The Health Benefits of Pomegranates

Organic Pomegranates

Organic pomegranate seeds or refreshing pomegranate juice is a delicious, refreshing snack! This slightly peculiar fruit has been thought to hold legendary powers for centuries. Persians believe Eve actually ate a pomegranate when she plucked from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, not an apple. Ancient Egyptians buried their dead with pomegranates because they believed it offered eternal life. This fruit is also featured in mythology and tradition as a symbol of good tidings. Greeks break open a pomegranate at wedding celebrations and the Chinese eat candied pomegranate seeds for good luck.

Video: The Health Benefits of Pomegranates

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Pomegranate Research

Researchers are discovering the truth surrounding the pomegranate’s powers, proving why this exotic fruit has claimed such a fabled place in cultures throughout the ages. Scientists conducting research on the many health benefits of pomegranates have made some incredible discoveries.

First, organic pomegranates are full of antioxidants. These are compounds and enzymes known for keeping low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol from oxidizing and causing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries [1]. Organic pomegranate seeds act a lot like aspirin, keeping blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous blood clots [2].

Antioxidants also buffer the effects of free radical damage to your cells caused by oxidation. Free radicals are produced by functions within the body and elements outside the body, such as radiation from the sun. You can’t stop free radical occurrence and oxidation but you can consume foods that help neutralize their potential damage.

Research also shows that eating organic pomegranate seeds and drinking pomegranate juice can increase oxygen levels to the heart [3].

Other studies reveal that, over time, organic pomegranates might help combat erectile dysfunction [4]. This super fruit might also reduce the redness of arthritis by slowing the enzymatic activity that breaks down cartilage.

How to Eat an Organic Pomegranate

The pomegranate is an intricate fruit that contains a maze of seeds inside an encapsulation of bark-like, inedible flesh. It may initially look daunting but there is an easy way to get to all those nutritious, sweet and juicy seeds.

  1. Cut off the crown (you’ll see it) and discard in your compost pile.
  2. Score and slice the rind all around, but don’t cut the rind all the way through.
  3. Soak the pomegranate face down in cold water for about ten minutes.
  4. While the pomegranate is still in the bowl of water, break apart the scored rinds, and remove the seeds from the flesh (the seeds will sink to the bottom of your bowl).
  5. Remove the rind and membrane from the bowl with a sieve or spoon.
  6. Drain the seeds with a colander and pat dry with a paper towel.

To get the most out of an organic pomegranate, eat the seeds while they’re at their freshest and juiciest. This is when their therapeutic powers are at their peak!

Some people suck the juice out and spit out the seed. This is a personal choice but most of the beneficial fiber comes from the seed so it is beneficial to eat it and a waste to ignore it. Organic pomegranate seeds are bursting with a delicious, pleasant, slightly acidic flavor that has all the sweetness of cranberries without the tartness.

I suggest sprinkling the seeds on a green salad or a fruit salad. You’ll be surprised at the awesome extra taste sensation this provides. You can add them to any recipe that calls for fruit or seeds, too. Pomegranates are often used in Middle Eastern dishes and make a great cranberry-style sauce.

Organic pomegranate seeds are also perfectly delicious eaten all by themselves.

Health Benefits of Organic Pomegranates

Organic Pomegranate Seeds

Packed with antioxidants equal to those in green tea and red wine, and especially loaded with vitamin C and potassium, pomegranates are believed to help:

  • Lower Risk of Heart Disease [5]
  • Lower Risk of Cancer, Especially Prostate and Breast [6]
  • Lessen Symptoms of Diarrhea [7]
  • Reduce Cholesterol [8]
  • Control Your Weight [9]
  • Fight Cell Damage [10]

Pomegranates are one of the few fruits where the juice is just as beneficial as the fruit or seeds. The peel, which you can’t eat, contains the most antioxidants, and they are released in abundance when the fruit is squeezed for juicing.

Note: Eating pomegranates might interfere with certain medications in the same way that grapefruit juice does. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about drug interactions.

Pomegranate’s wine-red juice will stain your fingers, clothes, and countertops! Be careful with these.

- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Filomena de Nigris, sharon Williams-Ignarro, Vincenzo Sica, Lilach O. Lerman, Fancesco P. D’Armiento, Russel E. Byrns, Amelia Casamassimi, Daniela Carpentiero, Concetta Schiano, Daigo Sumi, Carmela Fiorito, Louis J. Ignarro, Claudio Napoli. Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. European Society of Cardiology. 2006 August 25. (2007) 73 (2): 414-423. doi: 10.1016/j.cardiores.2006.08.021.
  2. Michael Aviram, Mira Rosenblat, Diana Gaitini, Samy Nitecki, Aaron Hoffman, Leslie Dornfeld, Nina Volkova, Dita Presser, Judith Attias, Harley Liker, Tony Hayek. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clinical Nutrition. 2004 June. vol. 23 issue 3, pages 423-433.
  3. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hofman A, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Hayek T, Fuhrman B. Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2002;28(2-3):49-62. Review.
  4. C P Forest, H Padma-Nathan, H R Liker. Efficacy and safety of pomegranate juice on improvement of erectile dysfunction in male patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. International Journal of Impotence Research. 2007 April 26. 19, 564–567; doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901570.
  5. Sumner MD, Elliott-Eller M, Weidner G, Daubenmier JJ, Chew MH, Marlin R, Raisin CJ, Ornish D. Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2005 Sep 15;96(6):810-4.
  6. Mee Young Hong, Navindra P. Seeram, David Heber. Pomegranate polyphenols down-regulate expression of androgen-synthesizing genes in human prostate cancer cells over expressing the androgen receptor. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2008 November 8. vol. 19 issue 12, pages 848-855.
  7. J.L.S. Goncalves, R.C. Lopes, D.B. Oliveira, S.S. Costa, M.M.F.S. Miranda, M.T.V. Romanos, N.S.O. Santoz, M.D. Wigg. In vitro anti-rotavirus activity of some medicinal plants used in Brazil against diarrhea. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005 July 14. vol. 99 issue 3, pages 403-407.
  8. Esmaillzadeh A, Tahbaz F, Gaieni I, Alavi-Majd H, Azadbakht L. Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated pomegranate juice consumption in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006 May;76(3):147-51.
  9. David Heber, Navindra P. Seeram, Holly Wyatt, Susanne M. Henning, Yanjun Zhang, Lorraine G. Ogden, Mark Dreher, James O. Hill. Safety and Antioxidant Activity of a Pomegranate Ellagitannin-Enriched Polyphenol Dietary Supplement in Overweight Individuals with Increased Waist Size. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2007 October 30. 55 (24), pp 10050–10054 DOI: 10.1021/jf071689v.
  10. Sarmad Hanifa, Uzma Shamima, M.F. Ullaha, Asfar S. Azmib, Showket H. Bhatc, S.M. Hadia. The anthocyanidin delphinidin mobilizes endogenous copper ions from human lymphocytes leading to oxidative degradation of cellular DNA. Toxicology. 2008 July 10. vol. 249 issue 1, pages 19-25.

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  • Jay

    I love drinking pomegranate juice, although i’m not a big fan of eating the seeds. There’s something about the texture that just weirds me out.

    Great post. Especially the “How to eat a pomegrante” part. That’s definitely something that takes awhile to get right.

  • carrei henger

    how do you juice the pomegrante. Do you put the whole fruit in the juicer and whatever cant be juiced will become pulp? I have a centrifical juicer that creates pulp out one end and juice thru a screen out the other. Do you peel the skin before juicing? thank you

  • Naj

    To juice a pomegranate, I highly discourage you from using a juicer. Instead, roll the pomegranate on your counter top, pressing down firmly to squeeze the juice out of the seeds. Then, over a medium-sized bowl placed in a sink, make a slit in the side of the pomegranate and squeeze out the juice in to the bowl. This way, you shouldn’t get any of the tiny seeds into the juice. But be careful! Always wear an old t-shirt when doing this in case you spray yourself with the juice!

    Did you know in Afghanistan the peel of the pomegranate is reserved and used to make red dye for carpets?

  • Beeswax

    Am I the only one who really wants to love pomegranates, but doesn’t… I mean the health benefits are overwhelming, but I just don’t like the taste – even the juice doesn’t work either… I guess I just need to get over it! ;)

  • MANNY

    Pomegranates do have so many health benefits and can be classified as a “Super Food” however, the maximum benefits can be obtained by having the actual raw fruit, as any store bought juice is pasteurized, which destroys the life giving enzymes in the heating process.

  • http://www.fiikus.net Maija Haavisto

    The references for possible weight loss are a bit confusing – one is for pomegranate seed oil, one is for a pomegranate supplement and one for pomegranate leaf extract.

  • Tibetan

    I will stick to tthe goji berry

  • ram
  • BoldandConfident

    You are right just get over it. It works for us the human species.

  • Riz

    Try mixing the juice with sparkling mineral water. It’s delicious!

  • Amira

    No wonder it was mentioned in the Holy Quraan, among some other fruits like figs , dates & olives. Everyday, the science proves that no word is mentioned in that Holy book haphazardly.

  • Jayjay

    Yum, pomegranates are soo good! Sometime, I even forget there a fruit, and think of them as candies. Wow, I didn’t expect them to have so many health benefits!

  • Joyce Echols

    I was told this would take of Gout. Please give me an opinion.

  • brenda

    how can pomegranates be used for facial benefits. will it not stain face. any home facial remedies will be greatly appreciated. thanks

  • Shirt Print

    Just had some organic Pomegranite juice… a bit bitter but weirdly refreshing and I got to pretend I was being healthy for a bit!

  • Thom

    There are dried pomegranate seeds. So unbelievable tasty, and I guess even more packed with nutrition than he fresh ones per weight unit (as no water is presented). Dried pomegranate seeds can really be eaten as an even tastier replacement for candy. Eat them as they are, add them to your salads or mix with your breakfast cereals.
    I don’t know where to buy them in the west. I saw them being sold in traditional health / nuts shops in Persia (Iran).
    One other thing, when eating a fresh pomegranate, if you get some of the yellow inner peels fallen into the seeds that you are eating, don’t remove them. Eat them as well. It has more antioxidants than the seeds themselves

  • Thom

    Agreed. Well worded. Eat fresh if you can. if fresh not availale, then eat dried. I dont like or believe in pre botteled fruit juice

  • Thom

    I think you are one of the few that dont like pomegranates.

  • Mohtar

    After 2 months taking pomegranates juice and pills my gout and athritis is gone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edward.barton.1840 Edward Barton

    What are the problems similar to grapefruit. Do they interact with statin drugs??

  • sally

    I think it is an acquired taste– I didnt like them either, but I have been eating them and the more I eat the more I am beginning to like them :)

  • safder lodi

    *^*^*

  • linda

    why have to eatorganic pomegranates when you donot eat the peel?

  • Richard s

    i feel blessed that i read your information on pomegranates I call it L.O.B

    logic over bullshit what i mean by this is almost everyday u hear drug companies come up with the next wonder drug the the day u hear lawyers getting rich suing the drug companies, i’m not trying to knock on western medicine because it works. are body is a walking element is not meant to house man made nutrition, Its meant to house mother nature nutrition. your body is a temple we should treated like one.

  • char93667

    I like to add the seeds to my hot oatmeal. Do I get the same benefits if the seeds have been heated?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mingz.eclecticcreations Mingz Eclecticcreations

    Very helpful information. 9

  • http://www.facebook.com/Billwaz Bill Wasylenko

    I eat at least 3 per week. I just cut them in quarters like an orange and eat them like an orange. That way I get the seeds, juice, pulp and all. Compost the skin of course.

  • juicer

    kroger tonight had them in bags 3 for .99 I thought it can’t be but it was oh such a treat I should have bought them all.

  • Fred

    While it may be true that the Quran lists these fruits, I believe it logical to assume that Mohammed mentioned the same fruits listed a different religious work, predating the Quran by millenia. If I am not mistaken, the Bible, as given to Moses at Mount Sinai, refers to all of these fruits, as well as wheat, barley, and grapes in its praise of the Land of Israel

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  • corporeal4now

    Yes, because Islam started with Adam. The Arabic phase is the last phase of many phases (including the Aramaic and the Hebrew phases).

  • http://www.facebook.com/ignonij Nijolė Ignotienė

    Very nice post, i can eat this fruit, thank you

  • Nijole

    Nice, very necessary information, thank you

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  • Nishti

    Hi, to juice directly from the pomegranate slice itin half, get a large bowl then get one half of the pomegranate hold it in the palm of your hands and if you have a heavy steel soup spoon then tap it on the skin side of the pomegranate whilst its in your hands then gradually the seeds come out, after all the seeds are out u can out it in the juice ectraxtor then your pure juice should flow right through.

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