by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Pomegranates primarily come from India and Iran and are considered a specialized fruit in ancient times, believed to bring abundance and fertility. People have known about the health benefits of pomegranate extract for a long time because it contains lots of good stuff like antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids.
When the pomegranate is ripe, its skin turns red, but people usually don’t eat it. Inside, there are small juicy bits called arils that are used to make the juice. This juice has been said to have various health benefits.
In this article, we dive deeper into some of the best health benefits you can experience when consuming pomegranate extract or juice.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before adding any supplements to your regimen.
8 Health Benefits of Pomegranate Extract
Let’s take a look at the many good things pomegranate can do for our health.
1. Rich source of antioxidants
Pomegranate is full of polyphenols, which are essential antioxidants. These antioxidants in fruits can help decrease reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, a type of free radical in our body. Our body makes ROS during metabolism and other processes. Exposure to toxins, such as cigarette smoke, can also increase ROS levels.
High levels of ROS can lead to oxidative stress, which results in cell damage and inflammation. Oxidative stress may also lead to cancer, metabolic disease, and other health problems. The antioxidants help eliminate ROS from the body and protect the body from damage.
2. Helps prevent inflammation
Chronic inflammation can play a role in various health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Adding pomegranate juice to your diet might help fight inflammation linked to these chronic conditions. It is because of punicalagin, compounds found in pomegranates that have been observed to contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
While further research is necessary, studies suggest that consuming pomegranate juice can lower specific markers of inflammation.
3. It may prevent cancer
Pomegranate has caught the attention of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a natural remedy that might assist in treating or preventing prostate cancer.
In a study from 2014, the polyphenols present in pomegranate were found to potentially hinder the growth of cancer cells associated with prostate cancer.
Additionally, the ingredients found in pomegranate might offer protective benefits against breast, lung, and skin cancer. While more research is needed, these findings highlight the promising potential of this remarkable fruit in the fight against various types of cancer.
4. Helpful for diabetics
A study indicated that pomegranate juice could hold significant benefits for individuals with diabetes. The natural sugars in pomegranate are not “free” like those in many other sweet beverages. Instead, they are bound to antioxidants, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
This unique attribute may aid in reducing insulin resistance and reducing blood sugar levels, making it particularly valuable for those managing diabetes. Interestingly, the historical use of pomegranates as a cure for diabetes in India and the Middle East aligns with these findings.
5. Promotes heart health
According to research, antioxidants present in pomegranate extract may help keep cholesterol in a form that is not as damaging and may also decrease plaque that has built up in vessels.
In a study involving healthy men, researchers from Israel concluded that pomegranate juice might reduce the likelihood of LDL, the bad cholesterol that forms plaque, and improves HDL, the good cholesterol. Another study showed a reduction in the growth of atherosclerosis in mice whose diets consisted of pomegranate extract.
6. It may improve exercise endurance
The polyphenols found in pomegranates could hold the key to enhancing exercise endurance.
In a small but important study, pomegranate extract demonstrated its potential by increasing the time to exhaustion and boosting performance in trained cyclists.
Furthermore, other research has pointed to pomegranate supplements as beneficial for improving both endurance and muscle recovery.
7. Increases your libido
Throughout history, pomegranates have been revered as symbols of fertility. Recent research by Queen Margaret University has shed light on their remarkable properties. It was discovered that a mere glass of pomegranate juice could elevate testosterone levels in both men and women, making it a natural aphrodisiac with potential benefits for one’s sex life.
8. It may help with Alzheimer’s disease
According to animal research, pomegranate juice ingredients may help prevent amyloid plaques in the hippocampus, as per animal research.
Studies on mice revealed pomegranate’s ability to restore enzyme activity, suggesting a role in helping with Alzheimer’s disease. Another study in rodents in 2020 found that pomegranate extract effectively reduced Alzheimer’s disease markers in the brain.