Health benefits of pomegranate seeds

Health benefits of pomegranate seeds

Seeding a pomegranate fruit might seem to be a time consuming process for many people. But considering the fact that these beautiful juicy red crystals, also known as arils are bursting with plenty of nutrients and powerful antioxidants that offers numerous health benefits, the time that you spend on getting the seeds out is definitively well worth it. Pomegranate seeds have been proven to be effective in preventing many life threatening conditions like heart diseases and cancer. Not only are they useful in preventing diseases, but is also an excellent remedy for improving your overall health. So without thinking twice, it deserves to be given a place in your daily diet.

Nutritional value of pomegranate seeds

The very fact that the pomegranate seeds are nutrient dense and health promoting, makes it fit to be called a super food. In addition to the vast array of nutrients in them, these seeds are healthy for the reason that they are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. They provide moderate amounts of calories and are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble fibers. Pomegranate seeds are a good source of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and also the B group vitamins like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B6. The essential minerals found in pomegranate seeds include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Pomegranate is considered to be one of the richest sources of antioxidants, which prevent free radical activity and protect your body from various diseases and also prevent early aging.

Health benefits of Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate seeds are well known for their antioxidant properties because of the presence of polyphenols and vitamin C. The biggest health feature of eating pomegranate seeds is that they have been found to be very effective in preventing heart diseases and cancer. The antioxidants in the seeds are also beneficial for preventing early aging and in keeping you young and healthy.

Cardiovascular benefits of pomegranate seeds

High cholesterol and high blood pressure are two dangerous factors that can affect the healthy functioning of your heart and blood vessels. Pomegranate seeds are rich in polyphenols, which are power antioxidants that have been found to inhibit the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. The juice obtained from these seeds is effective in lowering the LDL or bad cholesterol. Pomegranate juice has also been associated with lowering high blood pressure. The high levels of potassium, in addition to the antioxidants may be the reason for the blood pressure lowering properties of pomegranate seeds. Drinking pomegranate juice daily can thus protect your heart by keeping cholesterol and hypertension under check.

Pomegranate seeds have anti-cancer properties

The high content of antioxidants in pomegranate seeds makes it effective in fighting off the damage caused by free radicals and in preventing diseases like cancer. Laboratory studies have confirmed that pomegranate juice helps in slowing down the growth and propagation of cancer cells. It may also help in cutting down the blood supply to the cancer cells, thus starving and destroying them. Studies on animals reveal that pomegranate extracts are powerful in inhibiting the growth of various kinds of cancer cells in culture such as breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer cells.

Pomegranate seeds aid weight loss

Being a low calorie and low fat food, pomegranate seeds are an ideal healthy snack option for people trying to lose weight. In addition to exercise and a balanced diet, regular intake of pomegranate will help you shed those extra pounds. Studies suggest that the powerful antioxidants in pomegranate seeds help in increasing your metabolism and in burning fat more effectively. Additionally, the fiber in these seeds help in satiating your hunger and controlling your appetite by making you feel fuller for longer hours. This prevents hunger pangs, frequent snacking and overeating, all of which contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.

Pomegranate seeds have anti-aging properties

According to studies, drinking pomegranate juice daily helps in slowing down the ageing process. Aging happens as our cells undergo damage due to oxidation process caused by free radicals. The antioxidant effects of pomegranate seeds fights off these free radicals and inhibits the oxidation of DNA, thereby preventing the damages caused to the cells.

Pomegranate seeds and skin benefits

With its super antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, pomegranate seeds have been widely used in many skin care and cosmetic products. These features have been helpful in taking care on many skin conditions like acne breakouts, dry skin, wrinkles, pigmentation etc. Pomegranate seeds help in improving circulation and promote cell regeneration, which is helpful in wound healing and tissue repair. Pomegranate seeds have high amounts of antioxidants that protect premature aging of your skin by combating the free radicals and in reducing the signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, age spots and fine lines.

Pomegranate seeds promote the production of elastin and collagen, which increases the elasticity and firmness of your skin, giving it youthful and healthy glow. Oil extracted from pomegranate seeds is a great moisturizer as it is rich in puninic acid. Pomegranate seed oil penetrates deep into your skin and is an effective remedy for dry, scaly, irritated and cracked skin. Pomgranate seed oil offers protection from the harmful rays of the sun and reduces your risks of skin cancer. Pomegranate seed oil contains large quantities of ellagic acid, a polyphenol (antioxidant) that has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the skin. Pomegranate seeds also have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that help prevent skin disorders like acne breakouts, psoriasis, eczema and other skin infections.

Pomegranate seeds for beautiful hair

Applying the oil obtained from pomegranate seeds on your hair nourishes your hair and makes it look shiny and lustrous. The fatty acids in this oil strengthen your hair roots and prevent hair fall and breakage. Pomegranate seed oil stimulates the growth of a most important part of the epidermis called keratinocyte, thus revitalizing your scalp and allowing for stronger growth of hair. This oil is also considered to encourage the production of collagen, a fibrous protein found in connective tissues. Increase in collagen increases the elasticity and hence minimizes breakage and damage. The anti-microbial properties of pomegranate seeds help in preventing dandruff, itchy scalp and other scalp infections caused by fungi.  Pomegranate seed oil also provides excellent moisturization to your hair and protects it from chemicals and environmental pollutants. It restores the natural shine of your hair and keeps it healthy and in best condition.

Pomegranate seeds for healthy bones and teeth

Pomegranate seeds are a good source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that are associated with the healthy growth and development of bones. Vitamin K in these seeds helps in the better absorption of calcium and prevents your bones from becoming brittle and prone to breakage. The bone density decreases as we age, leading to conditions like osteoporosis. Pomegranate seeds help in increasing bone mass and its anti-inflammatory properties are effective in relieving pain associated with osteoarthritis. Pomegranate seeds are also helpful in removing the plaque accumulation in your teeth by dissolving it. Drinking pomegranate juice every day prevents bad breath, dental plaque and tartar, thereby improving oral hygiene.

Pomegranate seeds prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Studies reveal that the regular intake of pomegranate seeds can considerably reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the buildup of amyloid plaque.

Pomegranate seeds improve immunity

Pomegranate seeds are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is known to strengthen your immune system and help in preventing common cold, cough, flu and other diseases.

Pomegranate seeds may help treat erectile dysfunction

Pomegranate seeds have been touted as being effective in treating erectile dysfunction by increasing the blood flow to all parts of your body.

Pomegranate seeds relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Pomegranate seeds help in maintaining the levels of estrogen and hence relieve premenstrual and also menopausal problems in women.

Pomegranate seeds prevent neonatal brain injuries

Hypoxia ischemia is a condition that causes brain damage due to inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain. This condition is responsible for brain injury in many new born babies. Studies reveal that the consumption of pomegranate juice by pregnant women helps in reducing the risk of brain injury in babies by increasing the blood supply and hence the oxygen supply to the brain.

Side effects of pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate seeds are generally safe to consume and does not cause any major side effects. Excess consumption of pomegranate seeds or juice may sometimes cause nausea, dizziness, upset stomach or diarrhea. People allergic to this fruit are likely to experience allergic reactions such as itching, swelling in the face, lips or tongue, and difficulty in breathing or swallowing. Should you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue the use of these seeds and seek medical care immediately.

Although native to Iran, the pomegranate fruit is enjoyed all over the world for its nutritional and health benefits. Just as they are pretty for the eyes, the pomegranate seeds can make your life healthy and beautiful. So why not make them a part of your daily diet and reap their health promoting benefits!

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Image Credits: Wikimedia - Anton Croos

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