People the world over have known about the pomegranate and its potential benefits for centuries. That’s why so many cultures celebrate this power fruit.
Throughout history, the pomegranate has been revered. Many have called it the Fruit of the Gods. It has also been a famous symbol of fertility and abundance. In other words, it’s a rockstar among fruit.
Research has validated what those throughout history suspected. The pomegranate might have major health benefits.
What is a Pomegranate?
Officially called Punica granatum, and a part of the Lythraceae family, the pomegranate is actually a berry! Not that you could pop the whole thing in your mouth.
Pomegranates are usually the size of a grapefruit. They have an inedible hard skin and a rosy, red flesh encapsulates every seed. The seeds are what hold the fruit’s healthful power.
The pomegranate originates from regions of the Mediterranean and parts of Northern India. But today, they’ve grown so popular that you can find them in North America, North Africa, and Asia.
Possible Pomegranate Extract Benefits
What makes this giant berry so healthy? Punicalagins and punicic acid are a couple of antioxidants found in the pomegranate that may be responsible for the fruit’s health benefits.2
Research suggests this flavorful superfruit might help with the following:
- It might help fight free radical damage
- It may help support healthy joints
- It may also support healthy blood pressure
What Are Punicalagins?
Punicalagins are antioxidants found in the juice of the pomegranate. The seeds of the fruit are also filled with punicalagin.3
You’ve heard of the possible health benefits of red wine, right? And has anyone ever told you that green tea is great for your health? Well, one study reports pomegranate juice has 3 times the antioxidant power of red wine and green tea.4
What Is Punicic Acid?
Punicic acid is a fatty acid in the seeds of the pomegranate. This oil is believed to be beneficial as well. Punicic acid is thought to be responsible for the benefits of the fruit on human health (aka arils).5
Beyond the two antioxidants mentioned above, pomegranates are full of beneficial polyphenols.
What Are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are a big deal when it comes to your health. Basically, polyphenols are phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemicals in all sorts of plant-based foods). One of the best traits of polyphenols is that they may be able to fight free radical damage.6
Free radicals are troublesome molecules. What’s wrong with free radicals? They’re thieves.
Free radicals house unpaired electrons. The thing is, electrons need to be paired. So free radicals will try to steal paired electrons from other molecules in your body.7
If free radicals swipe electrons from your cells, those cells house free radicals too. Polyphenols volunteer their electrons, supporting the health of your cells.
What Does Free Radical Damage Look Like?
Free radical damage is also called oxidative stress. The problem is oxidative stress can be a precursor to a bunch of different health issues.8
Free radical damage can negatively affect membranes, lipids, and proteins. Free radical damage can also speed up the visible signs of aging and cause traumas within the body.10
Can Pomegranate Extract Support Healthy Joints?
Joint discomfort is no joke. It can happen regardless of your background, age, or sex. Joint swelling and pain can limit your range of motion too. It’s just not fun.
Studies suggest pomegranate extract may inhibit cartilage degradation. Strong cartilage can maintain the quality and function of your joints.11
What Can the Pomegranate Do For Your Health?
In the end, you can see that pomegranates can do a great deal of good for your body. They’ve been long celebrated and for good reason.
For joint health concerns or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor. They will be able to come up with a plan for targeting your exact needs and can answer any questions you may have about these benefits. They may recommend adding it to your diet.