The Surprising Benefits of Pomegranate
I love pomegranates and so do a lot of other people judging by their recent growth in popularity. You can find pomegranate flavored anything nowadays from healthy smoothies to not so healthy margaritas. The main reason behind the popularity of these delicious fruits is that their seeds are juicy and tasty, but there should be another reason that these fruits are so popular. It turns out that pomegranates, which are grown in the Southwest parts of the U.S., belong squarely in the category of super food. The benefits of this fruit that defies all odds of being both delicious and healthy are innumerable, but I will try to cover some of their best advantages.
1. They Fight Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of one or more of the joints. It causes stiffness and pain that can range from annoying to unbearable in its sufferers. Some of the 3 million arthritis sufferers in the U.S. turn to pomegranates as a source of help to reduce the inflammation because they are packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants called Flavanoids. Animal studies have shown that pomegranate extract taken regularly can help reduce the amount of inflammation and the incidence in which arthritis flare-ups occur.(1)
2. They Fight Cancer
Anyone who has ever had to face Cancer knows that it is a merciless disease that takes no prisoners. I lost my mom to cancer when she was only 50, so I do everything I can now to prevent the same fate from happening to me. It is good to read that my daily dose of pomegranate is helping with that.
Pomegranate has been shown to stop the growth of breast cancer cells and even stimulate the body to kill the cells that are already there.(2)(3)(4)(5) Other studies have shown that drinking juice from this fruit regularly can slow the growth of prostate cancer in men.(6)(7)Though there have only been results for these two types of cancer, you have to think that if it works to prevent these two very different types of the same disease, that it may help to prevent others as well.
Pomegranates are thought to kill cancer in two other ways; the first is through anti-inflammatory properties which may protect against certain cancers as well as other chronic diseases.(8) Secondly, the fruit has anti-angiogenic properties which means that they may prevent tumors from finding a blood supply which they need to grow.
3. They Offer a Lot of Cardiovascular Benefits
Pomegranate seeds are high in antioxidants called polyphenols which have been shown to improve cardiovascular health in a multitude of ways. It is thought that this superfood helps to regulate blood pressure by reducing LDL oxidation which contributes to plaque build up in the arteries.(9) Not only does it prevent the plaque from developing it also clears away plaque that has already started to build up which is an area where science still struggles.(10) Since heart disease is the number one killer of Americans this makes pomegranates one of the most amazing foods there is in my opinion.
It seems like there is nothing this wonder fruit can't do, but the same benefits that help prevent stroke and heart attack have some other intriguing side effects on blood flow as well. Pomegranates aid those suffering from anemia by supplying iron and keeping the blood flowing.(11) Though there is not a ton of empirical evidence to prove it, there are some preliminary studies along with anecdotal evidence that say that regular pomegranate consumption can cure erectile dysfunction. (12)
4. They May Fight Infections
Like many homeopathic remedies, pomegranates have been used since ancient times to treat all sorts of illnesses from bacterial infections to your run of the mill diarrhea. Some research suggests that pomegranates stimulate probiotic bacteria which in turn boost their ability to fight infections.
Pomegranates have also been shown to work against the yeast Candida Albicans which means it has anti-fungal properties as well. It's ability to fight both bacteria and inflammation offer protection against gum disease. Though it doesn't replace regular brushing and flossing, eating the fruit often may add a layer of protection to the overall health of your mouth. (13)
5. They Improve Memory
The abundance of polyphenols in pomegranate seeds are again what makes them such a magic fruit. There has been a strong correlation between pomegranate polyphenols and memory retention in heart surgery patients as well as elderly patients with memory deficits.(14)(15) Some animal studies have even hinted at the fact that pomegranate can slow the onset of Alzheimer's disease.(16)
6. They Help Stomach Ailments
It's not just the scrumptious seeds that make the pomegranate a wonder fruit. The rind, leaves, and even bark are used to treat a number of stomach ailments. Tea made from the leaves of pomegranate tree has been used for centuries to cure diarrhea. Pomegranate juice has also been used to reduce the effects of afflictions like dysentery and cholera.(17)
7. It Never Ends
The benefits of this fantastic food source never seem to stop. Some people claim enhanced exercise performance, and others swear they see results in rejuvenating the skin. There are some ideas that regular ingestion by pregnant women may prevent low baby weight and premature birth.(18) Some people even claim that pomegranate juice helps with menopausal depression. The fact of the matter is that there are a million reasons to eat pomegranates and it only seems like the number of reasons keeps growing.
Here's the rub, pomegranates are such a pain to crack open. Even a google search into the best way to shell a pomegranate comes up with a lengthy process which requires soaking the fruit in cold water for ten minutes. As someone who has bought into the pomegranate lifestyle, I was having trouble trying to figure out how to get those beautiful seeds out. Then it dawned on me that I should search for a pomegranate deseeder because I couldn't be the only one dealing with that issue. It turns out I'm not, and I found a tool that has made my life way easier.
Using this device, it only takes about a minute to go from a whole pomegranate to a pile of seeds on a plate. The process works almost like juicing an orange but with a few more quick steps. I love this thing so much that I never put it away because I know I am going to use it again soon. If you are looking to eat pomegranates regularly, I can't stress this deseeder enough. The best part is that it is about as affordable as you can get, one of these costs about the same price as two pomegranates. Of course, you don't need one of these to reap the benefits of pomegranates, but it does make life easier. The most important thing is that you do your research and check with your doctor to make sure that inserting pomegranate into your regular diet is right for you. If it is, you get to tell everybody about the one health food in the world that people want to eat.