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Pomegranate (Anar): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Pomegranate is scientifically known as Punica granatum and it belongs to the family Lythraceae. The pomegranate tree first originated in Northern Africa and is widely found in southern United States. The name pomegranate comes from the Latin word Pomum which means apple and Granatus which means full of seeds. Other names of pomegranate are Hindi: Anar, Tamil: Madalai, English: Pomegranate, Bengali: Dadim, Malayalam: Talimatatalum, Gujarati: Dalimba, Telgu: Danimma, Marathi: Dalimba, Pharsi : Anar tursa, Sanskrit: Dadimah, German: Granatapfels, Arabi: Roman Hamiz. Pomegranate has derived its botanical name from the French word Pomegranate which means Pomegranate apple. It is also known as Seeded Apple or Chinese Apple.1,2 

pomegranate benefits

Did you know?

  • Pomegranate contains high levels of vitamin C, which can boost the immune system and promote collagen production. source: USDA
  • Pomegranate has been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. source: NCCIH
  • Pomegranate extract has been found to improve memory and cognitive function in older adults. source: NCCIH
  • Eating pomegranates will not have an effect on forming kidney stones. Source: kidney.org

Nutritional value of Pomegranate (Anar): 

Do you know that the antioxidant activity of pomegranates is thrice as compared to green tea or red wine? So, they might reduce inflammation to a large extent than green tea or red wine.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Pomegranate has good nutritional value upto to 83 kcal of energy per 100 grams of pomegranate. The nutritional value of raw Pomegranate per 100 grams is as follows:3 

Nutritional Component Value 
Energy 83 kcal 
Water 77.9 g 
Protein 1.67 g 
Total lipid (fat) 1.17 g 
Sodium 3 mg 
Zinc 0.35 mg 
Selenium 0.5  µg 
Copper 0.158 mg 
Manganese 0.119 mg 
Niacin 0.293 mg 
Pantothenic acid 0.377 mg 
Folate, total 38  µg 
Vitamin B-6 0.075 mg 
Vitamin C 10.2 mg 
Thiamine 0.067 mg 
Riboflavin 0.053 mg 
Vitamin E 0.6 mg 
Vitamin K 16.4  µg 
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.12 g 
Carbohydrate 18.7 g 
Sugars 13.7 g 
Magnesium 12 mg 
Iron 0.3 mg 
Calcium 10 mg 
Phosphorus 36 mg 
Fibre, total dietary 4 g 
Potassium 236 mg 
Folate 38  µg 
Choline 7.6 mg 

Also Read: Blueberries: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, And More!

Properties of Pomegranate:

The potential properties that pomegranate might be as follows:

  • It may act as an antioxidant
  • It may be an anti-proliferative (prevents the spread of cancer cells in the body)
  • It may have anti-inflammatory potential
  • It may act as an antimicrobial agent
  • It may be anti-oestrogenic (counters the effect of oestrogen female hormone in the body)
  • It may have an anticancer potential
  • It may have an anti-atherogenic (prevents formation of fat deposits in blood vessels) property
  • It may have an antiviral potential
  • It may be an anti-diabetic1,2

Anthocyanins present in pomegranates are responsible for the colour of pomegranate and its juice. These have a high antioxidant and anti-Inflammatory potential.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Amla Juice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Pomegranate for Overall Health:

According to the studies present currently, pomegranate might have potential uses as mentioned below.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Heart

Pomegranate peel has a higher content of phenolic compounds like anthocyanin, in comparison to pomegranate juice. So, the peel proves to be much healhier due to more antioxidant actions.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

Potassium present in pomegranate might help reduce the stiffness of blood vessels and may help with atherosclerosis I.e., cholesterol and fat build up in blood vessels. It may also help in increasing the flow of the blood to the heart, thereby it might decrease the chances of a heart attack. The juice might help with systolic blood pressure i.e., the pressure on the arteries when the heart beats.

Daily consumption of pomegranate might reduce the damage on the artery walls caused by cholesterol and may decrease the chances of stroke. Pomegranate peel might also have the   potential to lower the fat content of the body. Drinking pomegranate juice may help in reducing   stress-induced ischemia (i.e., decrease in the blood flow to the heart). This in turn may be helpful for the heart health. It may also reduce the risk of angina i.e., chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. 2 Heart diseases are serious and should be diagnosed and treated by medical professionals. Therefore, you should consult a doctor for your heart health.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Immune System

Pomegranate may help our immune system as it is rich in iron. Iron is essential to maintain normal platelet counts. Thus, pomegranate seeds might help reduce fatigue. It may also help with stable functioning of the immune system. Helping with health problems related to the throat and respiration may also be a potential use of pomegranate as it may help the immune system fight against these. Juice of pomegranate may help reduce oxidative stress which may be responsible for the immune responses in the body.2 Kindly consult a doctor if you face any health-related problems, do not self-medicate, alter or discontinue any ongoing treatment on your own.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Cholesterol

Eligatannins, a group of phenolic compounds, found excessively in pomegranates have a prebiotic potential, making pomegranates useful for improving your gut health.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

The antioxidants, anthocyanins and tannins present in pomegranate might have the potential to block the cholesterol build-up in the arteries, thus may be helpful for the heart. Pomegranate juice may also decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and may help with the blood flow to the heart, thereby might be helpful for the heart.2

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Weight Loss

A few studies indicate the potential use of pomegranates to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The active constituents and their derivatives, punicalagin and urolithins reduce the inflammation of neurons and memory impairment.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

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

Pomegranate is rich in dietary fibre that might bind with cholesterol and extra fats and might aid in its excretion. Thus, pomegranate might be helpful for weight loss. Pomegranate leaves might also have a potential for weight loss and fat reduction.2 However, there is a need for more research to prove such claims.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Cancer

Pomegranate juice might have a potential to help with breast and prostate cancer and might help in decreasing the proliferation of cancer cells. The juice might help to decrease the blood flow to the cancer cells thereby might make the cells deficient of oxygen. This may shrink the cells and might eventually lead to their destruction.2 However, more research is required to provide concrete evidence to the above-mentioned claims.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Skin and Teeth

Vitamin C present in pomegranate may act as an antioxidant and might help with wrinkles and may have some beneficial effects on ageing. Pomegranate may have potential antimicrobial properties against oral bacteria. The seeds might be helpful for healthy gums and teeth. 2 However, more research is required to prove the potential uses of pomegranate for skin and teeth.

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Potential uses of Pomegranate for Joints

The flavones present in pomegranate extract might show anti-inflammatory effects and may help with collagen-induced arthritis and swelling in the joints. Thus, enjoying a glass of pomegranate juice might help you run along with the little ones too.

Pomegranate seed oil too might have the potential to inhibit enzymes responsible for causing joint pain. The major concern in the case of osteoarthritis is the degradation of the extracellular matrix which is caused by metallo-proteinases enzymes present in the cells. Pomegranate extract might help decrease metallo-proteinases enzymes thereby it might help with osteoarthritis.2 However, there is a need for more research to prove such claims. Moreover, osteoarthritis is a serious condition that is diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Do not self-medicate, alter or discontinue any treatment on your own.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Diabetes

Polyphenols present in pomegranate might inhibit the uptake of glucose by peripheral tissues i.e., the muscles and fats. They may also block the glucose absorption in the gut, thereby it might affect the glycaemic index of the body and diabetes.2 However, more research is required to ascertain such effects. Moreover, diabetes is a serious condition and is to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Kindly do not self-medicate, alter or discontinue any ongoing treatment on your own.

Potential uses of Pomegranate for Bacterial Infections

The bioactive compounds present in pomegranate might help to fight infections that may cause diarrhoea and ulcers. They might also help to reduce parasitic and bacterial infections that might also be helpful for respiratory problems that occur due to such infections.2 However, there is more research required to claim such effects of pomegranate.  

Potential uses of Pomegranate for the Brain

Flavonoids present in pomegranate may help to slow down memory decline and may help to delay the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. Estrone, a chemical compound present in pomegranate juice might help to improve mood swings in menopausal women.2 However, more research is required to back up such effects of pomegranate for the brain.

Though there are studies that show the potential use of pomegranate in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of pomegranate on human health. 

Also Read: Lychee: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to use Pomegranate (Anar)?

  • The juice of pomegranate might be antioxidant rich as compared to green tea. Pomegranate extract may be prescribed by your Ayurvedic physician in the form of tablet for certain conditions.
  • The seeds are used as spice called as Anar dana.
  • All the parts of pomegranate including its leaves, seeds, roots, peel might have the potential to be used in the food industry for health under the proper guidance of a doctor.
  • Its seeds are used in salads, soup, dessert and appetizers.
  • The dried seeds are used in making curry.2

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Side Effects of Pomegranate:

There are no reports or studies that show pomegranate to have any side effects or cause toxic effects to any organ of the body.   Allergic reactions to pomegranate have been rarely reported. Pomegranate juice, pomegranate stem, peel and root may not be safe if consumed in large quantities as they contain substances that may cause harmful effects.2,4   Therefore, more research is needed to study the effects of pomegranate on human health in detail and state its side effects if any. Kindly do not self-medicate, replace, alter or discontinue any ongoing treatment. Please consult a doctor.

Also Read: Ber Fruit: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Precautions to Take with Pomegranate:  

It is best to consult your doctor before consuming pomegranate during pregnancy and nursing phases as they know your medical history best.

Also, consult your doctor before giving it to young children and elderly people as the study on the safety of consumption of pomegranate extract during these conditions is insufficient therefore your doctor is the best person to prescribe it for you keeping your medical condition in mind.2,4

Interaction with other Drugs:

It has been found that having pomegranate juice, along with certain drugs interferes with the intestinal absorption of these drugs, thereby affecting the results and their safety. Pomegranate has been found to interfere with the absorption of the following drugs:

  • Metronidazole- it is an antibiotic used for the treatment of digestive tract infections including colitis. Pomegranate juice inhibits the intestinal enzymes that help in the metabolism of metronidazole, thus reducing its efficacy. 5
  • Glimepiride- is an antidiabetic drug used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus by lowering blood glucose levels in the body. Pomegranate juice reduces the efficacy of  glimepiride and should be had with caution. 5
  • Warfarin- pomegranate juice when consumed along with warfarin increases the risk of bleeding. Therefore, pomegranate juice should be taken with utmost caution by patients on treatment with warfarin. 5
  • Metformin (dimethylbiguanide)- is a glucose-lowering agent and is used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pomegranate significantly reduces the plasma concentration of metformin thereby reducing its efficacy and causing delay in action in the body.5

Kindly consult a doctor before consuming pomegranate as they know your medical history and aware of the medications prescribed to you, so, they will be able to tell you if it is safe for you to take pomegranate or not. Please do not self-medicate, alter, replace or discontinue any medication on your own.

Also Read: Papaya: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is pomegranate good for weight loss?

Pomegranate leaves might potentially help with weight loss and fat reduction as the dietary fibre present in pomegranate may bind with the cholesterol and fat and might help in their excretion.2 However, these effects need to be studied further to prove them as a concrete fact. Therefore, please do not use it to self-medicate. Instead consult a doctor.

How to use pomegranate?

Pomegranate may be taken in the form of juice, extract, seeds, dry seeds (anar dana), salads etc.2 Kindly consult a doctor before eating pomegranate and ensure that it is safe for you to have pomegranate.

Can pomegranate be taken during pregnancy?

There is not enough data to prove the safety of consuming pomegranate extract during pregnancy. So always consult your gynaecologist before eating it during pregnancy.2

Is pomegranate good for the skin?

Pomegranate might have an excellent antioxidant potential that might help delay the process of aging and may decrease wrinkles.2 However, more research is needed to prove the potential use of pomegranate for skin.

Can pomegranate be taken with antidiabetic medicines?

Pomegranate might help in reducing the efficacy of several anti-diabetic drugs in the body. It may reduce their plasma concentration thereby it might affect its efficacy. Therefore, you should consult with your doctor and ask them if it is safe for you to eat pomegranate along with the prescribed medications for diabetes.5

References:

  1. Kumari A, Dora J, Kumar A, Kumar A. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)-overview. International journal of pharmaceutical and chemical sciences. 2012 Oct;1(4):1218-22. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284914411_Pomegranate_Punica_granatum_-_Overview
  2. Syed QA, Batool Z, Shukat R, Zahoor T. Nutritional and therapeutic properties of pomegranate. Scholarly Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2018;1(4):115-20. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327904199_Nutritional_and_Therapeutic_Properties_of_Pomegranate
  3. Pomegranates, raw [Internet]. fdc.nal.usda.gov. 2022 [cited 31 May 2022]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/
  4. Pomegranate [Internet]. nccih.nih.gov. 2022 [cited 31 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/pomegranate
  5. Abdel-Halim H & Abu Dayyih W. Pomegranate Juice-Drug Interactions: Pharmacokinetic Parameters Studied Using Different Liquid Chromatography Techniques. Sapporo igaku zasshi. The Sapporo medical journal. 2020;54. 1-8. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/345493276_Pomegranate_Juice-Drug_Interactions_Pharmacokinetic_ParametersStudiedUsing_Different_Liquid_ChromatographyTechniques/link/5ff32ef345851553a01d8f8b/download

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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