By: Silvia DiPaola, Contributing Writer
It doesn't have to be a pill to be effective! Natural remedies are often overlooked in favor of more allopathic (conventional) drug treatments. However, they should not be; the healing power of nature can be used to your advantage with less risk to your body. Pomegranates, a rather easy fruit to find in any supermarket, may offer some potent health benefits in terms of powerful antioxidants and bolstering immunity and fertility.
Pomegranates are spherical fruits with thick red skin, white inner walls, and white seeds inside red sacs. They are a great source of nutrients in general and can satisfy your daily fruit requirement. According to Healthline, they are among the healthiest fruits on Earth! A ½ cup serving of the fruit offers 5g fiber, 205 mg potassium, 1.5g protein, 3 mcg vitamin K, and 28mg vitamin C. However, they do lose some of their vitamin C content when juiced, so you might want to enjoy them fresh.
Pomegranates can be juiced or eaten in their whole form; both ways do offer a plethora of health benefits. The fruit harbors potent antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory effects, but what exactly do these antioxidants do for us? They help eliminate free radicals in the body that can damage DNA, which is just one reason why the antioxidants in pomegranates are extremely good for you. Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants called polyphenols (that give the fruit their characteristic red color) and punicalagin. Chronic inflammation is one of the main drivers of serious disease, so this is where the anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates come in. According to Healthline, pomegranate juice has 3x the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea. Furthermore, they may be a contributing factor in lowering systolic blood pressure and preventing heart disease! The punicic acid in the pomegranate may be responsible for the latter by slowing plaque/cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
Lastly, pomegranates may bolster immunity and fertility due to their high vitamin C and E content. The powerful antioxidants reduce oxidative stress that can decrease fertility in women, and the high vitamin K content accomplishes the same feat.
However, there are a few downsides to consuming pomegranates: they are rather potent, so they may interfere with blood pressure and cholesterol medications, so be wary if those conditions affect you and consult a doctor as necessary. Moreover, you should obviously avoid consuming pomegranates if you are allergic to them.
You can easily find the pomegranate in its whole form at a local supermarket, but you can also find it in the form of supplements, juice, powders, extracts, etc. The peel is bitter, so you may prefer eating only the seeds. Extracts and powders are usually made from the peel because it is high in antioxidants and punicalagin. Some ways you might wish to consider adding pomegranate to your diet may include adding it on top of a salad, making smoothies/smoothie bowls with them, adding it to your yogurt or oatmeal, etc. You can even add pomegranate seeds to toast or eat them fresh out of the fruit. If you are feeling lazy, you can buy pomegranate juice and drink it. The options are limitless! Next time you're at your General Practitioner, ask them if pomegranates are the right choice for you!