The Benefits Of Pomegranates

February 13, 2018

 

 

 

Are pomegranates really the super food we’ve been led to believe?  Will it counteract the aging process? YES!

 

This ancient fruit helps to restore the vitality of damaged and aging cells, seen in degenerative disorders like Alzheimer Dementia and Parkinson disease. [1]

 

The health benefits of pomegranates for treating degenerative diseases are widely recognized in Chinese,  Ayurvedic and Unani medicine.

 

However, previous Western clinical trials have focussed on giving patients polyphenols in isolation, which showed mixed results at higher doses.  This suggests that benefits occur thru the synergistic effect of polyphenols, together with the compounds they naturally co-occur with in the whole fruit.  As such, pomegranates need to be consumed thru the gut, where they get digested and converted into active ingredients by healthy gut bacteria. [2]

 

Pomegranates have an impressive nutrient profile.  One cup (174 grams) contains:

  • Fiber: 7 grams

  • Protein: 3 grams

  • Vitamin C: 30% of the RDA

  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA

  • Folate: 16% of the RDA

  • Potassium: 12% of the RDA

 

Pomegranates also contain ingredients that have other benefits:

  • antioxidant effect, that's 3 times higher than red wine and green tea

  • anti-inflammatory effect which helps with osteoarthritis

  • helps to control blood pressure [3]

  • lowers cholesterol, especially triglycerides

  • anti-cancer effect, by slowing down cancer cell reproduction and inducing cancer cell death[4], the latest data coming from treatment of breast [5] and prostate cancer [6]

  • reduces inflammation in the gut and improves digestion in patients with gastritis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis [7]

  • lowers blood sugar and has an anti-diabetic effect [8]

  • antibacterial and antiviral properties, which may be useful against common diseases of the gums

  • improves female fertility

  • reduces menopausal symptoms, like hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood, and even internal dryness, with no effect on estrogen levels [9]

Enjoy it as a juice, seed oil, or eat the entire seed.  Start by cutting the fruit in half.  Then, spoon out the tiny red jewels into a bowl.  You can add the seeds to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, desserts, or whatever you want!

 

For more information on healthy diet choices please schedule an appointment with Dr. Koganski at 215-750-7000 or www.NewtownInternalMedicine.com

 

 

References:

[1]  Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne News, 07/12/2016

[2]  UNSW Australia Health News, 09/19/2016

[3]  Asgary S. Clinical Evaluation of Blood Pressure Lowering, Endothelial Function Improving, Hypolipidemic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Pomegranate Juice in Hypertensive Subjects. Phytotherapy research. 21 March 2013

[4]  Shirobe AB, et all, Antiproliferative effects of pomegranate extract in MCF-7 breast cancer cells are associated with reduced DNA repair gene expression and induction of double strand breaks. Mol Carcinog. 2014 Jun;53(6):458-70.

[5]  Nallanthighal S, et al. Pomegranate Extract Alters Breast Cancer Stem Cell Properties in Association with Inhibition of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition. Nutr Cancer. 2017 Oct;69(7):1088-1098. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2017.1359318.

[6]  Pantuck AJ,  et al. Long-term Follow-Up of Phase 2 Study of Pomegranate Juice for Men with Prostate Cancer Shows Durable Prolongation of PSA Doubling Time. Journal of Urology 2009;181(4 Suppl): abstract 826.

[7]  Elisa Colombo,et al. Review on the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Pomegranate in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 247145. Published online 2013 Mar 14. doi: 10.1155/2013/247145PMCID: PMC3612487

[8]  Banihani S, et al. Pomegranate and type 2 diabetes. Nutr Res. 2013 May;33(5):341-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.03.003.

[9]  Huber R, et al. Pomegranate (Punica granatum) seed oil for treating menopausal symptoms: An individually controlled cohort study. Alternative Therapies. 2017p23(2):28-34.

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