A symbol of immortality, suffering and resurrection, fertility and protection—the humble pomegranate finds many a mention in many religious texts. In ancient medicine, pomegranates served multiple purposes, from blood purifiers to astringents, expectorant to aphthae cure, and more.
Is it any wonder why modern science has been studying the powerful properties of pomegranates?
If you’ve been wondering how this lush, sweet fruit stacks up against others, look no further. We bring to you the latest in how pomegranates protect gut health.
Getting to Know the Pomegranate
Being one of the largest berries (the pumpkin wins the prize for the largest berry, yes, we know–the pumpkin is a berry!), Pomegranates already have a well-established reputation as a powerful antioxidant. They are replete with polyphenols and a host of health-giving micronutrients, from potassium to folate and thiamine, manganese to antioxidants, Vitamin K and E to fiber.
Pomegranates have a sweet flavor, making them very pleasing to eat or drink. As it matures, the taste turns tart-like to sour. Even so, the fruit is prominent in many cuisines.
Pomegranates can be eaten as is, served as juice, dried and used as spice form, used as an alternative to tomatoes, and an acidic agent in food preparation. Pomegranate molasses is a terrific alternative for the fruit if you can’t access it all year round.
On Pomegranates and IBD
The latest research into human health shows the powerful effect that pomegranates have on bowel disease.
If the recent publication in Nature Communications is anything to go by, evidence suggests that pomegranates protect gut health. Research shows that there is an important connection between pomegranates and alleviating inflammatory bowel disease.
This new research publication brought together scientists from the U.S. and India, who demonstrated how a metabolite obtained from pomegranates produced by naturally occurring gut bacteria could help protect us and ease inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) can either be caused by Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or a combination of both. Crohn’s disease has a wider coverage as it targets the entire length of the Gastrointestinal tract, meaning it can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus.
On the other hand, Ulcerative colitis has a more specific area of effect as it only targets the colon or the rectum.
Needless to say, both can have extremely devastating effects on the person suffering from IBD.
Pomegranate Compounds and Their Effects
The research team demonstrated that the Urolithin metabolite derived from pomegranate polyphenols could effectively reduce inflammation while restoring the integrity of the gut barrier in rodents.
These compounds are feted for their potential chemo-preventive ability and used against chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.
The metabolite in question, Urolithin A, showed very powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anti-aging qualities compared with other metabolites.
Urolithin A is a naturally occurring compound that 40% of people can metabolize properly.
Researchers suggested that manifesting these extraordinary health benefits would be easiest in diets enriched with polyphenols (like those from pomegranates), where sufficient microbes were also present to convert the polyphenols into these beneficial metabolites.
Confirming much of the previous research into the excellent benefits of pomegranates and berries on human health, the researchers singled out pomegranate extract or juice for its high levels of polyphenolic compounds. Of these, ellagitannins and ellagic acid play a key role in protecting against myocardial ischemia (the heart not receiving enough oxygen to perform effectively, one symptom being Angina), and reperfusion injury (tissue damage caused when the blood returns to the heart tissues after a period of ischemia).
This study has also highlighted the exceptional ability of these compounds to activate metabolic pathways that inhibit gut inflammation. The study demonstrates that treatment with these compounds significantly mitigated colitis in both preventive and therapeutic settings.
This is quite a finding and bodes well for those already using pomegranate molasses or juice to maintain gut health. In particular, the use of pomegranates as a source of the correct polyphenols to supply to the metabolites suggests strongly that pomegranates protect gut health in the most beneficial and restorative ways.
When it comes to caring for our bodies, it is hard to find a more comprehensive and effective solution of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and restorative action than the humble pomegranate. Indeed, the evidence emerging from science seems to wholeheartedly back the idea that pomegranates protect gut health and offer us yet another complementary and supportive mechanism to care for our bodies and our general health.
Many Health Benefits of Pomegranates
The great thing about pomegranate is that you can take full advantage of its health benefits with each bite of this delicious fruit or with each sip of its sweet, refreshing juice. Not sure what these include?
Here’s a quick rundown of health benefits you can expect with each serving of pomegranate in any form:
Rich in Antioxidants
There’s a reason why pomegranates are bright red from the skin to seeds. The amount of polyphenols present in this fruit turns it to the shade of attractive crimson, for which it is widely known. The antioxidants in pomegranates diminish cell damage, reduce inflammations, and remove free radicals in our bodies.
Counter Stress-Related Damage
The presence of a high concentration of antioxidants helps counter inflammation caused by stress to the body. Think of it as a preventive measure to reduce the amount of damage encountered throughout the day.
Suffering from Arthritis? Try This!
Arthritis is a form of inflammation that targets the joints. It is a very painful condition, manageable by medication that can cost upwards of $1,300 a month. The good news is that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to control arthritis naturally—all you need is a healthy dose of pomegranates in your diet.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
This may seem like a stretch, but with the highly concentrated amount of antioxidants in the fruit, it isn’t hard to believe that the pomegranate can help alleviate the effects of Alzheimer’s. Compounding a daily intake of pomegranates with healthy food and exercise should help keep the mind and body strong.
Get an Excess of Vitamin C Here!
Fresh pomegranates are rich in Vitamin C. And a single pomegranate has enough juice to give you 40% more than what is deemed a daily requirement of the vitamin.
You don’t need to worry about overdosing on Vitamin C, though. Our bodies are quite capable of releasing the excess naturally.
The Big C. The most dreaded disease man has faced in modern times.
Is the pomegranate capable of eradicating the disease?
For now, studies show that it can hinder the growth of prostate cancer.
Deals with Diabetes Effectively
People with diabetes may turn to pomegranates to help keep insulin resistance and blood sugar levels at manageable stages.
Pomegranates are Considered the Healthiest for the Heart
Pomegranates are known to work wonders for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Not only does it protect the heart, but it also keeps the arteries free from blockages. There’s ample evidence to show that pomegranates can reduce a person’s LDL levels, improve blood flow, and prevent plaque buildup.
A healthy heart, a well-planned diet, and regular exercise is one way to normalize your blood pressure. Adding a glass of pomegranate juice also helps keep your blood pressure under control.
Pomegranates: Multivitamins in Fruit Form
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K are just some of nature’s goodness that you can get from pomegranates. Add a slew of other vitamins in the mix, and you have a piece of valuable fruit you can take anywhere with you to remain at your highest performance peak.
Pomegranates are Memory Enhancers
Now pomegranates can make you smarter too? It apparently looks that way, as recent studies have shown that those who drink 8 ounces of pomegranates show better memory retention and faster learning abilities than those who don’t.
Sex Sells: Pomegranates Promote Good Sexual Performance and Fertility
We all know that certain products considered as hard sells are often snatched up by consumers if a twist is added into the narrative.
Well, here goes.
Pomegranates protect gut health and help increase your ability to perform sexually. Women trying to boost their fertility levels can also benefit from eating or drinking the fruit daily.
The high concentration of antioxidants removes free radicals and stress from the body, giving it a boost that can translate to better performance in bed and out.
Pomegranates are Good for Athletes Too!
Athletes struggling with endurance and strength can benefit tremendously from a daily intake of pomegranates. While the vitamin C content reduces muscle soreness, the antioxidants in pomegranates help improve recovery times. The nitrate content in this lush fruit helps dilate blood vessels, allowing for increased oxygen levels. This means you can expect increased muscle strength and delayed fatigue.
Keeps Viruses at Bay
The presence of high levels of vitamin C plus immune system boosting nutrients should be more than enough to keep certain types of viruses at bay, including SARS-CoV-2. Lab studies have shown that the pomegranate can effectively handle bacteria such as Salmonella Typhi.
How to Add Pomegranate to Your Daily Diet
Here are a few creative ideas on how you can get your daily intake of pomegranate:
- Need something crunchy to pair with the buttery softness of the pumpkin? Here’s the recipe you didn’t know you needed!
- On a diet and need a new ingredient to add a twist to been-there-eaten-that recipes? Here’s a great one!
- Make pancake mornings healthier. Get the full recipe here.
Love pomegranate but can’t be fussed with the sourcing, peeling, and juicing? We have the next best thing! Pomegranate molasses! Making a refreshing drink is as easy as adding a few spoonfuls of this naturally sweet, kosher, and organic pomegranate molasses to a glass full of water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pomegranate and Leaky Gut—Is There a Connection?
Absolutely! Studies show that regular intake of pomegranate in any form can combat nitrative and oxidative stress. Its high fiber content and natural inflammatory properties will also aid in treating leaky gut.
Does Pomegranate Have Probiotic Properties?
Not directly, no. But here’s good news. Pomegranate has high quantities of prebiotic fiber, and the positive effect of polyphenols on gut bacteria suggests that the fruit can improve gut health.
Does Pomegranate Help With GERD, Gas, Constipation, and Diarrhea?
Whether it’s bark, fruit, peel, flower, even leaves, and roots, all parts of pomegranate trees can help with gut-related ailments. The fact that it can do both cure constipation and diarrhea underscores its balancing effect.
Want the science behind it? The high fiber content in pomegranates absorbs stomach acid, giving relief from GERD. The same fiber content provides constipation and loose motion relief as well.
Pomegranate Juice Vs. Arils—Which Is Better For Health?
A glass of freshly made pomegranate juice has trace quantities of magnesium and calcium. You’ll also find about 200 mg of potassium and 0.1 gms of dietary fiber.
In contrast, a cup of pomegranate seeds has 3.5 gms dietary fiber, 1.5 gm protein, 2.6 mg sodium, 8.7 mg calcium, 0.3 mg iron, 200 mg potassium, 0.05 mg Vitamin B1, 0.046 mg Vitamin B2, 0.25 mg Vitamin B3, 0.065 mg Vitamin B6, 33 mcg Vitamin B9 (folate), 8 mg Vitamin C, and 14 mcg Vitamin K1. That’s not all. You’ll find trace amounts of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc.
Clearly, consuming arils is more beneficial than drinking pomegranate juice. Since seasons and supply chain issues can often limit our access to fresh fruit, molasses could be the better alternative. Pomegranate juice made from molasses is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, iron, and calcium.
Conclusion: Pomegranates are Great!
Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more, Pomegranates are nature’s secret to everlasting health.
And Molassity’s pomegranate molasses is easily the most practical way to ensure that these benefits remain top-of-mind and countertop accessible all year round to anyone taking their gut health seriously and aiming to alleviate a host of lifestyle-related diseases, conditions, and concerns.