5 Health Benefits of Pomegranates Print Write e-mail
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Fruit - Fruit 2012
Written by Frank Mangano   
Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:39


While all people know what an apple and a banana is, only a few know that pomegranates are fruits. Pomegranates, or Punica granatum according to the horticulturists, are deciduous plants that can grow up to eight meters tall. The fruit of pomegranates is actually considered a berry. The fruit itself can be 5 to 12 inch in diameter, but what are intriguing about pomegranates are the insides. Inside the thick, hard, reddish to orangey skin of the fruit is a cluster of 200 to 1400 seeds. For every tiny seed it is covered with watery pulp which is called aril. Pomegranate’s aril is edible. It taste sweet, yet it is acidic and considered astringent.

The name pomegranate comes from the French pomme-grenade. Pomme means fruit, while grenade is for the Spanish city of Granada. But grenade actually comes from the Latin word, granatum, which means seeded. Interestingly, some people, especially in the Philippines, call this fruit “Granada”, which might be right because a grenade looks like the insides of the pomegranate. Pomegranates can be eaten raw, like most fruits. After opening the skin, the reddish arils can be eaten direct. But because of the inconvenience of having to eat the fruit of hundreds of small seeds, many companies nowadays are manufacturing pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice has become popular, not because of its interesting fruit looks, but because of the nutritional benefits it offers. Pomegranates juice may be sweet, but most are sour-tasting, which is mostly sought after by those who are considering the nutritional value of the fruit.

Pomegranates are very rich in vitamin C. A cup of the aril juice can already provide 32 percent of the body’s daily requirement for vitamin C. But pomegranate is also laden with other vitamins and minerals. Vitamins B5 and potassium is rich in this fruit. And because it is just like other types of berries, it is rich in polyphenols, such as flavonoids and tannins, which makes it a good source of antioxidants. Below are some of the health advantages of pomegranates.

  1. It is good for the heart

    According to several recent studies made for pomegranates, it showed that those who generously drink the pomegranate juice have experienced reduction of inflammations and decline in the damage of cells due to free radical activities. In a study made on rabbits, it showed that there is potential for humans to be relieved from chronic inflammatory conditions just by taking the pomegranate extract. Pomegranate extract is just equal to 175 milliliters of pomegranate juice. When the blood levels before and after ingestion of pomegranate extract was measured, it shows high level of antioxidants in the blood after taking the extract. Additionally, there is a decrease in the activities of the protein that causes the inflammatory reaction of the body. Heart problems, especially angina and myocardial infarctions, are considered to be inflammations of the heart. With pomegranate, there is assurance that the heart is protected.

  2. It helps reduce risk of cancer

    Since pomegranate is rich as an antioxidant, it is therefore beneficial in protecting the cells from further damage. When the cells are protected for the effects of oxidative stress, the cells are seldom replaced, which means that there is lower risk in producing cancer cells. Therefore, pomegranate can actually help in lowering the risk in developing cancers. But what if you already have cancer, what benefits can you get from drinking the pomegranate juice? In a study made by the researchers of the University of California, they were able to discover that phenylpropanoids, hydro benzoic acids, the conjugated fats and the flavones can actually increase cell adhesion as well as decrease the migration of cells. With increased cell adhesion, the cells have lower tendencies to break down or break away, which lower the chances of tumor cell formation. With decreased cell migration, in the case of existent cancer cells, the tendency is that it lowers the chances of metastasis. With increased ingestion of pomegranate juice, the risk of developing cancers or of propagation of cancer cells is lowered.

  3. It helps arthritis sufferers

    Arthritis is known as an effective anti-inflammatory fruit. In the case of people suffering osteoarthritis, pomegranate juice is beneficial in improving the health of the joints by slowing down the deterioration process of the joint cartilage. In a research published by the Journal of Nutrition in 2005, the extracts of pomegranate are beneficial to the type of arthritis caused by wear and tear. One of the substances that play a large role in the degradation of joint cartilage is Interleukin-1b. This substance is considered to be a pro-inflammatory protein. In the research, an observation of the effects of pomegranate extract towards Interleukin-1b, it showed that the extract can actually inhibit the activities of the enzymes responsible for tissue remodeling in the case of osteoarthritis. When this enzyme and the interleukin-1b is inhibited, the cartilage is protected, which further means that the osteoarthritis is prevented.

  4. It promotes good dental hygiene

    According to the article in Alternative Medicine Review in 2008, it stated that typical application of the extract of pomegranate can actually prevent inflammation of the mouth and oral cavities. It also decreased the amounts of bacteria, fungus and Candida, which can lead to some periodontal diseases as well as the common, stomatitis. Those who are wearing dentures may also be benefited from the topical pomegranate applications. Pomegranate is an effective antibacterial, especially for oral health.

  5. It is good for the brain

    Any antioxidants, such as the pomegranates, are effective in maintaining brain health. Antioxidants reduce the tendency of the elderly to develop Alzheimer’s disease or any diseases caused by degradation of the neurons and the synaptic junctions. In a study made at the Washington University School of Medicine, they experimented on the effects of pomegranate towards the brain of the babies born prematurely. When there is low oxygen going towards the infant while still inside the mother’s body, there is high risk of the baby being born early. This condition will lead to hypoxic ischemic brain injury for the newly-born babies. Although still studied on mice, the study indicates that if there is increase in ingestion of pomegranate by the mothers, the loss of brain tissues in the fetus is reduced, which means lesser risk of premature birth.





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