pomegranate tea each day to ease their symptoms. The antioxidant properties also keep you regular and extract more nutrients from other foods.
These antioxidants will also help you get rid of other nasty bacteria that might have entered your body. Not only will your stomach thank you, but so will your mouth. As most bad breath can be traced back to indigestion and other stomach problems, you can wipe that out with pomegranates. The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates also help to strengthen your bones, and even that comes back to the teeth and gums, making them healthier. Of course, having joints that don’t ache as much will also be a welcome change.
Summing it Up
You can cut open a pomegranate and take the seeds out, you can cook it up, you can take supplements of the seed extract or even mix in pomegranates with your drink. With so many ways to prepare pomegranates, you don’t have to just eat it the same way every day. That makes it one of the most versatile fruits out there, all with a ton of benefits.
Most of the foods that we have taken a look at don’t have many negative effects, and pomegranates have almost none. There is a certain type of medication (carbamazepine) that does not mix well with pomegranate. That’s pretty much the only thing that you should look out for. The other negatives of pomegranates have nothing to do with health, and have to do with finding them throughout the year and the time it takes to prepare them.
As long as you can find them, make sure to pick up as many pomegranates as you can. The seeds last almost a week when refrigerated and several months when frozen. As for the fruit itself, you can keep them around for three weeks until they spoil. That’s a fantastic shelf life for most fruits, and a fantastic fruit overall.