Nancy B. Varghese
If there ever did exist a fruit that was meant to be crowned king of all its fruit-ly subjects, it has to be the righteous pomegranate. Known as melograno in Italian, grenade in French, and the humble anaar in Hindi, the gorgeous fruit may give you a little trouble with the peeling and dissecting at first. But once you get through to its succulent seeds, the pomegranate is one heck of a superfruit that has an answer to all your ailments!
Here are some of the most kickass health benefits of pomegranates!
Pomegranate seeds, in particular, contain punicalagins - an antioxidant property that helps keep diseases, like cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and even obesity, at bay. Test tube studies have shown that it can reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.
Being rich in vitamin C, consumption of pomegranate boosts antibody production and helps in the development of immunity, keeping illnesses away and protecting your body from harmful bacteria. Being rich in anti-inflammatory compounds (as mentioned above), pomegranates are also extremely healthy for those suffering from immune-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
We know what an important part our mouthwash plays in our daily life, but did you know that pomegranate juice is an excellent mouth-cleansing agent - that too, without the presence of alcohol? A study showed that hydroalcoholic extract of pomegranate effectively lowered dental plaque formation due to microorganisms build up by almost 84 percent!
It’s not just the fruit, but even parts of the mighty pomegranate - such as the peel, bark, and leaves - that are used to calm stomach disorders or diarrhea caused by any kind of digestive problems. Another effective way of curing digestive problems is drinking tea made from the leaves of these fruits. Pomegranate juice is also considered an effective home-remedy treatment against dysentery and cholera.
According to a report by Healthline, the results from a study in surgical patients showed that 2 grams of pomegranate extract prevented deficits in memory after the surgery. Another study in 28 elderly individuals with memory complaints found that 237 ml of pomegranate juice per day significantly improved markers of verbal and visual memory. There is also some evidence from studies in mice that pomegranate can help fight Alzheimer's disease; but the effects of the same on humans is yet to be researched.
Just because pomegranates are considered the superfruits of the dietary world does not mean you have to eat just that! Just one cup of pomegranate seeds contains:
Packed with antioxidants like proanthocyanidins and flavonoids, pomegranates work great for the skin by delaying the signs of aging (like wrinkles, dark spots, and pigmentation). They are known to boost the skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun, and this can be helpful in treating melasma. Pomegranate seed oil and pomegranate peels can be used to treat acne, inflammation of the skin, and even skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
Pomegranate increases the good cholesterol levels and break down the harmfully oxidized lipids. The fruit (and especially the leaf extract) was also found to reduce serum cholesterol levels. In a study, cells treated with pomegranates suffered less stress-induced damage and also improved clogged arteries. The seeds also lower blood pressure levels by not only improving the blood flow to the cardiovascular system, but also reducing high blood pressure and treating inflammation.
Preliminary studies have shown that pomegranates can help with treating irregular periods, and while it’s said that they can also trigger uterine contractions, leading to a boost in uterine health, more research is being conducted on the same. Irregular periods can also be due to anemia – and since pomegranates are rich in iron, they are a good source of vitamins for a healthy uterus.
And since pomegranates are also known to be rich in fiber, they can aid the treatment of yeast infections as they kill the responsible fungi and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria, instead.
According to a study conducted by Queen Margaret University, people who drank pomegranate juice had lower levels of cortisol - a stress hormone that is increased, which can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. A balanced cortisol level in your body is necessary to prevent ailments such as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and suppressed immunity.
What are you waiting for? Go get yourself two cups of anaar STAT!
Images: Shutterstock, Giphy
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