10 Benefits of Pomegranate – For Which It Serves and Properties
Although well known and with many health properties, pomegranate (Punica granatum) is still poorly consumed in Brazil. The fact is that most people do not know the benefits of pomegranate, for what it serves exactly. It is a fruit rich in vitamin C, proteins, vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, and fiber, in addition, to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. The pomegranate seeds are covered by a slightly sweetened pulp and can be consumed in natural or in the form of juice since the fruit peel is ideal to prepare infusion or tea.
The benefits of pomegranate to health are numerous and known for millennia by the populations of the Middle East, from where the plant originates. In Egypt, pomegranates were found in tombs of pharaohs and the descendants are believed to have placed it to secure the hope of a new life for the dead, such was their belief in the relationship of the pomegranate to the health of the people.
In North America, pomegranate juice is quite popular and can be purchased in supermarkets. Recent studies from UCLA – University of California have shown that pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than grape, blueberry, orange juice and even more than green tea and wine.
The pomegranate arrived in Brazil through the Portuguese and was adopted popularly in the treatment of diarrhea and inflammations in the throat. Over the years, a new range of benefits of pomegranate has come to be known through new studies, confirming the qualities already pointed out by international scientists. Today we know that in addition to improving health and avoiding many diseases, pomegranate can also be used in diets for weight loss because of its low concentration of calories, in the muscle reconstitution of athletes and to maintain the beauty of skin and hair.
We will now see how pomegranate can be beneficial to your health and fitness:
1 – Decreased blood pressure
It was due to this feature that American nutritionist and author Dr. Jonny Bowden included the pomegranate in his list “The 11 Best Foods You Are Not Eating”. Statistics show that hypertension is one of the biggest cause of stroke and stroke and studies show that regular consumption of 150 ml of pomegranate juice daily can reduce blood pressure appreciably in just two weeks of use because of its blood-thinning properties.
2- Improvement in renal patients
A study presented in 2010 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology showed that the potassium concentration found in pomegranate juice reduces many of the complications of hemodialysis in renal patients, resulting in a reduction in the mortality rate of these patients.
3- Anti-inflammatory action
Pomegranate has antioxidants called punicalagins. They are found in the seed and the bark of the fruit and are responsible for their anti-inflammatory action in our body. Remembering that chronic inflammation is among the main symptoms of the diseases that kill the most, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and obesity. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland were the first to demonstrate that pomegranate extract can act directly to combat chronic inflammation in 2005. Other laboratory studies have shown that it can also reduce inflammation in the digestive tract as well as in cases of cancer of the breast and cervix. Scientists attested a significant reduction in inflammation in diabetics following the ingestion of 250 ml of pomegranate juice taken daily for 12 weeks.
4 – Help in the treatment of prostate and breast cancer
According to studies of UFRJ Bromatology students, “Research has shown that pomegranate can interfere with the occurrence and development of tumors in several stages: in the inflammatory process, angiogenesis, apoptosis and cell proliferation and invasion.” Studies from American laboratories indicate that pomegranate extract – extracted from fruit peel, can lead to decreased reproduction of cancer cells in general and even induce their death.
In the case of men, whose prostate cancer is the most common, it was noticed that daily intake of just over 200 ml of pomegranate juice per day decreased the time of increase of PSA, the blood marker of prostate cancer (Men whose PSA doubles in a short time, has a higher risk of death from prostate cancer).
In the case of women, where breast cancer is most incidental, the pomegranate extract has shown in preliminary tests that it can inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells and even kill part of them. Although still preliminary evidence, pomegranate juice may actually be a potential cancer cell growth inhibitor as well as a decrease in the risk of death from these
5- Protection against plaque and gingivitis
Pomegranate can be used against gum disease and plaque formation due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Including periodontitis, gingivitis, stomatitis, as well as infections and inflammations in the mouth. A survey published by the American magazine Ancient Science of Life, found that taking pomegranate juice reduces plaque formation by 32%. According to the publication: “It is believed that the antioxidants of the juice, called polyphenols, are the main agents behind its antibacterial action.”
6- Help in the treatment of diarrhea
Although infusion and pomegranate tea are popularly used to treat diseases of the stomach and intestinal tract, only recent studies explain why it is effective. Its antidiarrheal and dysentery effect is due to the tannins, substances that give the bitter taste of the pomegranate peel. They increase the reabsorption of water and sodium chloride, reduce mucus secretion, and inhibit prostaglandin (a substance that causes an increase in bowel movements and which can decrease stool consistency and increase the number of bowel movements), released into the intestinal mucosa.
As for the stomach, the antioxidant effect characteristic of the polyphenols, present in the juice and, especially, in the pomegranate peel, accelerate the healing process of the gastric mucosa, besides inhibiting microbial growth. Pomegranate leaf tea should also be used to improve bile secretion, increase intestinal movement and inhibit the secretion of acids in the stomach, thus protecting the gastrointestinal mucosa.
7- For throat infection
Both pomegranate and infusion tea can be used to treat general throat irritations. Due to the presence of antioxidants, and especially the astringents – a substance that cause tissue contraction to decrease both swelling and neck pain, pomegranate is actually very effective in these cases.
8- Helps maintain good cholesterol levels
Also called “superfood” in the United States, pomegranate is known to reduce LDL (Bad Cholesterol), and increase HDL (Good Cholesterol). Studies have also shown that consuming pomegranate blocks the production of triglycerides, that is, it attacks the fat before it even sets in the body.
9- Potentiate the performance in the practice of exercises
The nitrates present in a pomegranate can potentiate blood circulation in muscles. This is because during exercise – when there is a much greater demand for oxygen and transport of nutrients, carbon dioxide and heat in the muscles worked, part of the ingested nitrates of the pomegranate is converted into nitrites, that is, substances dilating vessels that increase the volume of blood pumped to the muscles.
According to Dr. Robert Wildman, author and member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition, in the United States “Pomegranates are rich in nitrates, more than beets or dark green leafy vegetables.” “If you take something before training that contains ingredients to support vasodilation, this can result in an intense pumping of blood to the muscles. Studies indicate that nitrites and nitrates also have the potential to help the body use oxygen more efficiently. That means the athlete could use less oxygen in a given workout or train more before being exhausted. “
10- A superfood for the skin and hair
Listed among super antioxidants, such as blueberry, pomegranate is three times more powerful than green tea and orange. In addition, a single glass of pomegranate juice contains 40% of the daily requirement of folic acid and vitamins A, C and E. The best juice is made at home and consumed immediately, this way you will conserve as many vitamins . Make sure you take it without sugar because sugar can inhibit some of the benefits of pomegranate. It is worth remembering that the oil made from pomegranate seeds is also rich in nutrients and widely used in cosmetics for the skin and hair
Taking pomegranate juice can bring numerous health benefits to your skin and hair. Pomegranate is one of the few fruits that offer in the juice the same nutritional benefits of the fruit in natura. This is due to the fact that it is in the peel that is the highest concentration of antioxidants, and they are not wasted when making the juice.
Pomegranate juice prolongs the life of fibroblasts, substances responsible for the production of collagen and elastin in the body and cell regeneration. Therefore the continued intake of the juice can promote a more toned and healthy skin, also because its action occurs in both the upper layer of the skin and in the deeper layers. It acts on the regeneration of blemishes and improves the appearance of expression marks. These substances also act in the composition of the hair, leaving the strongest and preventing the fall.