Recent research strongly believes that Punica Granatum, or what we call pomegranates, have what it takes to be the next superfruit. Why? Well, to begin with it is one of those wonderful fruits loaded with a nutrients and compounds known to have healthful benefits. Rich in antioxidants (chemicals that inhibit the activity of cancer-causing chemicals called free radicals) and phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemicals that are known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties), apart from the obvious benefits like fruit fibres and natural sugars, it also is a good source of vitamin C (a single fruit can provide about 17% per 100g of the daily requirement), vitamin B complex group, folates, pyridoxine and vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.
The direct health benefits of these range from small things like building immunity to larger ones like fighting heart disease and some kinds of cancer. Here are 5 reasons (of many more) why you should include more of this power-packed fruit in your regular diet.
Have a healthy, happy heart
Pomegranates are known to have no saturated fats, which is why it is usually suggested in programs to manage weight and cholesterol. Granatin B, Punicalagin, and tannins are found in high concentration and are effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by reducing harmful free radicals from the body.
Fight possible causes of cancer
The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), or the total potential antioxidant strength of pomegranate is 2341 µmol TE/100 g. A high ORAC count makes it highly effective in fighting free radicals, one of the main causes for all kinds of cancer in the human body. Apart from consuming it to prevent cancer, regular consumption has also been found to be effective in fighting prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and lymphoma.
Like several other fruit, pomegranates are a healthy source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, and a single fruit a day can make a big difference to smooth digestion and bowel movements, thereby cleaning out the gut and dietary tract, in fighting colon cancer.
Welcome that weight-loss
Pomegranates are well-balanced in terms of calorie content. A serving of 100 g provides 83 calories, which is just slightly more than what is found in apples. Unlike several other fruits like bananas, sapodilla, avocados etc, pomegranates are abysmally low in saturated fats (approx 0.12g in 100g) making it a good snacking fruit to include in between meals or to bulk up your breakfast smoothie, if you’re on a weight-loss program of any sort.
Bring down your blood pressure
Pomegranates help lower blood pressure by preventing the activity of serum angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is a prominent enzyme in the imbalances that lead to the body developing hypertension. Another main constituents of pomegranates, punicic acid, helps lower cholesterol, triglycerides and therefore blood pressure. Optimum blood pressure levels have a healthy reflection on the health of your heart.
Builds your immunity
As already mentioned, pomegranates are super-rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals and anti-oxidants which boosts the bodies potential to fight infection. Also filled with vitamin C, it can boost the production of antibodies that also help build immunity. All this makes the body ready to fight a range of small everyday illnesses that, to keep you active and energetic.
To know more about Pomegranate and tips on how to choose best when buying them in the market, read this.
Pomegranate Image via Shutterstock