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5 Reasons To Switch To Pomegranate As Your Everyday Snack

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Pomegranates are a round-shaped fruit with reddish yellowish colour on the top. Split one open to reveal delicious, juicy and ruby-like red colour seeds. These seeds are known as arils, which can be relished raw or in the form of a juice.

It is wonderfully easy to enjoy the luscious jewel of the fruit just by itself or adding it to any of your meals to elevate your recipe to the next level.

pomegranate

Polyphenols, an antioxidant present in the fruit are responsible for that vibrant red colour of pomegranate and many of its functions. Let’s deep dive into each of the functions this beautiful fruit holds!

Nutritional Facts of Pomegranate

Tiny seeds of pomegranate are a rich source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron and Vitamin K.

Pomegranate seeds contain two major compounds mostly responsible for their health benefits – punicalagin and punicic acid. Punicalagins are a group of antioxidants commonly found in pomegranate juice and peel, whereas punicic acid, found in seed oil is the main fatty acid.

We will read more about these wonderful ingredients as we proceed further in our article. 

Try to eat pomegranate in the morning as it is rich in calories and provides a good amount of energy. Avoid eating in excess as it may interfere with your metabolism and cause constipation or digestive problems.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Nutritional Information of 1 cup of Pomegranate

  • Energy: 79 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 17gms
  • Dietary Fibre: 4.1gms
  • Protein: 2 gms
  • Fat: 0.2 gms
  • Vitamin C: 18.3 mg

Health Benefits of Pomegranate

1. More Antioxidant Power: 

Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants. The red colour of the pomegranate seeds comes from the antioxidant called polyphenols. Pomegranate juice is considered to have more antioxidant power than seeds. In fact, studies have shown that the juice might contain 3 times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. Antioxidants can play a very important role in removing free radicals from your body, reducing inflammation and protecting the skin and cells from oxidative damage.

2. May Protect Your Heart: 

Another name for pomegranate would be a hearty fruit. It is known to protect the heart and the arteries. Studies have also shown that pomegranate taken in the form of juice can help improve the blood flow and also protects the arteries. Regular consumption of pomegranate seeds or juice can help control your blood cholesterol and keep your heart up and running. 

3. Works like An Oxygen Cylinder: 

Due to its antioxidant activity, pomegranate juice is considered to be a boon for the lungs. When consumed on a regular basis, it can help cleanse the lungs, a much-needed  detox for consistent smokers. It may also help to pump oxygen levels in your blood and ultimately all these functions can improve the overall functioning of your lungs which is a much-needed drive in today’s age.

4. Helps Improve Immunity: 

Last year, we all understood the importance of a strong immune system. Pomegranate, being a great source of Vitamin C, contains two important compounds punicalagin and punicic acid; and also acts as an antioxidant that can help your body fight disease-causing germs.

5. May Strengthen Bone Heath: 

Pomegranate juice contains a high amount of flavonols. Flavonols are antioxidants that can work to reduce inflammation in the body. By controlling inflammation, it can help control the osteoarthritis or cartilage damage. Pomegranate juice is also being studied to have a beneficial impact on joint inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Pomegranate has been observed to have anticancer effects. It may slow tumor growth and spread and reduce inflammation, although more research is needed to learn more.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Also read: Health Benefits and Precautions: Can You Eat Pomegranate Seeds?

Uses of Pomegranate 

Indian kitchens widely use pomegranate seeds in both savoury and sweet dishes. It adds a tangy and sweet taste to the dishes. Few dishes like chaats, Gujarati snacks like khaman or Dabeli are incomplete without the garnish of pomegranate seeds.

It can be either consumed as raw or even in the form of a juice, which can help improve your antioxidant quotient and thus can help your skin glow. Nowadays, you also find pomegranate flavoured green tea, you should definitely add this to your bucket list. Green tea combined with pomegranate might have more antioxidant power than regular tea.

Pomegranate extract, which is more concentrated than pomegranate juice and has no sugar, is the most convenient way to eat it. Even if you buy pomegranate juice, the pomegranate juice itself is a rich source of natural fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Pomegranate seeds can also be added to salads, glazes, salsas, and chutneys, along with other dishes.

Pomegranate juice benefits the skin too. According to experts, it can help rejuvenate dry, drab skin. It’s also high in vitamin C, which can help with skin texture and radiance when applied topically. Mix 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, 1 cup cooked oats, 2 teaspoons extra virgin organic olive oil, and 1 tablespoon, raw honey, in a blender or food processor. Apply to your face and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Read more about: 13 Immunity-Boosting Foods To Build A Healthy Life

How to Store Pomegranate without Affecting Its Nutritional Value

It is always recommended to enjoy pomegranate arils fresh and not to store them. But, in case you are not able to relish the seeds due to lack of time, storing the seeds may help. Fresh arils can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can also store the whole fruit in a cool, dry place or even in the refrigerator. It will remain fresh for up to 1 month.

Possible Side Effects

When consumed as a fruit or juice, pomegranate is generally harmless and does not cause any negative effects. However, some people may experience negative side effects. A few side effects are:

  • May interact negatively with blood pressure or liver medications
  • Pomegranate juice may raise the risk of blood pressure dropping too low in persons who already have low blood pressure.    
  • Excessive consumption may cause digestive disorders
  • Some people may have allergic reactions to pomegranates. In these circumstances, pomegranate extracts might cause sensitivity. Itching, swelling, a runny nose, and difficulty breathing are all symptoms.
  • Any other form of pomegranate apart from pomegranate juice may be unsafe for use by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
  • People who suffer from plant allergies are more prone to be allergic to pomegranate.
  • It is recommended to stop consuming pomegranate at least 2 weeks prior to surgery as it might interfere with the body’s blood pressure control.

Take Away Message:

Pomegranate is a fruit with powerful antioxidant functions that can help improve your immunity levels, lung functioning and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that can provide ample amounts of benefits to your body. The best way to have pomegranate is in the form of arils, but you can also try consuming the juice or pomegranate tea, depending on your health condition. 

Pop those little rubies in your mouth and charge up your antioxidants levels!

Read more about: Benefits of Immunity Booster Kadha or Herbal Tea

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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