(BeWellBuzz) Pomegranates are not only delicious fruits, but also provide a number of benefits for our bodies. From the many nutrients and antioxidants they contain down to their promotion of cardiovascular health, anti-cancer properties, skin care benefits, and many more. Read on to discover amazing health benefits this fruit has to offer.
1. Nutrients Galore
This wonderfully tasting fruit is rich in nutrients of all kinds. Pomegranates are free of cholesterol and saturated fat, and provide a good source of vitamins C and K as well as potassium. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and has antioxidant properties. Pomegranates are high in dietary fiber which is beneficial for the digestive system. Fiber can also help to reduce blood cholesterol and glucose levels, and aid in weight loss, as they make you feel fuller for longer.
2. High in Antioxidants
Pomegranates are bursting with antioxidants. They in fact contain high amounts of antioxidants of 3 types: anthcyanins, ellagic acid and tannins. Antioxidants play an important role in removing free radicals from the body, protecting cells from damage and repairing damaged cells. They have long been touted for their value in fighting against aging and cancer.
3. Cardiovascular Health and Prevention of Heart Disease
Pomegranates can help improve cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease. A study conducted by the Technion Institute in Israel found that organic pomegranate juice reduces the buildup of cholesterol plaque in arteries, preventing them from getting clogged up and enabling better blood flow through the vessels. Additionally, pomegranates lower LDL cholesterol levels (‘bad’ cholesterol) thanks to their high antioxidant content. Pomegranate juice is also believed to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
4. Anti-Cancer Benefits
Studies conducted at the University of California and University of Wisconsin show that pomegranate juice, oil and extract have the potential to prevent a number of cancers, including skin, lung, breast and colon cancer. Some other encouraging preliminary studies indicate that pomegranate juice may support breast health. The Breast Cancer Research Program at the City of Hope in Duarte, carried out a study in 2009 that showed evidence that the antioxidants of pomegranate seeds have an inhibitory effect on estrogen production, and therefore may prevent breast cancer cell growth.
Pomegranate juice may also have some benefits for prostate health. A 2005 study published in the Clinical Cancer Research Journal and conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that pomegranate juice can slow the progression of prostate cancer. Pomegranate juice has been found to play an active role in helping the body to maintain a low level of prostate specific antigen, which is a protein that is found in high levels in men who have prostate cancer.
5. Skin Care
Additionally, pomegranates have valuable skin benefits when applied directly to the skin in the form of pomegranate oil derived from the seeds. Applying pomegranate seed oil to your skin concentrates the antioxidants and protects it from the environmental toxins. A 2006 published study conducted by the University of Michigan shows evidence that these oils help to repair damaged skin, slow down the process of skin aging and promote skin regeneration. Pomegranate oil is currently being used in a number of skin care treatment products. Pomegranate juice and extract have similar benefits, but to a lesser extent.
6. Anti-inflammatory properties
Due to its high antioxidant content, pomegranates have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Preliminary studies published in the Journal of Nutrition and undertaken at the Case Western Reserve University reveal that pomegranate extract may be helpful in reducing inflammation associated with arthritis. Pomegranates may also have some anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.
As can be seen, pomegranates offer a huge variety of health benefits. They are rich in valuable nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber and potassium, and contain a high amount of antioxidants. Pomegranates help promote cardiovascular health and prevent coronary heart disease. Pomegranate oil is known for its skin care benefits, including the protection, repair and regeneration of skin. Pomegranates are also believed to play a role in fighting cancers, including breast and prostate cancers, yet more research is still being conducted to get a better grasp of its anti-cancer benefits. What we do know for sure is that pomegranates really are one of nature’s power fruit.