Pomegranates are packed with nutritional perks. These funky, seedy fruits often get lost in the shuffle behind the usual suspects like apples and the almighty banana. But come along with us and we’ll show you the huge health value hidden inside its enigmatic pith.
On top of being delicious, pomegranates are packed with health perks. Here are five of the best benefits:
- Might help fight cancer
- Good for heart health
- May lower blood pressure
- May benefit overall physical and mental health
- Anti-inflammatory effects
Wondering if pomegranates are good for you? Here’s what a 100 gram (g) serving has to offer:
- Calories: 83 kcal
- Carbs: 19 g
- Sugar: 14 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Potassium: 236 mg
The fruit of the pomegranate shrub is red, round, and full of seeds. The seeds are contained in delicious sacs of juice (aka arils). You can scoop these arils out of the skin to eat. BTW, the fruit was originally from Iran to northern India but is now cultivated all over the world.
What does pomegranate taste like?
Pomegranate arils are bold and tart in flavor, similar to citrus fruit. The taste gets considerably sweeter as the fruit gets riper. If you’re looking for fruit to compare its flavor to, think along the lines of raspberry, cranberry or blackberry.
Do pomegranates feature in Greek mythology?
What an oddly specific question! But yes, they do. When Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld, he made her eat six pomegranate seeds to ensure that she’d return to him once she was set free.
The medical link between pomegranates and Stockholm syndrome is still unknown. However, the story proves that human beings have been enjoying this fruit for thousands of years.
As you’ll spot from the nutritional info, pomegranates pack a serious nutritional punch. That comes packaged with some powerful positives for your overall health.
1. Pomegranates could help fight cancer
Some research shows that pomegranates can help fight prostate and breast cancers.
A small 2021 study shows promising signs of pomegranate fruit extract slowing the progress of prostate cancer. A 2017 review suggests this could be limited to people of a certain genotype, but it’s still a very encouraging basis for future research.
Meanwhile, another study from 2021 looked at different varieties of pomegranate and their effect on breast cancer cells. It identified some with the potential to attack those cells and slow the progress of cancer. More research on rats seems to back this up, but we def need more large-scale studies on humans to prove the perks.
2. Pomegranates are good for your heart
Studies show that the humble pomegranate might help your heart. This is amazing news since heart disease is the leading cause of premature death.
A 2017 study found that patients with heart disease reported fewer and less severe episodes of angina — which is pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart — when they drank pomegranate juice. Researchers also noted that the patients who drank pomegranate juice also had lower levels of problem-causing troponin and malondialdehyde.
Also, pomegranate appears to have similar effects as other fruit juices. A combo of lowering blood pressure, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as other medical functions seem to be particularly good for our hearts ❤️.
3. Pomegranates help blood pressure and flow
There’s beacoup research to show that drinking pomegranate juice on the daily is good for your blood. It can help keep everything flowing, reduce oxidative stress, and lower blood pressure. Even those with normal blood pressure might benefit from its effects.
Penis PSA: Some evidence seems to suggest pomegranate juice might help with erectile dysfunction (ED). It relaxes the corpus cavernosum, the spongy tissue up the shaft of your johnson that gets hard. It may also help blood flow through it more easily. Just keep in mind, we need more research.
4. Pomegranates are good for body and mind
Pomegrantes might have a positive effect on cognitive function. Middle-aged and elderly people could improve their memory by drinking a glass of pomegranate juice every day. More recent research on mice indicates this effect could be more positive than we thought. But again… it’s mice. So, take this research with a pinch of salt.
There’s also a chance the pom perks extend to physical fitness. Many studies support the idea that fruit extracts can play a positive role in exercise. But we need more research to show how pomegrante seeds or juice on its own can help.
5. Pomegranates are a powerful anti-inflammatory
The impressive anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranate have been shown to help with inflammatory conditions like:
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- rheumatoid arthritis
- metabolic and cardiovascular disorders
Researchers are starting to pinpoint which exact elements of the fruit’s juice are the most beneficial. A lot of attention has been paid to the heart health effects of pomegranate in humans, while other areas have focused more on animals.
That being said, including pomegranate juice in your daily diet might have a positive impact on your body’s inflammatory response. But there’s no solid evidence to verify all of the benefits.
Chowing down on a pomegranate is as simple or as intricate as you feel like making it. You can simply cut one in half, grab a spoon and start nomming those arils. Pomegranate seeds are perfectly safe to eat if you’re in polite company and don’t want to spit ‘em out. Don’t eat the peel though (trust us).
If you’re using pomegranate in a recipe and need to get the arils out of their tough outer shell intact, you can do it like this:
- Cut off the tip of the pomegranate so you expose the core and some of the arils.
- Score the pomegranate about 2.5 inches deep on four sides.
- Place it submerged in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to loosen the arils.
- While it’s still underwater, use your hands to break the fruit into four quarters.
- By now, the arils will be loose and fall off the peel if you run your thumb over them.
- Place the collected arils in a container to dry for 5 minutes.
- Eat and enjoy!
Pomegranate is a stunningly versatile fruit. You can serve and eat the arils on their own, or use them to add flavor by sprinkling them onto:
Check where your pomegranates were grown, that affects when they’re in season. If they’re grown in the northern hemisphere, they’ll be in season from October to February. If they’re grown in the southern hemisphere, it’s March to May.
When you see pomegranates at the store, look for the biggest and heaviest ones. Heavier fruits are juicier. The color of the skin doesn’t reflect how ripe the fruit is. Just be sure to avoid pomegranates with blemished or bruised skin. Also take note of the smoothness, toughness, and firmness.
Shape-wise, pomegranates lose their spherical form as they ripen. It should be ready to eat if it’s got flattened or angular sides.
With such high nutritional value and multiple health benefits, pomegranates are worth including in a balanced diet. They have dope anti-inflammatory effects and have also been linked to heart health. There’s also a chance they can lower your risk of certain types of cancer and can lower blood pressure.
Just be sure you take the time to pick the right produce. Check to see where the fruit was grown and look for signs of juiciness and ripeness. You’ll also enjoy a delicious and versatile addition to more or less any meal. Bon appetite!