We all know how important antioxidants are in our diet. And if they are coming from natural sources they are a healthy addition to the diet for overall health. In this post, I will discuss the health benefits of the antioxidants found in pomegranates.
Antioxidants and free radicals both are chemicals that are naturally found in the body. The production of both can be affected by diet and the environmental conditions.
Why are free radicals so bad?
Free radicals are molecular species that contain an unpaired electron in the atomic orbital.
They are highly reactive and to become stable they tend to donate the existing electron or accept a new one, thus acting as reductants or oxidants.
And because of this property they act as the bad guys who attack and can severely damage our cells. And in recent studies are considered as one of the main causes of cancer and atherosclerosis. (1)
Free radicals are formed because of many factors including the biochemical processes that take place within our body.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are natural or synthetic compounds that can inhibit or delay the process of oxidation in our body and can thus prevent our cells from being damaged.
Antioxidants are also created by the body naturally but are not enough though. So, the body needs to consume food and dietary supplements that are rich in antioxidants.
Now coming to the studies done on antioxidants, It has been found that antioxidants can reduce free radical by trapping them. It can reduce oxidative stress induced carcinogens.
Pomegranate and its health benefits
Pomegranate is found to be beneficial in different ways.
- Prostate Cancer: Pomegranate has been shown to inhibit Prostate cancer growth through NF-kB-dependent mechanism. (2)
- Breast Cancer: According to a study done, fermented pomegranate juice is found to have twice the antiproliferative effect when compared to fresh juice in human breast cancer.
- Diabetes: Pomegranate has been found to be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. In pomegranates, there are some compounds like gallic acid, punicalagin, ellagic that are known to have anti-diabetic effects. (3)
- Blood Pressure: Consumption of pomegranate juice can lower the serum Angiotensin Converting Enzyme activity and lower systolic blood pressure. (4)
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Pomegranate is also found to halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Memory: A recent study suggests that 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily can improve memory. (5)
- Malaria: In India, the sun-dried rind of pomegranate is used as a herbal formulation for treating malaria. (6)
These are only some of the benefits of pomegranate. According to a study done pomegranate has on average more antioxidant than green tea, red wine.
Although pomegranate has many health benefits it is always best for your health to consult a doctor when it comes to considering drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis.