Pomegranate: Definition, Nutritional Value, Types, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a tree. Different parts of the tree and its fruit are used to make medicine. People used pomegranate for high blood pressure, athletic performance, heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions. However, there is not much scientific evidence to support most of these uses. Pomegranates have been used for thousands of years. They appear in Greek, Hebrew, Buddhist, Islamic, and Christian myths and writings. Around 1500 BCE, pomegranates were recorded as a treatment for tapeworms and other parasites. Many cultures use pomegranates in traditional medicine. The pomegranate tree is originally from Iran. It is mainly grown in Mediterranean countries, parts of the United States of America, Afghanistan, Russia, India, China, and Japan. You can also see pomegranates in some royal and medical symbols. For more research you can also visit Healthline.

What are Pomegranates?

Pomegranate is a sweet and tart fruit with thick, red skin. The red skin isn’t edible, but inside there are hundreds of juicy seeds that you can eat plain or add to salads, oatmeal, hummus, and other dishes. People have enjoyed pomegranates for their health benefits since ancient times. Modern research shows that the antioxidants in pomegranates can help protect your heart. The fruit also has anti-inflammatory and anti-properties that might be useful in treating and preventing cancer, but more research is needed. The most common way to eat a pomegranate is to cut it open and pull apart the skin to get to the edible seeds and juice sacs, which are called arils. Pomegranates grow on tall bushes. These bushes use a lot of heat to grow and ripen the fruits. Pomegranates originally come from Iran and northern India, but they also grow in the United States of America mostly in California.

What is the Nutritional Value of Pomegranates?

Pomegranates are very nutritious and provide many important nutrients. Here’s the nutrition information for one cup of pomegranate seeds. Such as:

  • Calories: 144.4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 32.6 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 2.9 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Potassium: 410 milligrams or 9% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 0.656 mg or 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 17.74 mg or 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 1.044 mg or 7% of the DV
  • Folate: 66.2 mg or 17% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 18.6 micrograms (mcg) or 18% of the DV
  • Manganese: 0.208 mg or 9% of the DV

Pomegranates seeds are rich in fiber, which is important for digestive health. Fiber helps support the good bacteria in your gut and promotes regular bowel movements, helping to prevent constipation. Pomegranate seeds also contain many essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. For example, they are high in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system, helps produce collagen aids in protein metabolism and is involved in the production of neurotransmitters.

What is the Type of Pomegranates?

Here are different types of pomegranates. Such as:

  • Wonderful
  • Parfianka
  • Texas pink
  • Red
  • Pink satin
  • Eversweet
  • Purple hurt
  • Desertnyi
  • Ambrosia
  • Golden globe
  • Red silk
  • Kazake
  • Granada
  • Salavatski

What are the Health Benefits of Pomegranates?

Here are some potential health benefits of pomegranates.

Rich in Antioxidants:

Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants in fruits can help lower the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a type of free radical in the body. The body procedure ROS during metabolism and other processes and exposure to toxins, like tobacco smoke, can also increase ROS levels. High levels of ROS can cause oxidative stress, leading to cell damage and inflammation. Oxidative stress may contribute to metabolic diseases, cancer, and other health problems. Antioxidants help remove ROS from the body. The antioxidants in pomegranate juice can help remove ROS and protect the body from damage.

Nutrient Boost:

Pomegranates contain many important essential nutrients and are good source of:

  • Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the cells in your body from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause harm.
  • Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. This vitamin helps your body heal wounds by forming blood clots and is also important for bone health.
  • Magnesium, which helps manage high blood pressure and glucose levels. Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, supporting a healthy immune system and keeping the heartbeat steady. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels and promotes normal blood pressure.

May have Anticancer Properties:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) list pomegranates as one of the natural remedies that may help treat or prevent prostate cancer. A 2014 research article noted that the polyphenols in pomegranates may help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. In studies with mice, researchers found that pomegranate fruit extract could reduce prostate-specific antigen levels and inhibit tumor growth. Ingredients in pomegranate may also help prevent breast cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer. Further studies are now underway, according to the American Cancer Society.

Good for Brain:

Ingredients in pomegranate juice may help prevent the formation of amyloid plaques in the hippocampus, according to some animal research. In an older study, mice were given either a normal diet or one supplemented with 4% pomegranate. The researchers discovered that compounds in pomegranate helped restore the activity of certain enzymes. This led them to suggest that pomegranate could potentially be used in treating Alzheimer’s disease. A 2020 study in rodents also found that pomegranate extract was effective in reducing markers associated with Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.

Supports Digestive Health  

Some evidence suggests that pomegranate juice may be beneficial for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other bowel conditions because of its polyphenols content. Studies involving humans are currently being conducted to determine whether pomegranate juice can improve markers of inflammation in individuals with IBD. However, it’s important to note that some people with IBD have reported experiencing diarrhea after consuming pomegranate juice.

Inflammatory Conditions:

Polyphenols possess both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Given that pomegranate is rich in polyphenols, it could be considered beneficial for treating various inflammatory conditions. According to 2017 review, evidence from studies with rodent suggest that pomegranate extract might provide benefits for people with conditions such as:

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Molecular studies have shown that ingredients in pomegranates extract may have the ability to silence genetic signals that contribute to osteoarthritis (OA). This suggests that pomegranate could potentially help prevent the onset of this condition. In a 2016 clinical trial involving 38 people with knee OA, participants either consumed pomegranate juice or did not consume any juice for 6 weeks. The results indicated that pomegranate juice helped reduce the breakdown of cartilage. Those who consumed the juice reported better joint function and less stiffness compared to those who did not. A 2021 review that looked at 12 studies involving humans, animals, and laboratory experiments concluded that pomegranate extract might benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

May Offer Heart Health Benefit:

Pomegranate juice might reduce blood pressure and protect the heart and arteries. A study from 2012 found that pomegranate juice could lower oxidative stress in the heart and blood vessels. This may lower the chances of:

  • Building up high cholesterol
  • Accumulating unhealthy fats, called oxidized lipids, in the blood vessels
  • Developing atherosclerosis

Good for Blood Pressure:

Drinking pomegranate juice every day may reduce systolic blood pressure. A review found strong evidence that drinking pomegranate juice can lead to notable decreases in high blood pressure. The authors suggest that including this juice regularly in your diet could contribute to a healthier heart.

May Have Antimicrobial Properties:

People have used pomegranates for centuries because it has properties that fight germs. Studies in the lab have shown that pomegranate contains ellagic acid and certain tannins that can kill bacteria and viruses. This might help keep food safe from getting infected with salmonella. However, there isn’t enough proof yet to show that pomegranate can fight germs in people. In 2012, though, some lab tests showed that substances in pomegranate might be able to fight a virus called Mayaro virus, which is spread by mosquitoes.

May Improve the Memory:

Drinking pomegranate juice everyday might help remember things better, based on an older research study. In the study, 32 people drank either 8 ounces of pomegranate juice or another drink for 8 weeks. After 4 weeks, the people who drank pomegranate juice did better on memory tests. Scans of their brains also showed more activity during these tests. Blood tests also showed they had more antioxidants in their bodies.

Sexual Performance and Fertility:

Throughout history, people have linked pomegranate with fertility and having plenty. Pomegranates contain antioxidants that might help protect fertility. Older studies suggest that oxidative stress can cause problems with sperm in males and reduce fertility in females. A study from 2014 found that drinking pomegranate juice could improve the quality and movement of sperm. Movement, known as motility, is important for sperm to reach the eggs.

  • Endurance and Supports Performance
  • Studies show that pomegranate might
  • Help you perform better during exercise
  • Help you recover faster after exercise

One study found that cyclists who drank pomegranate juice lasted longer before getting tired compared to those who didn’t.

May Help the Diabetes:

Traditionally in the Middle East, people have used pomegranate as a medicine for diabetes, and some research supports this idea. Older studies suggest that the antioxidants in pomegranates might be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. These studies showed that pomegranate might help lower blood sugar levels before meals (fasting blood sugar). However, a more recent review found no benefit from pomegranate extract for type 2 diabetes. A single pomegranate has about 39 grams of sugar. If you have diabetes and want to drink pomegranate juice, talk to your doctor first to make sure it fits with your blood sugar levels.

May Help Wound Healing:

 Researchers are exploring the use of pomegranate flowers and extracts for wound healing. Studies have shown that treating wounds with these elements:

  • Made the wounds noticeably smaller
  • Helped new skin grow properly
  • Reduced inflammation around the wound.

It’s important to note that this research involved applying pomegranate extracts directly to wounds, not drinking juice. However, it adds to the evidence suggesting pomegranates have healing properties.

Support Urinary Health: 

Studies suggest that pomegranate extract might help prevent kidney stones. Here’s what some research found, Test-tube and human studies suggest it may reduce the formation of kidney stones. One study showed it blocked the process of stone formation in people with recurring stones. Animal studies suggest it helps regulate blood levels of substances that form kidney stones.

What are the Side Effects of Pomegranates?

Pomegranate seeds safe for most people in normal amounts. There haven’t been any reports of serious side effects or harm to organs. However, some people might be allergic to pomegranate. Pomegranate juice, stem, peel, and root in large amounts. These parts might contain harmful substances. More research is needed to fully understand the side effects of pomegranate on health. Don’t use pomegranate as a replacement for medical treatment. Always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements or treatments.

FAQs:

Is pomegranate good for weight loss?

Pomegranates are like other berries; they’re loaded with antioxidants. These antioxidants are good for you in a few ways. They help keep your body healthy and fight off germs. They might help you burn calories a little faster. They might help keep your skin looking young.

Is pomegranate high in sugar?

They have some sugar (14 grams per 100 grams), but they also have good stuff. In the same amount, you’ll find 7 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and a good chunk (30%) of your daily vitamin C.   

Can I eat pomegranates daily?

There isn’t a set amount of pomegranate that everyone should eat. It’s safe to include the fruits and its juice in a healthy diet. For specific health issues, these amounts have been used for atherosclerosis (a condition affecting the arteries), drinking 50 ml of juice each day.

Why is pomegranate special?

It is said that a pomegranate has 613 seeds, matching the 613 commandments in the Bible. The pomegranate was admired for the beauty of its bush, flowers, and fruit, symbolizing holiness, fertility, and abundance. In the Song of Solomon, a bride’s cheeks behind her veil are compared to the two halves of a pomegranate.

Can I drink water after eating pomegranate?      

You should avoid drinking water right after eating fruits because it can interfere with how your stomach absorbs and digests the food, which might cause acidity. This is why some people feel uneasy after eating fruit. It is recommended to wait at least an hour after eating fruits before drinking water.

Is Anar hot or cold?

In traditional Chinese medicine, pomegranate is seen as a “cool” food, which means it can help lower body heat. This is because of its sour taste and astringent qualities.  

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