Hailed as a symbol of health and vitality throughout the world, the pomegranate is one of the most nutrient dense super-fruits available and one you really can’t afford to leave out of your dietary intake if you are serious about your health and performance.
Nutritional value of pomegranates
Countless studies show that this fruit contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of all fruits and that there is a strong link between the nutrient dense properties of the pomegranate and their positive effects on human health.
Amongst the many benefits to your health, the pomegranate has been proven to have:
– potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
– lowers blood pressure
– lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk
– may even relieve the effects of depression.
The majority of the potent pro health effects of this fruit are mainly attributable to two unique compounds – Punicalagins and Punicic acid.
What are punicalagins?
Punicalagins are a form of antioxidant which are present in both the juice, which can obviously be consumed straight from the fruit or extracted for a juice drink, and also the peel of the pomegranate, which although cannot be eaten, can normally be used in the form of a powdered supplement.
They are very powerful compared to most other naturally found antioxidants.
In fact have three times the antioxidant activity of green tea… that’s a lot!
The antioxidant effects of this compound have been linked to many of its wide ranging health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory nature.
Chronic inflammation is amongst the leading causes of many fatal diseases in our modern society including, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s.
The studies done on how this compound affects cancer in both men and woman have proven some very positive and interesting results.
With the bottom line being that pomegranate juice can potentially inhibit cancer growth and lower the risk of death in men with prostate cancer and in women with breast cancer.
This can also be relieved by the use of pomegranate juice, powder or just eating the fruit as it comes, again due to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties the Punicalagins possess. Studies on pomegranate extracts have also shown that it can actually block the enzymes which are known to cause the damage in the joints of people with osteoarthritis.
– Punicic Acid
The main fatty acid found in the pomegranate and is also known as pomegranate seed oil. This is a type of ‘conjugated linoleic acid’ which has some potent health effects.
– Protecting against several causes of the world’s most common cause of premature death – heart disease
Several studies have shown that one cause, high blood pressure – which is also responsible for causing strokes – can be lowered significantly after consuming as little as 150ml of pomegranate juice day for just two weeks.
– Lowers cholesterol
Other studies have concentrated on the use of pomegranate juice and pomegranate extract on lowering cholesterol and tackling type 2 diabetes, both of which it did with dramatic results and significant improvements.
Besides significantly improving overall health in key areas, the use of pomegranate juice has also shown a link between its use and the improvement in both memory and exercise performance.
Studies show pomegranate benefits your health and fitness
Several studies in both mice and humans have proved a correlation between pomegranate supplementation and the improved cognitive function of elderly individuals with memory complaints as well as its ability to help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study took a number of athletes and tested the effects of just one gram of pomegranate extract on their levels of fatigue when taken 30 minutes prior to running on a treadmill.
The findings of this study showed a significant increase in blood flow in those athletes that were given the extract against those who hadn’t and also a marked increase in exercise efficiency, similar to the well-known and documented effects of beetroot.
Compelling evidence indeed, I would say, to start eating, drinking or supplementing with pomegranate. Unless you really can’t stand the taste of this sweet red fruit what have you really got to lose by adding it to your daily nutritional intake?
Connect with WatchFit Expert Justin Conway