This bright ruby fruit, AKA the 'apple of love' is rumoured to have been mistaken for Eden's apple...which makes a whole lot of sense when you find out what amazing benefits this humble fruit has to offer.
Due to its high content of antioxidant polyphenols, pomegranates, which are native to Iran, have long been prized as one of nature's most extraordinary fruits.
Known for their free radical fighting properties, pomegranates have been linked to anti ageing and health benefits, helping to protect against cancer and disease.
Here's what you need to know!
1. They're packed with powerful antioxidants
Next time you're thirsty, reach for pomegranate juice rather than cranberry or green tea - it actually contains more antioxidants! Pomegranates provide a richer source of phytochemicals such as tannins and anthocyanins, which are both known to help ward off cancer, reduce atherosclerosis and perfect your skin!
UrbanVeda Ayurvedic Expert, Wren Holmes says, "Pomegranates are rightly known as superfoods for their antioxidant content. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) chart measures Pomegranate fruit with whopping 10,500 ORAC units (Oranges are 2,400 and Blueberries 3,200 by way of comparison)."
However, if you decide to increase your intake of pomegranates make sure to consult your doctor first as it may interfere with certain medications.
2. They help with cellular regeneration
Not only is pomegranate anti-inflammatory and high in essential fatty acids, it also helps promote cellular degeneration and skin repair, making it one of the very few natural ingredients that can actually make a difference to our appearance (in so many ways).
Wren says, "Pomegranate has been shown to stimulate Keratinocyte skin cells which help with cellular regeneration, making it a fantastic anti-ageing ingredient.
"Keratin is a protective protein, and keratinisation is the life process of old cells shedding and new ones being created." (i.e. the VITAL process that keeps us looking fresh faced) Rejuvenation at its best!
To help unclog pores we recommend Murad's Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo which contains pomegranate seed oil to help draw out impurities, tighten pores and refine your complexion.
3. It helps stave off heart disease
The health-promoting properties in pomegranates are known to reduce the chances of a heart attack and stroke by keeping blood vessels in topnotch condition.
Clinical Beautician and founder of Pause Hydra Creme, Jane Artheton says, "Punicalagin, the major antioxidant polyphenol ingredient in pomegranate juice, is found nowhere else in nature and is thought to lower bad cholesterol and prevent it from oxidising and leading to atherosclerosis." Which is what causes heart failure in the first place.
According to a recent study from from the Technion’s Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and the Rambam Health Care Campus, combining statin (the drugs administered to lower blood cholesterol levels) and pomegranate juice may in fact delay heart disease.
The study found that combining the two helped delay the onset of atherosclerosis and as a result prevented further complications such as heart attack and stroke.
Because of its unique combination of phytosterols (beta sitosterol) and antioxidants (punicalagin) "pomegranate juice can delay the oxidation of cholesterol, and in addition, it lowers cholesterol levels, without causing unwanted side-effects reported by patients taking high statin doses,” says Technion's Professor, Michael Aviram.
Pomegranate is about to become your juice of choice right?
4. It helps reduce the risk of breast cancer
A food that can help stall cancer? It appears that pomegranates may do just the thing...
"Ellagitannins are bioactive polyphenols found in pomegranates. These nifty polyphenols can help prevent oestrogen responsive breast cancer cells from growing by inhibiting aromatase (which are oestrogen-producing cells that can increase your risk of breast cancer).
"Pomegranate is also a natural adaptogen, increasing levels of oestrogen when the body is low but blocking stronger oestrogens when levels are too high. This innate intelligence to adapt its function to the body’s needs is an incredible benefit of this superfood," says Jane.
One study in particular, from the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope found that after screening 10 Ellagitannins compounds in pomegranates, surprisingly the anti-aromatase phytochemicals significantly inhibited cancer cell growth. Although more studies need to be done this has greatly implied that pomegranates may be able to help breast cancer patients.
But its superpowers don't stop there - in addition to protecting against breast cancer, evidence found in a UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) study showed that pomegranates appeared to inhibit cancer cell growth in prostate cancer too. Amazing.
5. It can sort out your mood swings
Emotional, irritated and angry? If you suffer from PMS-induced mood swings or menopausal symptoms pomegranates are your saving grace!
"Pomegranates contain Vitamins E and C, selenium, and beta-carotene, a powerful phytonutrient beneficial for relieving or reducing hot flushes (especially during menopause) - and mood swings," says Jane.
If you suffer from these symptoms often, sip pomegranate juice regularly. We recommend POM Wonderful, 100% authentic pomegranate juice.
6. It helps keep your bones strong
By consuming pomegranate regularly you can help increase your level of calcium, which is brilliant news for your bones!
Jane says, "It’s important to get the right amount of calcium daily in order to prevent diseases related to bone density loss such as osteoporosis."
Drinking or eating pomegranates is especially beneficial if bone loss is due to menopausal changes. Research presented in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that pomegranate extract (juice and seed extract) may be able to help alleviate a depressive state and bone properties in menopausal women.
This is because pomegranate seeds contain oestrogen - the hormone that menopausal women gradually lose due to the depletion of eggs in their ovaries.
The NHS recommends consuming 700mg of calcium a day, but as long as you're eating a healthy varied diet (including plenty of pomegranates of course) you shouldn't have to worry about a thing.
7. It keeps you looking younger!
When it comes to skincare, pomegranates never fail to impress. While helping protect and nourish the skin, pomegranates also help address the signs of ageing giving you plumper and younger looking skin.
"The dermis (outer layer of skin), is made up of collagen and elastic fibres. Wrinkles occur in the dermis as collagen and elastin degrade. Vitamin C is an integral part of collagen formation enabling proteins to become stronger, and the good news? Just one pomegranate possesses 48 percent of the daily value of Vitamin C." Now, how's that for a super fruit?
Pomegranate's small molecular structure helps penetrate the skin to deliver hydration that's rich in micronutrients and phytochemicals. We recommend using UrbanVeda Rose + Botanics Reviving range which uses certified organic pomegranate juice throughout. The best kind!
8. They can help exfoliate your skin
Crushed pomegranate seeds are great for exfoliation! Why not make your own DIY sugar scrub for the face and body? It's A LOT easier than you think it is...
To help slough away dead skin cells simply puree half the pomegranate seeds and mix with coconut oil and sugar. For the full recipe and instructions, check out this sweet recipe here.
If you love your facial and body scrubs make sure to check what ingredients the product uses as a way of exfoliation. Many scrubs use plastic micro beads which have been linked to environmental pollution. Scrubs such as UrbanVeda's Radiance Body Scrub uses crushed pomegranate seeds a natural exfoliant - exactly what we like to hear!
9. They help protect against UV damage
Pomegranates find their way into plenty of sun care products. Thanks to its unique profile of antioxidants, including gallic and ellagic, this 'magic' fruit helps protects against UVB-induced damage to the skin while protecting DNA cells from free radical damage.
In addition, pomegranates help ward off skin cancer, the effects of ageing and even help relieve sunburn symptoms. So why not reduce UV damage by eating your own 'sun cream'? According to an independent study by Dr Murad, ingesting pomegranate extract regularly can help boost your defence by up to 25%. Try Murad's Pomphenol Sunguard Supplement, containing 100% pure pomegranate extract to help boost your skin's natural sun protection from top-to-toe. (But don't forget to use sunscreen as well!)
10. It protects your brain
Pomegranates help the body and skin fight free radicals preventing disease and nourishing your skin, but it can also do a lot for your brain helping to protect it against different forms of damaging illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease.
A study conducted at Loma Linda University in California found that a daily glass of pomegranate juice could diminish the build up of harmful proteins associated with Alzheimer’s by up to 50 percent!
With a cocktail of potent antioxidants to its name, it's not surprising that pomegranates are one of nature's best brain foods. 'Superfood' doesn't even do it justice...
What other amazing benefits do you know about pomegranates? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!
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