The pomegranate — a strange, yet beautiful fruit. Jam-packed with so many tiny, juicy seeds, that it’s almost a fruit within a fruit. Prying the seeds out of a pomegranate may not be the quickest snacking adventure, but it’s well worth the effort. (Especially when you discover the health benefits it has to offer!)
From that crisp red skin all the way through to those juicy ruby seeds, every part plays a role.
Let’s take a look at six surprising benefits of the Punica granatum fruit. (It’s much more than just a tasty snack!)
1. It’s a natural antimicrobial
Pomegranate has been extensively tested for antimicrobial properties — and the results have been impressive. This is exciting news for scientists, who are working hard to find alternatives to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In one such study, powdered pomegranate peel showed a strong effect on Candida albicans — a common fungal infection found in the body. 1
In another study, pomegranate extract had a moderate effect on the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), when paired with copper ions. 2
And that’s not all — because of its antibacterial qualities, pomegranate extract also shows potential against pimples and skin irritation. 3
2. It fights free radicals
Pomegranate is an incredible source of polyphenol flavonoids — the powerful antioxidants found in plants. These antioxidants help protect your body against free radicals, some of the primary “culprits” behind age spots and wrinkles.
Pomegranate also makes a fantastic topical antioxidant — in fact, cold-pressed pomegranate oil helps lock in moisture on the skin surface, leaving it feeling soft and supple.
3. It stimulates collagen
As we age, our skin starts to produce less collagen and elastin — the key proteins that keep our skin looking healthy and youthful. Less collagen results in more visible wrinkles and sagging skin — causing a “crepe-paper” texture to form.
Luckily, pomegranate is packed with ellagic acid — a powerful antioxidant that has shown great results in encouraging collagen production. One study noted that, when treated with ellagic acid, these collagen-producing cells resulted in significantly more elastic fibers than those not treated. 4
Pomegranate is also packed with vitamin C — another key nutrient for stimulating collagen production. In fact, studies suggest that ongoing vitamin C exposure creates up to an 8-fold increase in collagen-producing cells. 5
4. It soothes dry skin
Cooler fall temperatures means it’s time to refresh your skincare routine — and a topical pomegranate oil is a fantastic place to start.
Not only is it packed with antioxidants, pomegranate oil also helps lock in moisture to protect dry skin. In particular, the vitamin C in pomegranate oil can help in smoothing out rough, dry skin. 6
Pomegranate can also help promote regeneration of the skin’s outer and inner layers — which is exactly what your skin needs during the chilly months ahead! 7
5. It can boost heart health
Aside from being a rich source of antioxidants, pomegranate also contains an omega-5 fatty acid known as punicic acid. This combination of nutrients is known to stop fatty plaques from forming in the arteries — which can help boost the health of your heart.
In fact, Pomegranate is actually considered a “superstar” in protecting both LDL “bad cholesterol” and HDL “good cholesterol” from oxidation that may result in cardiovascular disease. 8
In a study on the effects of punicic acid, 51 patients with very high blood-fat levels were given pomegranate seed oil twice a day for 4 weeks. The results showed a significant drop in dangerous triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratios. 9
6. It can help inhibit abnormal cell growth
Pomegranates have displayed some remarkable “anti-tumor” properties, and researchers continue to study these effects in depth.
Evidence has linked the cold-pressed oil to helping to inhibit abnormal cell growth in human prostate cells. Plus, the phytochemicals in pomegranate can play an important role in cell signaling between cells. 10,11
Further studies have shown that pomegranate extract can protect human skin cells from UVA and UVB exposure — the harmful rays that can damage skin. 12
Power of Pom!
Aside from all of these fantastic benefits, pomegranate is also a good source of dietary fiber. It also contains vitamins A, B12, C , E, and K. It’s high in folate. It contains essential minerals, like copper, manganese, and potassium. There’s even some iron in those tiny scarlet seeds.
So snack on some fresh pomegranate, drink a glass of pomegranate juice, or add a pomegranate essential oil to your skincare routine!
Now, if only the pomegranate could peel itself …
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