Do you like pomegranates? This unusual fruit is divisive: Some people love it and others hate it.
No matter where you come down on the issue, no one can deny the incredible health benefits of pomegranate juice and seeds!
You don’t see too many at the grocery store, but pomegranates have been a popular fruit for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks and Romans even incorporated the fruit into their myths and folktales.
The word has been out about the benefits of pomegranate as a dietary staple for that long!
Pomegranates are unusual because you only eat the seed inside. The bulk of the fruit is inedible.
Those seeds may be tiny, but they pack a mighty punch. In fact, they rank highly on the list of the most nutritious seeds ever!
So if you aren’t eating pomegranates regularly, it might be time to make a change.
These potent and nutritious fruits are just packed with flavor and healthy benefits!
What Is A Pomegranate?
The pomegranate is a large berry that has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region since the dawn of civilization, according to a Purdue University report.
Today it is grown across the world in dry climates, and usually comes into season from September through February.
The pomegranate is a little bit smaller than a grapefruit, and is packed with white pulp.
The pulp cradles tiny gem-like seeds. These seeds are tart and juicy, and are the edible part of the plant.
The average pomegranate has 70-80 calories, and is packed full of nutrients.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pomegranates?
Benefit #1: Boost Heart Health
Pomegranate seeds may be linked to better heart health, because they are packed full of a type of nutrient called polyphenols.
According to the New York Times, diets high in polyphenols are connected to better heart health, and less risk of heart disease in the long-term.
The same article notes that, while pomegranates still need more research, introducing more pomegranates to your diet might improve your heart health in the long run!
Benefit #2: Improve Mood
According to some early research from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University, pomegranate juice may be linked to higher levels of testosterone.
Most of us know testosterone as a hormone in men, but it actually plays an incredibly important role in mental health for men and women.
According to Harvard Medical School, higher testosterone levels may be linked to better brain function and the original QMU study notes that subjects reported better moods and lower anxiety as their testosterone levels climbed.
Benefit #3: Reduce Inflammation
If you dig deep enough into any medical condition, you are likely to find that inflammation is partially responsible.
According to Johns Hopkins, inflammation (swelling in your system) is what happens when your body has an immune system overreaction.
Pomegranate may be able to help with these symptoms, thanks to those polyphenols we mentioned early.
The New York Times notes that certain types of the nutrient are great at lowering inflammation.
Reducing inflammation can also help alleviate symptoms of diseases like lupus and arthritis, which are linked to chronic inflammation.
Benefit #4: Kick Up Libido
We mentioned earlier that pomegranate may help to crank up your body’s testosterone level.
Testosterone isn’t just great for a better mood, it also contributes to a much higher sex drive for men and for women.
A study from Emory University notes that testosterone is one of the primary drivers of female sex drive, so eating pomegranate regularly may help keep things steamy in the bedroom.
Benefit #5: Help Fight Infections
We talked early about your body’s immune response. When you get a nasty germ, your body kicks up an almighty ruckus trying to clear it out.
Pomegranates may be able to help out with the germ-fighting cause on two different fronts.
One the one hand, the fruit might have a knack for killing off germs. One Iranian study indicated that it might have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.
Meanwhile, the anti-inflammatory nutrients might help quiet down your body’s immune response.
Benefit #6: Nourishes Your Joints
Painful joints can seriously slow you down, particularly as you age. However, pomegranates may be able to slow down the wear and tear on your joints overtime.
A study from Case Western University shows promising preliminary results; the team was able to slow down arthritis and joint degeneration in mice using pomegranate extract.
While the science is still young, there seems to be a chance that pomegranate encourages collagen production, keeping your joints healthier, for longer.
Benefits #7: Might Help Prevent Cancer
Let’s be very clear here: eating pomegranate cannot cure cancer. However, maybe one day we’ll find a cure using what we’ve learned from pomegranates!
A number of early, very small studies show that pomegranate might be effective at slowing the progress of some cancers, including breast and prostate cancers, according to the New York Times.
The theory right now is that the high levels of antioxidants in pomegranate go in and clean up cancer-causing free radicals, as well as potentially targeting abnormal cells.
How Do You Eat Pomegranate Seeds?
If you’re now totally onboard the pomegranate train, you might be wondering how you go about eating these seeds.
In order to get them out of the shell, try slicing the fruit in half and rapping firmly on the back of the husk over a bowl to make the seeds pop out.
You can also buy the seeds out of the husk. They taste delicious in sweet treats like yogurt, or in savory meals like salad!
You can also drink pomegranate as a juice. In general, it’s better to eat the fruit, since the beverage may be full of added sugar, according to the New York Times.