Pomegranates are not quite as ubiquitous as apples or bananas but they’re one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. That should come as no surprise given their rich, ruby-red color, but did you know that pomegranates have more than 100 health benefits? Here’s a look at just a few of them.
According to GreenMedInfo, one of the biggest reasons that conventional cancer treatment is so woefully ineffective is because it largely ignores the cancer stem cell hypothesis. This is based on the idea that a small group of cancer cells known as cancer stem cells are behind tumor production, and these cells resist conventional radiation and chemotherapy. Not only that, but they can actually enrich the stem cells, essentially making cancer worse.
Pomegranate, however, has been shown in studies to inhibit and even destroy some types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. It’s believed to be so effective because it targets these stem cells.
Even though there is a marked lack of studies in this area, one exception, published in 2010, found that pomegranate compounds could target and destroy cancer stem cells in mammary cancer, which is a feat that conventional cancer treatment simply can’t pull off.
Pomegranates are also good for heart health. A 2013 study found that consuming 150 milliliters (2/3 of a cup) of the juice daily for just two weeks lowered blood pressure in those with hypertension. It’s also been shown to boost blood flow to the heart in those with heart disease.
Pomegranates are also being explored for their impact on cognitive function, with studies showing a connection between daily pomegranate juice consumption and verbal and visual task improvements in those with mild age-related memory complaints. It has also been shown to have cognitive benefits in mice, but more studies are needed to confirm the connection.
Research has shown that pomegranate can fight gut inflammation, and the punicic acid found in pomegranate seed oil has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on breast cancer cells. Another small trial found that it brought down inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Athletic performance enhancement
Pomegranates are incredibly rich in antioxidants, and this is beneficial to sports performance. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, for example, noted improvements in aerobic performance and endurance among athletes after consuming the juice for just 15 days. It has also been found to improve performance within half an hour of ingesting, in sports that entail intermittent running, (HIIT).
If you want to enjoy the many gifts that this fruit bestows, look for the ones with shiny, unblemished skin. Those that feel heavy for their size tend to be the juiciest. You can eat them, or drink their juice, but like most fruits, consuming the whole fruit is more beneficial than the juice alone.
Rich in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, some B vitamins, and fiber, along with minerals like iron, potassium and calcium, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can consume.
That’s it for this week; see you all next time.