With more and more people hunting down the latest superfoods like spirulina, flax seed and goji berries, we thought we’d take a closer look at one of our favourite, everyday wonder fruits – the pomegranate.
As well as being a good source of fibre and packed full of essential vitamins, it’s also been suggested that regularly eating these little pink jewels can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and even certain types of cancers.
But, are pomegranates all they’re cracked up to be and should you make room for them in your diet?
What is a Superfood?
A superfood is a food rich in nutrients and goodness that is considered to benefit a person’s health.
For example, wheatgrass is said to help people with blood disorders as its structure is similar to that of chlorophyll and haemoglobin, whilst blueberries are believed to relax the walls of blood vessels, which, in turn, reduces the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
So, what makes pomegranate a superfood?
The benefits of the pomegranate
Packed full of powerful antioxidants and essential vitamins, pomegranates are thought to offer a variety of different health benefits, making them an appealing superfood for many. Some of the most notable benefits include:
High in potassium – Potassium is great at fighting kidney diseases and protecting you against dialysis-related infections.
Rich in nitrates – This is great for your muscles! Nitrates assist the blood vessel nitric acid balance within tissues that demands a significant amount of oxygen, such as your muscles.
Anti-inflammatory effects – Containing punicalagins (a plant compound/antioxidant), pomegranates have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help your digestive tract and prevent colon cancer cells developing.
Anti-bacterial properties – Because they contain two powerful plant compounds – punicalagins and punicic acid – they have extremely effective anti-bacterial effects which can help fight against gum and mouth infections.
Strengthens bones – One study in 2013 suggested that when consumed regularly, pomegranates help strengthen bones and prevent bone problems such as osteoporosis.
Reduces risk of certain cancers – Studies have shown that the juice of this fruit can slow the progress of prostate cancer, whilst also being able to prevent breast cancer. This is thought to be down to the significant amount of polyphenols in the fruit.
Helps to prevent heart problems – Pomegranate juice has been shown to improve blood flow and cut down on cholesterol found in arteries – both contributing factors in heart problems. This is significant because it means pomegranates have the potential to positively affect your overall well-being.
Do pomegranates have any negative features?
Although there aren’t any specific downsides to eating this fruit – it seems to be only benefits that burst out of these jewels – nothing has been conclusively proven and more studies would have to be performed to confirm its super powers.
As this food does have so many believed benefits and effects on a range of health problems, we would advise speaking to your doctor before introducing high amount of pomegranates and pomegranate juice into your diet.
Do you have a favourite superfood? Let us know in the comments below!