The ancient Egyptians were on to something when they used this colourful fruit to treat infections. So far, most modern research has focused on pomegranate extract, but the juice shows promise: It may help your body fight bacteria and several kinds of viruses, including the flu.
Pomegranate fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruit with unique flavor, taste, and heath promoting characteristics. Together with sub-arctic pigmented berries and some tropical exotics such as mango, it too has novel qualities of functional foods, often called as “super fruits.”
Botanically, it is a small size fruit-bearing, deciduous tree belonging to the Lythraceae family, of genus: Punica. The tree is thought to have originated in the Persia and Sub-Himalayan foothills of Northern India. Scientific name: Punica granatum.
Health benefits of Pomegranate
- The fruit is moderate in calories, holds about 83 calories per 100 grams; slightly more than that of in the apples. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.
- It is a good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers; providing about 4 grams per 100 g (about 12% of RDA). Dietary fiber aid in smooth digestion and bowel movements.
- Nutritionists recommend pomogranate in the diet for weight reduction and cholesterol controlling programs. Regular inclusion of fruits in the diet boosts immunity, improves circulation, and offers protection from cancers.
- Certain ellagitannin compounds such as Granatin B, and Punicalagin are found abundantly in the pomegranate juice. Studies suggest that punicalagin and tannins can be effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging harmful free radicals from the human body.
- Total antioxidant strength of pomegranate fruit measured in terms of its oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is 2341 µmol TE/100 g.
- The fruit is an also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 17% per 100 g of daily requirement. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents by boosting immunity.
- Regular consumption of pomegranate has also been found to be effective against prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), diabetes, and lymphoma.
- Further, it is an also good source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine and vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.