Pomegranate is a new superfruit
The term “superfruit” refers to a fruit which is not only rich in nutrients and antioxidants, but that also has the potential to be beneficial to overall health by affecting the cellular and molecular structure.
Right now pomegranate, the hard red fruit with its innumerable red seeds is being hailed as the superfruit of today and tomorrow, due to its high content of antioxidants which packs a healthy punch in the wellbeing department.
Pomegranate is packed with superpower qualities like;
- Pomegranates are said to have three to seven times more antioxidant value than green tea and red wine.
- With an estimated 25 grams of sugar from the whole fruit and resulting in just 110 calories pomegranate is an ideal choice for calorie conscious folks.
- Pomegranate juice provides 16% of your daily Vitamin C requirement, per 100 ml.
- It is also a good source of Vitamin B5, potassium and fiber.
- Extracts such as ellagic acid from pomegranates are used in many dietary products.
- Fresh pomegranate juice is made up of 0.2 - 1% soluble polyphenolic flavonoids, 85% water, 10% total sugars, and 1.5% pectin, and ascorbic acid.
All these numbers went above your head? No worries, lets break it down for you.
Pomegranate - the antioxidant superpower
A drink of pomegranate juice Pom Wonderful which has recently entered the market, describes itself as “The Antioxidant Superpower” and this is exactly what this fruit envisages – a superfruit with antioxidant properties that gives it superpowers!
These antioxidant superpowers are due to its high content of flavonoid and anthocyanidin antioxidants. It also contains polyphenol flavonoids which include catechins, ellagic tannins, and gallic and ellagic acids. The antioxidant composition and capacity may vary between pomegranate juice, peel and seeds. A study showed the presence of higher antioxidant activity in the peel than the juice of pomegranate.
Because of this basket of antioxidants present in pomegranate fruit, peel and seeds, it makes an ideal free-radical scavenging solution. The antioxidants act by scavenging free radicals (molecules with one or more unpaired electrons which rapidly combine with other molecules, starting chain reactions in a process known as oxidation). Free radicals are a normal product of metabolism and the body produces its own set of antioxidants (e.g. beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E) to counteract the ill effects of free radicals. But sadly our body does not produce sufficient antioxidants to combat the deleterious effects of stress, aging, and environmental sources such as polluted air and cigarette smoke.
Hence these highly reactive free radicals damage healthy cells and have been linked to changes that accompany aging (such as age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older people) and with disease processes that lead to cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Pomegranates help combat just that… and studies have proved that pomegranate contains more antioxidants than green tea, cranberries and even red wine!
In a pilot study of 19 aged patients with atherosclerosis, the administration of pomegranate juice, was shown to reduce the build-up of arterial plaque by up to 30% and was found to be 60% more efficient than other juices in the prevention of the formation of plaque which resulted in the formation of oxidized LDL in the arteries.
The healing and curative properties of Pomegranate
Not satisfied? Lets innumerate a few studies explaining the healing and curative properties of this superfruit with regards to these diseases;
Cancer: Studies show that pomegranates may be effective in fighting cancers of the breast, skin and prostate. This is due to the presence of flavanoids in high levels. These flavanoids are a type of antioxidant that has been researched to be highly effective in neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals.
Heart disease: the antioxidant properties of pomegranates have been found to improve blood flow to the heart by more than a third. This is because the antioxidants present prevent the formation of bad cholesterol, hence rendering the arteries clear of plaque, thereby reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Osteoarthritis: research suggests that pomegranate extracts could prevent the onset of osteoarthritis. Scientists in America have found that it inhibits the production of the enzyme responsible for causing damage to cartilage.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory: these key properties of pomegranate extract have been proved to have significant therapeutic benefits with regards to a vast number a diseases. The antioxidant constituents of pomegranate are known to be highly effective due to it being rapidly absorbed by the body and its non-toxicity.
Helps resist brain injuries in babies: pomegranate juice administered to expectant mothers who are most likely at the risk of premature birth, has been studied to help their babies combat brain injuries caused due to reduced oxygen and blood flow.
Skin Cancer: the antioxidant qualities in pomegranate extract possesses anti-skin-tumor-promoting effects and are hence effective in fighting diseases like skin cancer.
What is clear from all this research is that it is truly the antioxidant properties of this fruit which is effective in fighting these diseases?
This fruit is being envisioned as cure for a variety of diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and even aging. It is known to cure just about anything that can ail an aging senior citizen. It has become a popular ingredient for mixed drinks, ice cream and even bottled water and The Centers for Disease Control honored it by naming it the fruit of the month.
That is a lot of beneficial qualities for a fruit that was once looked down upon for being to tedious to consume because of its innumerable seeds.
So is there anything pomegranate can’t do or can’t cure? I believe not, because the root cause of many of today’s lifestyle diseases is due to the unstoppable number of free radicals being produced in our bodies. And pomegranate in every form is your one-stop solution to all these problems.
Therefore it is evident that including pomegranate in your daily diet is your shot at a healthy life and a healthy body. Who knows, the popular quote may soon be changed to, “A pomegranate a day, keeps the doctor away”!