April 24, 2024

Pomegranates: Five Amazing Health Benefits

Written by our expert


Avanthika Nityanand

M.Sc Human Genetics, B.Sc Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology

Pomegranates: Five Amazing Health Benefits
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Pomegranates are not just a delicious addition to your diet; they are packed with a variety of health benefits that have been cherished across various cultures for centuries.

Known for their distinctive red arils and sweet-tart flavor, pomegranates are often highlighted in historical texts for their medicinal properties.

Today, modern science continues to explore and confirm the health benefits of this vibrant fruit, ranging from improved heart health to potential cancer-fighting properties.

In this article, we will delve into the rich nutritional profile of pomegranates and examine the numerous ways they can contribute to a healthier life.

Let’s uncover why this fruit is considered a superfood and how incorporating it into your diet can enhance your overall health.

Nutritional Profile of Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a powerhouse of important nutrients, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Each part of the pomegranate—from the seeds to the juice—offers substantial health benefits due to its rich composition.

A single cup of pomegranate arils (about 174 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 144
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 30% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
  • Folate: 16% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 12% of the RDI

Additionally, pomegranates are rich in sugar and calories, which makes them a great source of energy. They are particularly noted for their high levels of antioxidants, such as punicalagins and punicic acid, which are found in very few other foods.

This nutritional mix supports multiple body functions and provides a unique blend of benefits compared to other fruits.

Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants are compounds that help fight free radicals in your body, which are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and damage cells. Pomegranates are among the richest sources of antioxidants among fruit, which contributes significantly to their health-promoting properties.

The antioxidants in pomegranates, such as punicalagin and punicic acid, are incredibly potent. Punicalagins, found in the juice and peel of the fruit, have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea.

According to a 2000 paper, analysis using HPLC-DAD and HPLC-MS showed high levels of the pomegranate tannin punicalagin (1500−1900 mg/L) in commercial juices, whereas only traces were found in laboratory-made juices from arils. This suggests that the industrial processing of pomegranates extracts significant amounts of hydrolyzable tannins from the fruit rind, contributing to the higher antioxidant activity of the commercial products. Additionally, other compounds such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid derivatives, and hydrolyzable tannins were also detected and quantified in the juices. [ref]

These powerful compounds help reduce oxidative stress in the body, which in turn helps fight chronic diseases and aging.

Heart Health Benefits

Pomegranates have several properties that make them beneficial for heart health. They help reduce high blood pressure, one of the leading risks for heart attacks and strokes.

According to a 2013 paper, antioxidants in pomegranates uniquely enhance the activity of HDL-associated paraoxonase 1 (PON1), an enzyme that helps break down harmful oxidized lipids in blood vessels. Pomegranate also helps lower blood pressure. Collectively, these attributes make pomegranate a particularly health-promoting fruit. [ref]

Moreover, pomegranates can also help reduce high cholesterol levels. The antioxidants in the fruit help lower bad LDL cholesterol while improving good HDL cholesterol. This dual effect helps prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Cancer Prevention and Support

Research has shown that pomegranate extract can slow cancer cell reproduction and even induce apoptosis (death) of cancer cells. The strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of pomegranates contribute to their ability to combat tumor growth and help in the treatment of various types of cancer.

Studies have particularly noted the effectiveness of pomegranate juice and extract against prostate, breast, and skin cancer. While more research is needed to understand the full impact of pomegranates on cancer, early results are promising and suggest that pomegranates may play a beneficial role in cancer prevention and as a complementary treatment.

A 2007 paper observed the following:

The phytochemistry and pharmacological actions of all Punica granatum (pomegranate) components suggest a wide range of clinical applications for the treatment and prevention of cancer, as well as other diseases where chronic inflammation is believed to play an essential etiologic role. [ref]

Digestive and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Pomegranates can also play a part in improving gut health and reducing inflammation. The fruit's high fiber content helps enhance digestion and prevent constipation.

Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates make them a beneficial food for those suffering from inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory effects are primarily attributed to the presence of antioxidants in pomegranates, which reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and the rest of the body. Regular consumption of pomegranates can help maintain a healthy gut, reduce discomfort, and protect against various digestive issues.

Skin Health and Anti-Aging Effects

Pomegranates are also beneficial for the skin. They help protect against premature aging by reducing inflammation and protecting the skin’s collagen from breaking down. Pomegranates are often used in skin care products due to their hydrating qualities and the ability to improve skin elasticity.

According to a 2006 paper,

The antioxidants in pomegranates not only help reduce damage caused by ultraviolet rays but also aid in the regeneration of skin cells. Pomegranate extracts have been shown to promote the production of collagen and elastin, giving the skin a firm and youthful appearance.


Pomegranates are a true superfood with a wide array of health benefits. From enhancing heart health and potentially reducing cancer risk to supporting digestive health and improving skin condition, pomegranates can play a significant role in a balanced and healthy diet.

By incorporating this nutritious fruit into your daily routine, you can tap into its potent health benefits and contribute positively to your overall well-being.

This article has explored the various ways pomegranates can enrich your health, providing you with scientific insights and practical tips to harness the full potential of this extraordinary fruit.

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