Pomegranate: 10 properties and benefits of this healthy fruit
Five pieces of fruit a day . This is the recommendation that a large number of experts make regarding the need for vegetable consumption in our diet in order to make it balanced and healthy. And if this recommendation is made it is because this type of vegetable contains a great amount of essential and valuable elements for the optimal maintenance for our health.
In addition, we have a wide variety of this type of food, each of them having different compositions that can be more or less beneficial in different aspects.
One of them, which usually is not the first we imagine when thinking about fruits, is the pomegranate. And although it is not usually taken into account as the orange or apple, the truth is that we are facing a fruit very beneficial to health. That is why throughout this article we will emphasize the properties and benefits of the pomegranate in our health .
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The pomegranate: a very healthy fruit
We call pomegranates an important and very healthy fruit from the tree Punica granatum , popularly known as pomegranate. This fruit that outwardly resembles a bulb of yellowish and reddish coloration, is consumed today in most of the world despite being considered exotic. The part that is consumed are its numerous seeds or arils, fleshy and of a reddish color, which are usually extracted and used in different ways.
Although it is not the most consumed fruit, the truth is that it is a food that has been available and has enjoyed popularity since ancient times in much of the Mediterranean, being known by civilizations such as the Greek or Egyptian and even being in deposits of the Bronze Age, such as Jericho. In fact, references to it can be found in the sacred texts of the Hebrew and Muslim religions, the Torah and the Koran, as well as in Christianity.
It is considered that its region of origin is in an area that includes from ancient Persia and Babylon to India , from where little by little it was introduced to the rest of Asia and with time to Europe (in Spain it was introduced by the Arabs during the Middle Ages) and to America.
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Properties and benefits of the pomegranate
The pomegranate is a very healthy fruit and beneficial to health, which have discovered several very interesting properties due to its composition rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber among many other elements. Specifically, the following properties of the pomegranate are usually highlighted.
1. A powerful antioxidant
The seeds of the pomegranate contain components such as punicalagins, a type of hydrolysable tannin, and flavonoids such as cyanidin. Both groups of elements have a high antioxidant power. It helps keep cell damage caused by free radicals at bay , as well as a lower level of cellular degeneration and a slowing down of tissue aging.
2. It has an astringent effect
Thanks to its high content of polyphenols, the pomegranate has the property of helping to retain and absorb the liquid of the digested food, making it difficult to expel soft and continuous stools. That is why it is sometimes recommended to treat cases of diarrhea. In this case, this property is more specific to the peel, with which you can prepare infusions .
3. Reduce blood pressure and help prevent cardiovascular problems
Several studies seem to show that the pomegranate has the interesting property of reducing blood pressure and the risk of suffering cardiovascular problems. It has also been observed that it contributes to reducing atherosclerosis, reducing the risk of thrombi and favoring a healthier blood circulation.
4. Aphrodisiac and sexual health effects
Another property that has traditionally been attributed to pomegranate is the fact that it is an aphrodisiac fruit. And some research seems to suggest that generates an increase in the level of testosterone in both sexes , as well as estrogen in the case of women, something that could contribute not only to a sexual level but also in aspects such as the strengthening of bones and muscles.
Likewise and as mentioned above, the fact of helping to prevent atherosclerosis makes the vascular system remain healthy and the passage of blood to erogenous zones is not so difficult for this reason.
The pomegranate juice and specifically one of its components which we have already mentioned above, the punicalagins, also has an interesting anti-inflammatory action that can be useful when contributing to improve states of inflammation of some body systems .
6. Possible antitumor action
The pomegranate has also been effective in preventing different types of cancer, such as colon cancer, as well as interfering in some studies in the proliferation of certain tumors.
7. Memory function support
The aforementioned antioxidant effects and the increase of testosterone in both sexes seem to be associated to a better functioning of the memory, being able to help to prevent a possible deterioration derived from the effects of free radicals that damage neurons .
8. Diuretic and slimming
With a high potassium content, it has been observed that the pomegranate It is also a diuretic fruit , contributing and facilitating the urination and the expulsion of harmful elements of the blood through the urine. In addition, being rich seems to have a positive effect on the control of body fat, as well as being low in calories helps reduce body fat and prevent obesity.
9. It promotes the immune system
The consumption of pomegranate can be an interesting option for the reinforcement of the immune system, since it provides a large amount of essential nutrients, minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron and vitamins as important as C or A .
This makes it easier to fight different infections and problems, as well as to prevent and combat anemia.
Likewise, it is good for tissue regeneration.
10. Antiseptic, antifungal and antiparasitic action
Other interesting properties of this fruit is the fact that it has been observed that it helps to fight different bacteria, fungi and even intestinal parasites, something that makes the pomegranate fruit useful for the prevention of infections. This effect is not only achieved by consuming the arils, but also observed in its use as a mouthwash.
- Stowe, C.B. (2011). The effects of pomegranate juice in blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 14 (2). PubMed. [On-line]. Available at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21457902.
- Seeram, N.P .; Adams, L.S .: Henning, S.M .; Niu, Y .; Zhang, Y .; Nair, M.F. & Heber, D. (2005). In-vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of punicalagin, ellagic acid and a total pomegranate tannin extract are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in pomegranate juice.The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 16 (6): 360-367.