I’m truly in awe. I put my nerdy groove on and hopped over to read some scientific reviews and articles about pomegranates. And what I read, it pom-wow-granated me.
I didn’t expect all the benefits I read to be 100% accurate in the non-scientific articles, but here I was bombarded with scientifically proven evidence how pomegranates’ various different properties can prevent or ease wide variety of health problems.
- anti-inflammatory properties
- heart problems
- oral health
- skin health
- antidiabetic properties
Some claim that pomegranates originate from Iran. From there it has spread gradually over to a larger area by human movement. Nowadays pomegranates are cultivated not only in Asia, but also for example in India, America and in the northern parts of Africa.
It seems that this fruit is full of contrasts in its taste and in its symbolic values. The Arabs called it the fruit of paradise but the Greeks called it the fruit of the dead. This sweet yet acidic fruit has been known as the fruit of paradise by the Arabs and as the fruit of the dead by the Greeks.
“The best [pomegranates] grow in Saveh, an agricultural town near Tehran, and Taft in the province of Yazd. They are in season during autumn, the ones with yellowish skin being sweet and only for eating. For cooking choose only the sweet and sour which have very dark red skin.”
– Shirin Simmons (A Treasury of Persian Cuisine)
The results of different studies are quite clear and the health benefits of pomegranates just jaw dropping.
In one study they were able to reduce the patients’ systolic blood pressure by drinking pomegranate juice for one year (Aviram et.al. 2004). In addition pomegranate juice has been reported to have better antioxidant benefits than for example red wine, blueberry juice, iced tea or so called superfoods like acai juice (Seeram et.al. 2008). And most incredibly in another study they found pomegranate extract to slow down the process of Alzheimer’s disease (in mice though) (Rojanathammanee et.al. 2013.)
Viuda-Martos, Fernández-López and Pérez-Álvarez sum it up quite perfectly in their metastudy:
“Pomegranate and derivates, such as juice, peel, and seeds, are rich sources of several high-value compounds with potential beneficial physiological activities. The rich bioactive profile of pomegranate makes it a highly nutritious and desirable fruit crop. Accumulating research offers ample evidence that routine supplementation with pomegranate juice or extract may protect against and even improve several diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease; it may even help to prevent and arrest the development of certain cancers, in addition to protecting the health of the mouth and skin. Side effects are very rare.”
To get all the benefits of these super fruits, it doesn’t seem to matter which part of it you are eating. And you can gain the health benefits just by drinking low-cost concentrated juice or by taking extract capsules.
Next I’ll be making a sauce, flavored by the sweet and sourness of this beautiful magic fruit!