The pomegranate botanically known as Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub belonging to the family Punicaceae. The name pomegranate is derived from Latin word pomum (apple) and granatum (seeded). Its jewel-like seeds are used for medicinal purposes from millennia. Nearly round, but crowned at the base by the prominent calyx, pomegranate has a tough, leathery skin, basically yellow more or less overlaid with light to deep pink or rich red. The interior is separated by membranous walls and white spongy tissue into compartments packed with transparent sacs filled with tart, flavorful, fleshy, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp. In each sac, there is one white or red, angular, soft or hard seed. The seeds represent about 52% of the weight of the whole fruit. Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages, such as martinis and wine.
Top 21 Juiced-up Secrets of Pomegranate:
1. Protects the Arteries: Pomegranate juice improves the body’s ability to reduce cholesterol and destroy free radicals in the vascular system. It has anti-atherogenic effect on the heart that fights hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), prevents the buildup of plaque in the arteries, keeping the arteries flexible and decreasing the inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels.
2. Fights Metabolic Syndrome:
Pomegranates helps the body regulate sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces inflammation, and other issues related to the metabolic syndrome which is a major contributor to obesity and often a precursor to diabetes.
3. Cures Diarrhea: Drinking fresh pomegranate juice is an excellent remedy to soothe the pain and inflammation caused by severe diarrhea with blood and mucus in stools.
4. Renal Support: Pomegranate extract provides effective protection to the kidneys-the super filters from damage caused by harmful toxins through its cleansing process.
5. Prenatal Care: Pomegranate juice contains a potent mix of vitamins and minerals including folic acid and antioxidants that ensure healthy blood flow, and lower the risk of premature child birth or birth of babies with low birth weight. The potassium content helps prevent leg cramps and prevents morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy.
6. Lowers Bad Cholesterol: Pomegranates are rich in anti oxidants that reduce levels of bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) and improves HDL or good cholesterol in the body.
7. Anti Cancer: The highest antioxidant values and nutritional components (luteolin, ellagic, and punicic acids) protects cells from free radical damage and stimulates the white blood cells to neutralize toxins, induces apoptosis (a process where the cells destroy themselves), blocks aromatase (enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen) preventing breast, lung and prostate and skin cancers.
8. Regulates Blood Pressure: Pomegranate juice reduces lesions and inflammation of blood vessels, anti-coagulant and an effective blood thinner, facilitating the smooth flow of blood throughout the body and controls blood pressure.
9. Immune System Boost: Pomegranate juice has strong anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that helps to fight viruses and bacteria and boosts our immune system. Out of all available fruits, pomegranate’s anti-microbial properties have highest potential to inhibit the transmission of HIV and contains vitamin C that improves resistance for outer infections caused by viruses.
10. Anti Allergy: Pomegranates are rich in polyphenol compounds that inhibit and keep under control the biochemical processes associated with allergic symptoms.
11. Prevents Anemia: Pomegranate juice contains high amount of iron that compensates for any deficit of red blood cells and is especially beneficial for women after monthly loss of blood due to menstruation.
12. Cartilage Regenerator: Pomegranate juice acts as an enzyme inhibitor that are responsible for damaging the cartilage in patients suffering from osteoarthritis and bone inflammation.
13. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels: Although pomegranate juice contains fructose, it does not elevate the blood sugar level as other fruit juices do as it gets absorbed into the blood slowly without causing sugar spikes.
14. Soothes Respiratory Tract: The high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in this fruit is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that reduces wheezing in young children with asthma and significantly reduces the soreness and redness in the throat.
15. Aids Weight Loss: Pomegranate contains very low amount of natural fat and cholesterol while being flush with nutrients and minerals. The soluble and insoluble dietary fiber increases satiety, increase bulk of the stool and expels fat and toxins from the body.
16. Anti Inflammatory: Pomegranate shows anti-inflammatory properties in several parts of body. So, yields a protection status against asthma, piles, diarrhea and other diseases.
17. Liver Care: Pomegranate juice not only protects the liver, but helps in the rebuilding process in case of damage due to alcohol or substance abuse. Helps to replenish the natural functioning of vital organs.
18. Stomach Soother: Pomegranate juice induces hunger, controls thirst, and high amount of dietary soluble and insoluble fiber that helps to improve digestion and regulate bowel movements.
19. Skin Benefits:
Pomegranate juice slows down ageing process by reducing wrinkles, fine lines, hyper-pigmentation, dark spots and pimples; provides hydration through punicic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid; hastens the process of wound healing and extends the life of fibroblasts responsible for the production of collagen and elastin. Pomegranate contains antioxidants that inhibits the growth of skin cancer.
20. Hair Care: Pomegranate juice consumed regularly helps to strengthen hair follicles preventing hair fall and giving the hair a healthy and lustrous look.
21. Nutrient Super Store: Pomegranate contains vast amounts of vitamin such as Vitamin A, C, K, and B5. Other vitamin B complex compounds are also present in this fruit that include pantothenic acid, folates, pyridoxine having lots of health benefits. Pomegranate is also full of minerals including calcium, potassium, copper and manganese that gives a proper balanced nutrition for good health.
How to a Pomegranate:
People normally avoid the fruit as peeling the outer skin and reaching the sweet seeds is a chore. Here are simple steps to seed a Pomegranate:
• Cut the protruding blossom end (crown) of the pomegranate along with some of the pale-yellow pith ensuring that it’s not deep enough to touch the seeds within.
• Lightly score the skin in quarters from stem to crown.
• Immerse the scored fruit in a large bowl of cool water and soak for 5 minutes. Holding the fruit under water, break sections apart with your fingers, separating the seeds from membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
• Discard skin and membranes. Drain the seeds and dry on paper towels and enjoy.
Dr. Sanjeev Sood
Dr. Sanjeev Sood is Prof. & Head of Panchakarma Department at Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar and Visiting faculty to EISRA-
Holland, ICAU-Belgium, Medicarom-Romania. Mob.:+919814004142 E-mail: email@example.com