Seven Benefits of Pomegranate for your Brain
Pomegranates are not only strikingly lovely to look at; the colorful fruit is also nutrient-dense. The juicy seeds called arils contain much of the enchantment, but the peel and juice are also healthful.
"One cup of pomegranate arils includes roughly 7 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein," explains Real Nutrition nutritionist Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN. "Furthermore, one cup contains 30% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C and more than 35% of the RDI for vitamin K. Pomegranates also include folate and potassium, both of which can aid in the maintenance of good blood pressure.
Although pomegranates are renowned for staining your clothes when seeded (there's a strategy to avoid this, by the way), there's no disputing they deserve a place in your fruit bowl. Find seven pomegranate advantages, as well as advice and ideas on how to incorporate it into your diet, how to select and store pomegranates, whether pomegranate juice is beneficial for you, and much more, below.
1_ Pomegranates help improve memory
Pomegranates may also support your memory. Steven Gundry, MD, heart surgeon and author of The Plant Paradox, notes a study done with heart surgery patients at Loma Linda University showed that taking pomegranate capsules prevented memory loss after heart surgery. Patients in the trial experienced an improvement in their memory retention compared to before the surgery.
2_Pomegranates are high in antioxidants
Many of the health benefits of pomegranates are due to a compound it contains called punicalagin, which are potent antioxidants primarily found in the juice and peel. "Antioxidants help to combat free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage healthy molecules by stealing their electrons," says certified nutritionist Aimee Aristotelous. Shapiro adds that thanks to punicalagin, pomegranate juice contains more antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea.
3_ Pomegranates reduce inflammation and fight disease
Thanks to the punicalagin mentioned above, Aristotelous says pomegranates are also highly anti-inflammatory. "Chronic inflammation can be the culprit of many serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's," she says. So getting your dose of the vibrant fruit can help protect you from these diseases.
4_ Improves exercise capacity
Need a pre-workout snack to fuel you? Nosh on some pomegranate seeds. "Pomegranates are precursors to nitric oxide, a molecule in blood that helps open up blood vessels and enhance blood flow to tissues in the body," says licensed naturopathic doctor and founder of Los Angeles Integrative Health Kate Denniston, ND. "This increase in blood flow helps bring oxygen and other nutrients to muscles while working out. One study showed that ingestion of pomegranate before workouts decreased running fatigue."
5_Helps reduce PMS
A pomegranate’s seeds aren’t the only nutritious part. "The white part around the seeds contains lignans, a type of polyphenol found in plants, which have weak estrogenic activity and can modulate or normalize the effects of estrogen in our bodies," Dr. Denniston says. "Lignans can help reduce symptoms of PMS and help normalize irregular periods."
6_Pomegranates support mood and mental health
If you're not a fan of yogurt, eating pomegranates is another excellent way to get your dose of healthy gut bacteria. "Studies have shown that polyphenols in pomegranate increase the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus, two very important strains for mood and mental health," Dr. Denniston says.
7_Pomegranates keep blood vessels healthy
Dr. Denniston notes that punicalagin's anti-inflammatory effects also aids blood vessels and protects them from damage. "Pomegranate seeds also support the synthesis and activity of nitric oxide, which is a substance that helps protect the blood vessel lining against atherosclerosis or ‘plaque’ and inhibits proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells or stiffening of arteries,” she says.