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Pomegranate — or Punica Granatum — is a fruit that originated in the Middle East, and it has been around for thousands of years. In Medieval Latin, the word means seeded apple. The fruit has been mentioned in Babylonian texts, Homeric Hymns and almost every religious text in the world. They appear in Greek Mythology and Egyptian papyrus documents. Historians have discovered that pomegranate has been in use for over 6000 years. Ancient people used its peel and blossom to make red dye. It is considered to be Garden of Eden fruit which biblical scouts brought to prove to Moses fertility of the land.
To help you understand pomegranate better, we bring you some information on its nutrition.
A serving size of 100g contains:
- Vitamin C – 6.1mg (17% of daily value)
- Total Carbohydrates – 19g
- Dietary Fiber – 4g (16% of daily value)
- Sugars – 14g
- Protein – 2g
- 83 Calories
It seems like pomegranates are everywhere these days. Doctors and researchers are doing everything to extol pomegranate virtues – from free-radicals fighting antioxidants – to combating heart issues and cancer. This dark-red fruit is also a good source of fiber. It contains vitamins A, E and K, potassium, plenty of iron and antioxidants, particularly ellagic acid, tannins and anthocyanins. These can be found in many fruit and vegetables, but fresh pomegranate contains the extremely high amounts.
Effects On Cancer
One study found that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice every day can slow down, to a certain extent, the progress of prostate cancer. Also, a study from 2013 found that giving men pomegranate extract tablets prior to cancerous prostate tissue removal surgery reduces the amount of tissue required to be removed. These were both well-conducted studies, but more work is needed to prove the findings.
Can Pomegranate Cure Dementia?
When brain cells become inflamed, they lose ability to function normally. These sick cells – which will eventually die off – cause irreversible brain changes. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading death cause in America, and even though plenty of research has been done on it, the cure is still unknown. Two substances in pomegranates are most responsible for its health benefits, and they are Punicalagins and Punicic Acid. These substances can't cure dementia, but can prevent it and slow down its further development.
Punicalagin – This polyphenol isolated from pomegranate juice can inhibit inflammation of microglia, tiny brain and spinal cord cells. Inflammations can destruct more and more brain cells which eventually worsens the symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Punicic Acid – Omega 5 fatty acid, extremely effective in cell rejuvenation and proliferation. It is characteristic only of this fruit and considerably delays the aging process.
Pomegranate And Arthritis
It is said that there are foods able to reduce symptoms of arthritis with their anti-inflammatory effects, but there is no evidence to support these claims. Even if it was not the case, they are natural foods and hence a safe replacement for drugs. Half of all patients with osteoarthritis use foods like green tea, turmeric or pomegranate to battle their condition. It may not be proven effective, but they don't do harm and can offer additional health benefits. One research paper from 2013 has proven that pomegranate and its derivatives can improve bone health and decrease inflammation in mice. However, the study hasn't been conducted on humans, so we cannot be sure whether it would be helpful.