14 Health Benefits of Pomegranate (Backed by Evidence)

Do you love eating pomegranates?

Pomegranate has been used as a medicinal fruit for thousands of years since the biblical times [1].

This ancient fruit, which is widely cultivated in Southeast Asia, Mediterranean region, and in some parts of the United States, is known for its vast array of therapeutic purposes [2].

It is highly valued as treatment for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, male infertility, obesity, skin damage, and many more [2].

Key Nutrient Facts

Pomegranate is a nutritional powerhouse that contains plenty essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamin C. It has enough calories for energy expenditure, and a small amount of fat and sodium.

The list below contains nutritional information based on a 100-gram serving of pomegranate. The percentage values are for a 2,000 calorie diet.

  • Calories 83
  • Fat 2 g
  • Cholesterol 0
  • Sodium 3 mg
  • Protein 7 g
  • Dietary fiber 4 g
  • Carbs 19 g
  • Sugar 14 g
  • Potassium 236 mg
  • Calcium 1%
  • Vitamin C 17%
  • Vitamin B6 5%
  • Magnesium 3%
  • Iron 1%

 

The priceless benefits of pomegranate are discussed below.

1. Pomegranate Protects Against Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is more common than you think.

Fact is, it is the third most common cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International.

You can protect yourself from this cancer that typically starts as a polyp in a gland in the colon with the use of pomegranate [3].

A 2005 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reported that the polyphenols in pomegranate successfully inhibited the growth and spread of colon cancer cells [4].

Its polyphenols are pointed out as responsible for pomegranate’s ability to inhibit spread of cancer cell lines from 30 to 100 percent [4].

These polyphenols include punicalagin, ellagic acid and ellagitannin [4].

Another study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry stated that this fruit works as an anti-cancer agent by preventing “inflammatory cell signaling” in the cancer cells in the colon [5].

Its inhibitory effects also work on oral and prostate cancer cells [4].

Key Takeaways:

  1. Pomegranate contains polyphenols that work against the cancer cells in the colon.
  2. It’s also active against cancer cells that form in the mouth and prostate.

2. Pomegranate Can Help Prevent and Treat Prostate Cancer

The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be more than 180,000 new diagnoses for prostate cancer this year that may possibly result in over 26,000 deaths.

This type of cancer starts in the prostate gland, a gland that’s shaped like a walnut, in charge of producing seminal fluid for the sperm, explains Mayo Clinic.

A good way to protect oneself from prostate cancer is by drinking pomegranate juice daily.

In 2006, patients with prostate cancer were given eight ounces of pomegranate juice every day for 54 months [6].

By the time the treatment period was over, there was a 12 percent reduction in cancer cell proliferation, and 17 percent increase in cancer cell death [6].

The conclusion reached was that regular intake of pomegranate or its juice can significantly reduce risk of cancer in the prostate, thanks to its high concentration of cancer-fighting phytochemicals [6].

American researchers, meanwhile, have also found that pomegranate can efficiently suppress the activities of even the “highly aggressive” prostate cancer cells [7].

Key Takeaways:

  1. Pomegranate fights cancer in the prostate with its powerful antioxidants called phytochemicals.
  2. It can work against highly aggressive cancer cells in the prostate.

3. Pomegranate Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of death in women worldwide.

According to Wikipedia, the common signs of breast cancer are a lump inside the breast, changes in the shape of the breast, and nipple fluid discharge.

It’s important to detect breast cancer early for better chances of survival and recovery.

To prevent this cancer, it’s also best to eat antioxidant-rich fruits like pomegranate.

Various studies have shown that this fruit is highly effective in combating cancer cells that start in the breast duct lining [13, 14, 15].

Clinical data from a Korean research shows that the polyphenols in pomegranate juice can inhibit aromatase activity by up to 80 percent [13].

Aromatase activity is linked to breast cancer formation [13].

Oil extracted from pomegranate, meanwhile, can prevent spread of cancer cells by 90 percent, and invasion by 75 percent [13].

Key Takeaways:

  1. Early intervention is key in treating and recovering from breast cancer.
  2. Polyphenols in pomegranate can help combat cancer cells in the breast by inhibiting aromatase activity.
  3. It can also inhibit growth and spread of cancer cells in the breast.

4. Pomegranate Wards Off Skin Cancer

Did you know that there are more skin cancer cases than lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined [16]?

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Most skin cancers are linked to excessive exposure from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun [17].

One way to reduce the risk of this form of cancer is by eating pomegranate or drinking pomegranate juice.

In a 2005 study conducted in Wisconsin, USA, mice that were pre-treated with pomegranate extract had fewer incidence of skin tumors compared to those that were not [18].

Results confirm that this fruit has anti skin tumor effects [18].

In another study, two groups of mice with skin cancer were treated with 5 percent pomegranate oil [19].

Not only did pomegranate extract reduce the number of tumors, it also prevented it from multiplying and spreading [19].

Findings indicate that pomegranate is a “safe and effective chemopreventive agent” for skin cancer [19].

Key Takeaways:

  1. Reduce skin cancer risk with pomegranate, which has chemopreventive agent and anti skin tumor effects.
  2. It can reduce the number of tumors, as well as prevent cancer cells from multiplying and spreading.

5. Pomegranate Protects Heart Health

Protect your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease with pomegranate.

The tannins, polyphenols and anthocyanins in this fruit are said to have antiatherosclerotic properties, reports a 2005 study [20].

Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of plaque in the arteries that typically leads to coronary heart disease [21].

Researchers also note that polyphenols can efficiently manage the levels of low-density lipoprotein in the bloodstream, another risk factor for heart disease [22].

It is confirmed that drinking pomegranate juice daily can do so much in improving the condition of people with coronary heart disease [20].

Key Takeaway:

  1. Pomegranate helps protect the heart by lowering the levels of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream, and preventing buildup of plaque in the arteries.

6. Pomegranate Can Help Manage Diabetes

Diabetes may not sound as dangerous as cancer or heart disease, but it is also potentially fatal, if not managed properly.

This metabolic disorder is characterized by excessively high blood sugar levels caused by the body’s inability to produce or utilize insulin, as explained by the National Health Services.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels [21].

Several studies show that including pomegranate in one’s diet can significantly help manage diabetes [22, 23].

Researchers from Israel investigated the effects of pomegranate juice on diabetic patients [22].

In this clinical trial, 10 healthy participants and 10 diabetic patients were asked to take in 50 milliliters of pomegranate juice per day for three months [22].

Even though the juice did not have any effect on the serum glucose and cholesterol levels, it did reduce serum lipid peroxides by up to 56 percent [22].

Key Takeaway:

  1. Pomegranate can be used as an alternative therapy for people with diabetes with its antioxidant and anti-diabetic effects.

7. Pomegranate Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Medical News Today reports that one person develops Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds.

That’s how common this problem is, but the good news is, there are ways to delay its onset or prevent it altogether.

Polyphenols in pomegranate have been found to have neuroprotective effects [24].

Results of this 2006 study confirm that these mechanisms make pomegranate a valuable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease [24].

Key Takeaways:

  1. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes memory loss and inability to function normally.
  2. Pomegranate is packed with polyphenols that have neuroprotective properties, and can help treat this disease.

8. Pomegranate is a Good Remedy for Gastric Ulcer

Gastric ulcer is not caused by spicy foods, contrary to popular belief.

Open sores or lesions in the stomach, esophagus or intestine are caused by an infection of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, according to Mayo Clinic.

This painful condition, which causes abdominal cramping and discomfort, can be remedied with pomegranate.

An Indian study conducted in 2005 revealed that pomegranate has powerful gastroprotective properties due to its high concentration of antioxidants [25].

A 70 percent extract derived from the fruit rind of pomegranate inhibited gastric ulcer by about 20 percent [25].

Key Takeaway:

  1. With its high levels of antioxidants, pomegranates can effectively kill the cause of gastric ulcer, which is the Helicobacter pylori bacterium.

9. Pomegranate Can Help Resolve Male Infertility

Pomegranate has been used since the ancient times to cure infertility.

Today, there’s enough scientific proof to support this ancient practice.

In a 2008 study published in the Clinical Nutrition Journal, 28 adult male rats were given either distilled water or distilled water with pomegranate juice in different doses every day for seven weeks [26].

It was stated in the conclusion that consumption of pomegranate has a positive impact on sperm motility and concentration [26].

It was also found to enhance the levels of testosterone hormones [26].

Key Takeaway:

  1. Male infertility can be resolved with frequent intake of pomegranate, which studies have found to improve sperm count and boost testosterone levels.

10. Pomegranate Helps in Weight Loss

Trying to lose weight?

Pomegranate can help in your weight loss efforts.

Research conducted in the Tsinghua University in Beijing, China shows that pomegranate has anti-obesity effects [27].

According to the study, this fruit works by inhibiting energy intake, suppressing appetite and reducing the lipase activity in the pancreas [27].

 Key Takeaway:

  1. Pomegranate juice aids in weight loss by suppressing the appetite, decreasing pancreatic lipase activity, and slowing down energy intake.

11. Pomegranate Can Keep Blood Pressure Levels in Check

It is estimated that by 2025, over 1.5 billion people will be diagnosed with hypertension [28].

Also called high blood pressure, hypertension is the condition in which the blood flow has a greater force than normal [29].

Because this condition can cause heart disease and other serious ailments, it’s important to maintain proper levels of blood pressure with the help of foods like pomegranate.

Two studies confirm that pomegranate has a positive effect on the blood pressure levels, keeping dangerous diseases at bay [30, 31].

Key Takeaway:

  1. Pomegranate can help maintain blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and other serious conditions.

12. Pomegranate is a Potent Antibacterial

While it’s true that bacteria aids in some bodily functions such as digestion, there are cases when it can do more harm than good.

Bad bacteria can infect the body and cause serious illness.

Fortunately, there are antibacterial foods like pomegranate, which as research has proven has potent antibacterial effects on various bacterial strains including E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, and so on [32].

Another study verified that low concentrations of pomegranate extract delay the growth of bacteria while high concentrations kill the bacteria [33].

Key Takeaways:

  1. The antibacterial properties of pomegranate work on various bacteria types including E. coli, staphylococcus aureus and others.
  2. In low concentrations, it slows down bacterial growth while in high concentrations, it completely destroys the bacteria.

13. Pomegranate Fights Oxidative Stress

Red wine and green tea have been widely recognized for their high antioxidant concentrations.

Now, did you know that pomegranate juice has even more antioxidants?

In fact, pomegranate juice has three times more antioxidant activity than both red wine and green tea [34].

Many other studies confirm pomegranate’s high antioxidant levels, proving its efficacy in neutralizing free radical damage and oxidative stress [35, 36, 37].

By preventing free radical damage, you can ward off numerous ailments like diabetes, as well as prevent premature aging.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Pomegranate contains more antioxidants than green tea and red wine.
  2. It can neutralize the damage caused by free radicals, and prevent the onset of serious diseases.
  3. It can also slow down the process of aging.

14. Pomegranate Keeps You Looking Young

If you’d like to preserve your youthful glow, consider using pomegranate.

In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it was reported that various parts of the fruit—peel, juice, oil extract—can slow down the aging process of the skin [38].

Findings suggest that pomegranate promotes skin repair and healing [38].

At the same time, it stimulates the production of collagen [38].

Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants, which as mentioned earlier, have the ability to neutralize free radical damage that causes the skin to age prematurely.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Keep your skin looking young and fresh with pomegranate, which is packed with antioxidants that prevent free radical damage.
  2. It also promotes collagen production as well as skin repair and healing.

Pomegranate abounds in remarkable health benefits that more people should know about and make use of.

Use it to reduce the risk of various forms of cancer, keep heart disease at bay, and keep your health in top condition.