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Discover 9 health benefits of pomegranate that make it a super fruit!

Low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, pomegranates are super healthy for you. Here are 9 health benefits of pomegranate for your overall well-being.
benefits of pomegranate
Know the advantages of pomegranate. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 27 Jun 2024, 05:39 pm IST
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Known for its tangy and sweet flavour, pomegranate contains a lot of medicinal properties. This nutrient-dense fruit is packed with vitamins C and K, folate, and potassium, alongside potent antioxidants like punicalagins and flavonoids. When consumed regularly, it can support heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in combating various diseases, including arthritis and certain cancers. And the interesting thing about pomegranate is that every part of it—its juicy seeds, peel, and even the flowers—offers health benefits. Without further ado, let’s look at the health benefits of pomegranate and why you should make it a part of your diet.

Health benefits of pomegranate

Here are 9 reasons why pomegranate should be part of your daily diet:

1. Loaded with antioxidants

Both pomegranate pulp and peel are packed with powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids, according to a study published by the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. These antioxidants help neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, which can otherwise cause oxidative stress and damage cells. “Consuming this superfood regularly can help protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation,” explains Dietitian Gauri Anand.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases, including joint issues, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Pomegranates contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. A study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity has shown that pomegranate extract can inhibit symptoms of inflammatory activity in colon cancer cells and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. So, consume this fruit regularly to improve your overall health.

pomegranate
Pomegranates are packed with several essential nutrients. Image courtesy: Freepika

3. Protects heart health

Thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, pomegranates can significantly improve heart health. They are known to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve overall cardiovascular function. One study published by Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that consuming 50 ml of pomegranate juice daily for two weeks led to a significant reduction in blood pressure levels. Additionally, the antioxidants in pomegranates help prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is a crucial step in preventing heart disease.

4. Contains anticancer properties

Pomegranate is known for its beneficial impact on cancer prevention and treatment, thanks to its high antioxidant content, which helps in preventing and repairing DNA damage that may lead to cancer. Research published in Nutrients highlights pomegranate’s ability to impede tumor growth during the initial stages of liver cancer. Additionally, another study in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases noted that pomegranate extract suppresses the spread of cancer cells, particularly in prostate cancer cases.

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5. Helps brain function

Poor cognitive health or memory loss is a part of ageing. It happens due to the oxidation process in the brain. However, consuming antioxidant and anti-inflammatory-rich foods such as pomegranate is beneficial for brain health. A study published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences indicates that ellagitannins in pomegranate, an antioxidant, may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by reducing oxidative damage.

Also read: Why pomegranate seeds are healthy for you

6. Improves digestion

Pomegranates are a good source of dietary fibre, which is essential for digestive health. “Fibre promotes regular bowel movements and supports a healthy gut microbiome by increasing levels of beneficial gut bacteria,” says Anand. Moreover, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help support your gut microbiome by reducing inflammation in the digestive system and improving symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, according to a study published by Anaerobe.

7. Supports bladder health

While cranberry juice is well known for its ability to support bladder health, pomegranate juice may also be a great choice! A study published by Nutrients reveals that individuals prone to kidney stones showed that pomegranate extract may help prevent the stones from forming. This is due to the polyphenol content in pomegranates, which can reduce blood levels of oxalates and calcium, common components found in kidney stones.

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bladder infection
Drinking pomegranate juice can be helpful for your bladder health! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

8. Boosts immunity

Pomegranates are rich in several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, a nutrient known for supporting immune function. “Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infections and defending the body against harmful pathogens,” according to Anand. Moreover, antioxidants in pomegranates also contribute to immune health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which can weaken the immune system.

Also read: Eating a pomegranate? 5 things to avoid with it

9. Promotes skin health

The combination of antioxidants and vitamin C in pomegranates plays a vital role in promoting healthy skin. These compounds help protect the skin against sun damage, reduce signs of ageing, and encourage collagen production, which keeps the skin firm and youthful. Pomegranate extract is also used in skincare products for its moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for conditions like acne and eczema, according to a study published by the Journal of Foods.

Are pomegranate seeds healthy?

If you tend to avoid pomegranate seeds, you are depriving yourself of a range of essential nutrients present in pomegranate seeds. “They are safe to eat and a good source of antioxidants, particularly punicalagin, and anthocyanins, which help combat oxidative stress, reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage,” says Anand. These antioxidants have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. They also contain a significant amount of fibre that helps with the digestive system and maintains good gastrointestinal health.

What’s more? Pomegranate seeds are also low in calories. To reap such benefits, make sure you are consuming seeds as well.

Is pomegranate peel healthy?

As a fruit, pomegranate is extremely delicious and healthy, as is its peel. The peel is bitter and astringent in taste and it can be used to cure various illnesses. It aids in reducing swelling and inflammation, improving digestion, and promoting liver health. Due to its antioxidant content, pomegranate peel is more healthier than its seeds.

Cut pomegranate
You can use pomegranate peel in many ways! Image courtesy: Freepik

How to prepare pomegranate powder?

After drying the pomegranate peels in sunlight for at least 2–3 days, grind them until they turn into a fine powder. Keep the powder at room temperature in an airtight container.

How to use pomegranate powder?

  • Mix half a teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of peel powder and use it in times of cough and cold.
  • Take 2 teaspoons of pomegranate peel powder and 1 tablespoon of rose water, mix it well, and apply this pomegranate face mask to your face to deal with signs of ageing and acne.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of pomegranate peel powder with lime juice and a pinch of salt and consume for detoxification.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of pomegranate peel powder with hair oil and apply it to your hair to deal with dandruff.

Is it healthy to consume pomegranate juice?

Pomegranate can also be enjoyed as juice, a popular beverage rich in nutrients such as antioxidants, protein, fibre, potassium, and magnesium. Research from Clinical Nutrition ESPEN shows that drinking approximately 200 ml of pomegranate juice daily for 6 weeks lowered blood pressure in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Initial findings suggest it may also improve insulin resistance in such individuals, though further studies are needed to confirm these benefits.

Moreover, pomegranate juice contains significant calories and sugar, which could be problematic if you consume an excessive amount. Therefore, moderate intake is advised to safely enhance overall health.

Who should avoid pomegranate?

Pomegranate is one of the healthiest fruits you can add to your diet. However, there are some risks associated with the consumption of pomegranate, which you should be aware of. Here’s who should avoid this superfood:

  • Pomegranates may cause allergic reactions such as itching, swelling, or trouble breathing. So people with severe allergies should avoid it.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is safe to consume pomegranate or drink pomegranate juice but avoid consuming pomegranate extract.
  • If you have diabetes, consult your doctor before drinking pomegranate juice.
  • If you have diarrhoea or any other digestive problem, avoid drinking pomegranate juice or pomegranate extract.
  • People who are taking medications to lower blood pressure should avoid pomegranate.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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