Punica granatum, popularly known as pomegranate, is a spherical fruit belonging to the Lythraceae family with a tough reddish-orange outer skin and sweet red juicy granules containing many pomegranate seeds. It is a good source of nutrients, such as vitamin C, A, and E, and folic acid, which is widely preferred around the world for its antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties.
The two main compounds—punicalagin and punicic acid—present inside the pomegranate pulp are responsible for all its potent health benefits. Antioxidants present in pomegranates are almost three times higher than those in wine or green tea. Drinking pomegranate juice daily can boost one's immunity, control acquired conditions such as type II diabetes, keep blood pressure in check, smoothen digestion, and make the skin glow.
5 health benefits of pomegranate juice
Drinking pomegranate juice has a sweet, tart flavor and is used as a replacement for citrus fruit juice to add brightness to a beverage or food dish.
The 5 main health benefits of pomegranate juice include:
- Reduces inflammation: Anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate juice are highly facilitated by the antioxidant properties of punicalagin. Studies have reported that frequent intake of pomegranate reduces inflammatory activity in various vital organs such as in the digestive tract and the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Consuming 1.1 cups or 250 mL of pomegranate juice per day lowers the level of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 by 32 and 30 percent, respectively.
- Maintains heart function: Pomegranate juice is accepted worldwide as one of the healthiest juices because the antioxidants, such as polyphenols, present in their gelatinous pulp help lower high blood pressure by reducing systolic blood pressure and maintain normal functioning of the arteries, heart, and brain. They protect the walls of arteries and prevent them from becoming stiff and thick. Including pomegranate juice in your daily diet seems to reverse or slow down the growth of plaque and buildup of cholesterol in the arterial walls.
- Reduces joint pain: Plant compounds in pomegranate extract reduce the incidence of arthritis (inflammation of the joints). Anti-inflammatory effects in arthritis are achieved by blocking the enzyme activity that causes damage to the joints, especially in people with osteoarthritis.
- Improves sexual health: Oxidative stress is considered one of the major risk factors for dysfunction of the sperm and decreased fertility in women. The concentration of antioxidants in pomegranate extracts acts as a potential fertility aid in increasing the androgen levels in both men and women and can affect oxidative stress. It helps reduce oxidative stress in the placenta (the nutrient barrier between the mother and fetus).
- Increases sports performance: Pomegranate juice can be used as a sports enhancer, especially by athletes to improve their performance. It may help reduce muscle soreness and oxidative damage caused by exercise and improve rapid strength recovery.
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