10 Health Benefits of Pomegranate

Organic Food
15.12.2019

10 Health Benefits of Pomegranate

Pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum L.) is cultivated in India, Spain, Israel, and the United States (1).  Pomegranate fruit is a native of Asian countries that include Iran to Northern India. But the whole Mediterranean region has been cultivating pomegranate from a long time now (2).

pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum L.) cultivated in India, Spain, Israel, and the United States has been rated to contain the highest antioxidant capacity in its juice, when compared to other commonly consumed polyphenol-rich beverages in the United State

Nutrient composition of pomegranate 

The major constituent of pomegranate fruit is water, that is it contains 77 % water. The next main component is a carbohydrate which is about 18 % followed by fiber about 4 % with very low amounts of protein about 2 % and fat 1 % (3).

It is a low-calorie fruit, provides about 83 kcals per 100 grams of the fruit. It is a good source of vitamin C, contains about 10 mg in 100 grams of fruit. It is also a fair source of folate about 38 micrograms and vitamin K about 16 micrograms per 100 grams of fruit. It is a good source of potassium 236 mg/100 grams.

From the nutrient composition, it can be said that pomegranate is a nutrient-dense fruit and is low calorie.

 

Health benefits of pomegranate

Pomegranate has several nutrients that promote health. Pomegranate is known for its therapeutic effects because of the polyphenol compounds present.

  1. Low calorie fruit

Pomegranate is a nutrient rich, low calorie fruit and can be incorporated into a balanced diet and also calorie restricted diet.

  1. Rich vitamin C source

Pomegranate is a rich source of vitamin C and it is an essential nutrient that our body requires. Ascorbic acid is known for its antioxidant capacity. Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin C reduce the negative effect of reactive species such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.

The damage caused by these reactive species may result in chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases in the long run.

  1. Rich source of antioxidants

The polyphenol compounds of pomegranate exhibit potent antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity is because of the ellagitannins and tannins. And it is said that pomegranate juice has more antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea (4).

Most of this antioxidant activity of the pomegranate juice is because of ellagitannins (1).

  1. Anticarcinogenic effect

Pomegranate exhibits anticarcinogenic effect. Consumption of this fruit may prevent cancer. Research shows that there may be many mechanisms involved in the anticarcinogenic effect of pomegranate (5).

  1. Heart health

The antioxidant activity in pomegranate because of the polyphenolic compounds results in the reduction of oxidative stress and atherogenesis which improves cardiovascular health (5).

  1. Helps reduce blood pressure

Pomegranate juice which has polyphenol content has a positive effect on blood pressure. It reduces blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart problems.

  1. Anti-diabetic activity

Pomegranate fruit has antidiabetic activity (6). Diabetic people are at a higher risk of developing heart problems. Pomegranate fruit is having several heart protective properties too which is beneficial for diabetic people.

  1. Good source of fiber

Pomegranate is a good source of fiber. Fiber is good for gut health and also helps in the regulation of glucose and lipid levels in the blood.

  1. Anti-inflammatory activity

Preparations of pomegranate extracts from peels, flowers, seeds, and juice, show significant anti-inflammatory activity in the gut (7).  Pomegranate juice seems to exhibit potent anti-inflammatory effect (8)

  1. Anti-microbial

Pomegranate juice has antibacterial activity against E. coli (9). Fresh pomegranate juice has antimicrobial activity because of polyphenols and antioxidant activity (10).

 

Final word

Most of the health benefits of pomegranate are attributed to the polyphenol’s antioxidant activity (11). Pomegranate is a nutrient rich fruit and because of the polyphenols has several health-promoting effects.

 

References

  1. Basu, A. and Penugonda, K. (2009) Pomegranate juice: A heart-healthy fruit juice, Nutrition reviews. Vol.67.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23790554_Pomegranate_juice_A_heart-healthy_fruit_juice
  2. Bassiri-Jahromi, S. (2018) Punica granatum (Pomegranate) activity in health promotion and cancer prevention, Oncology reviews. Vol. 12(1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806496/
  3. United States department of agriculture, Agriculture research service, USDA food composition data base. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/
  4. Zarfeshany, A., Asgary, S. and Javanmard, S. H. (2014) Potent health effects of pomegranate, Advanced biomedical research. Vol.3 (100). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/
  5. Sreeja, S., Hima, S., Parvathy, M., Juberiya, M. A. and Sreeja, S. (2014) Pomegranate Fruit as a Rich Source of Biologically Active Compounds, BioMed Research International. Vol. 2014. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/686921/
  6. Banihani, S., Swedan, S. and Alguraan, Z. (2013) Pomegranate and type 2 diabetes, Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.). 33 (5). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236918852_Pomegranate_and_type_2_diabetes
  7. Elisa, C., Enrico, S. and Mario, D. (2013) A Review on the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Pomegranate in the Gastrointestinal Tract, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol. 2013. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/247145/
  8. Ammar, A., Chtourou, H., Mouna, T., Osama, A., Fatma, A., Anita, H., Sourou, Y. and Nizar, S. (2018) Natural pomegranate juice reduces inflammation, muscle damage and increase platelets blood levels in active healthy Tunisian aged men, Alexandria Journal of Medicine. Vol. 54(1) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090506816301968
  9. Shivsharan, U. and Ravva, S. (2018) Antimicrobial Activity of Pomegranate Juice, Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. Vol.11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328802718_Antimicrobial_Activity_of_Pomegranate_Juice
  10. Betanzos-Cabrera, G., Montes-Rubio, P. Y., Fabela-Illescas, H. E., Belefant-Miller, H. and Cancino-Diaz, J. C. (2015) Antibacterial activity of fresh pomegranate juice against clinical strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis, Food & nutrition research. Vol.59. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440876/
  11.   Sahebkar, A.Ferri, C.Giorgini, P.Bo, S.Nachtigal, P. and Grassi, D.(2017) Effects of pomegranate juice on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Pharmacol Res. Vol.115. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27888156

 

 

 

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