What Are the Benefits of Pomegranate?

Not just a delicious fruit, pomegranate has some impressive health benefits. Whether fresh in its natural state or in the form of juice, extract, oil, or even dried and used as a spice as it is in India, pomegranate is relatively low in calories, making it a choice addition to any diet.

  1. History

    • Pomegranate has been valued throughout history by various cultures for its delightful flavor and its medicinal properties. The fruit is depicted in ancient Egyptian art and is mentioned several times in the Bible. Miniature pomegranates made of thread and wool decorated the fringes of the high priest's robe in ancient Israel, and chains of decorative pomegranates were strung around the pillars of the temple in Jerusalem.

    Benefits

    • Pomegranate has antioxidant, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. One pomegranate fruit has 63 to 78 calories, 15 to 19 carbohydrate grams and 259 milligrams of potassium.
      In alternative medicine, it has been used to treat diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
      Extract of pomegranate has been shown to fight against staph, salmonella and some kinds of strep bacteria.
      In the dental field, it has been found to inhibit the formation of the bacteria that causes plaque, aid in healing after periodontal procedures and reduce signs of chronic periodontitis.
      In a 2004 study by the Iran National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, type II diabetes patients significantly reduced their cholesterol levels by consuming pomegranate juice concentrate daily.

    Potential

    • Studies conducted at the University of Wisconsin and the University of California at Los Angeles found that pomegranate oil, juice, and extract have the potential to prevent a variety of cancers, including breast, skin, colon and lung cancer. Pomegranate may also be helpful to patients with coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, according to a study published in the September 15, 2008, issue of the American Journal of Cardiology
      A 2004 in vitro study by the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute in New York suggests that an antimicrobial topical application made from pomegranate may prove useful in the prevention of HIV-1 infection.

    Warning

    • Some people have an allergic reaction to pomegranate and can experience side effects as severe as anaphylactic shock and laryngeal edema. Pomegranate can have serious interaction with some medications. Persons undergoing rosuvastatin treatment for myopathy should not consume pomegranate.

    Expert Insight

    • Researcher Robert Longtin, after extensive study of the medical attributes and health benefits of pomegranate, has called it "nature's power fruit."

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