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Food & Nutrition

Enjoying the Powerful Perks of Pomegranates

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From ancient times to the modern era, pomegranates have been the gem of the fruit world. Within the thick and inedible outer skin, there is a beautiful cluster of jewel-like arils. The sweet and tart juice that surrounds each edible seed is rich in nutrients and full of flavor, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

Extremely high in antioxidants, the health-promoting potential of pomegranates exceeds other sources. In this article, I’ll explain why pomegranates are so darn good for you and outline all the miraculous benefits for your body. I’ll also share a few of my favorite pomegranate recipes in part 2 of this article, and best of all, I’ll show you how to peel one without making a juicy mess.

The Powerful Nutrient Profile of Pomegranates
Pomegranates really pack a punch. The pure juice of a pomegranate is dense with nutrients and has an antioxidant activity three times higher than red wine or green tea2. Each ½ cup serving of arils or pure juice can provide a significant amount of your daily vitamin C, E and K, potassium, and folate. The seeds, if you choose to eat them, are a great source of dietary fiber and healthy fats1.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, let’s get more specific. Pomegranates are one of the best sources of polyphenols. These naturally occurring compounds have antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage, fight infection, and combat an abundance of health problems4. All those polyphenols make pomegranates one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, ranking significantly higher than blueberries and other antioxidant-filled fruits3. Let’s look at 10 of the biggest benefits pomegranates can have on your health.

The Big Perks of Eating Pomegranates
IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUTS
Pomegranates are rich in dietary nitrates, which improve blood flow. Drinking pomegranate juice before a workout can improve your endurance and efficiency5. Clinical trials have also shown that it increases performance during weight training sessions, speeds up recovery and reduces muscle soreness after6.

IMPROVE YOUR LOVE LIFE
Pomegranates can improve your performance other places as well, like the bedroom. That increased blood flow isn’t limited to only your muscles… if you catch my drift. In addition, antioxidant therapy with strong sources like pomegranates, have shown promising results in preventing the smooth muscle dysfunction and fibrosis that leads to erectile dysfunction7.

IMPROVE YOUR METABOLISM
Pomegranates have the power to boost your metabolism and improve body composition. A large number of polyphenols in pomegranate juice can lower your bodies initial glycemic response to a carb dense meal and continues to help regulate blood sugar through the later stages of digestion8. Studies have also found that regularly consuming pomegranate juice increases the binding of high-density lipoproteins to the enzyme paraoxonase, improving fat metabolism and preventing weight gain9. Even the seeds are rich in linolenic acid and punic acid. Both of these fatty acids have a positive effect on fat metabolism and work to prevent insulin resistance and obesity10,11.

SLOW THE EFFECTS OF AGING
Simply explained, aging is the accumulation of damage to cells and tissues. It is believed that oxidative stress from free radicals is the leading cause of this damage. With advancing age and decades of accumulated damage, our risk of disease and death builds. It has been found that diets rich in antioxidants, like those found in pomegranates, have proven anti-aging benefits and are effective in reducing the oxidative stress that leads to signs of old age4. These signs sign also appear on the outside, so yes, you will look younger as well!

PROTECT YOUR HEART
Enjoying pomegranates on a regular basis can improve your cholesterol levels9. Studies also suggest that pomegranate extracts may reduce blood pressure and could possibly prevent hypertension in the normotensive population12.

PROTECT YOUR MIND
Antioxidants protect neurons in the brain. Various studies show clear benefits on memory and other cognitive functions. Task-related increases in functional brain activity, better memory of daily tasks13, improved memory after physical truamas1415 have all been reported. Best yet, pomegranate inhibits the inflammation and amyloidogenesis that leads to Alzheimer’s disease16.

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
Pomegranate fruit, its juice, extract, and oil are all incredibly beneficial for your health. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties improve immune function, so you are better suited to fight infections17. There is constantly building evidence that as antioxidants, polyphenols protect the different components that make up each of the cells in every type of tissue; and therefore, limit the risk for many degenerative diseases4. Studies have shown promising results in treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dental conditions, erectile dysfunction, bacterial and fungal infections, antibiotic resistance, skin damage, bone loss, male infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and obesity18.

So how do you get all that pomegranate goodness into your body? That’s up to you. Drink the juice, eat the seeds, buy some extract, or incorporate some pomegranate into your favorite recipes. Click here to see 3 of my personal favorite pomegranate recipes and learn the absolute BEST way to get all those delicious arils out of that stubborn skin.


Resources:
1. Basic Report: 09286, Pomegranates, raw. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Web. accessed 11/30/17. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2359
2. Gil MI1, Tomás-Barberán FA, Hess-Pierce B, Holcroft DM, Kader AA.Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):4581-9. Web. Accessed 11/30/17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11052704
3.Kalita D, Jayanty SS (2014) Comparison of Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Colored Potato Tubers, Pomegranate and Blueberries. J Food Process Technol 5:358 Web. Accessed 12/1/17 https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/comparison-of-polyphenol-content-and-antioxidant-capacity-of-colored-potato-tubers-pomegranate-and-blueberries-2157-7110.1000358.php?aid=30238
4.Kanti Bhooshan Pandey and Syed Ibrahim Rizv. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009 Nov-Dec; 2(5): 270–278. Web. Accessed 12/1/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
5. Eric T. et. al. The effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep; 39(9): 1038–1042. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4146683/
6. Ammar A et. al. Pomegranate Supplementation Accelerates Recovery of Muscle Damage and Soreness and Inflammatory Markers after a Weightlifting Training Session. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 20;11(10). Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27764091
7. Azadzoi KM, Schulman RN, Aviram M, Siroky MB. Oxidative stress in arteriogenic erectile dysfunction: prophylactic role of antioxidants. J Urol. 2005 Jul;174(1):386-93 Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15947695
8. Kerimi A et. al. Pomegranate juice, but not an extract, confers a lower glycemic response on a high-glycemic index food: randomized, crossover, controlled trials in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Dec;106(6):1384-1393. WEb. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29021286
9. Estrada-Luna D et. al. Daily supplementation with fresh pomegranate juice increases paraoxonase 1 expression and activity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Eur J Nutr. 2017 Feb 27. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28243786
10. Keisuke Arao et. al. Dietary effect of pomegranate seed oil rich in 9cis, 11trans, 13cis conjugated linolenic acid on lipid metabolism in obese, hyperlipidemic OLETF Rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2004; 3: 24. Web. Accessed 12/3/17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534798/
11. Vroegrijk IO et. al. Pomegranate seed oil, a rich source of punicic acid, prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Jun;49(6):1426-30. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21440024
12. Stockton et. al. Effect of pomegranate extract on blood pressure and anthropometry in adults: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial. J Nutr Sci. 2017 Aug 9;6:e39 Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29152243
13. Bookheimer SY et. al. Pomegranate juice augments memory and FMRI activity in middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:946298. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23970941
14. Susan A. Ropacki, Sapna M. Patel, and Richard E. Hartman. Pomegranate Supplementation Protects against Memory Dysfunction after Heart Surgery: A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 932401. Web. Accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789410/
15. Hajipour S. et. al.. Motor and cognitive deficits due to permanent cerebral hypoperfusion/ischemia improve by pomegranate seed extract in rats. Pak J Biol Sci. 2014 Aug;17(8):991-8. Web. accessed 12/3/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031017
16. Velagapudi R et. al. Pomegranate inhibits neuroinflammation and amyloidogenesis in IL-1β-stimulated SK-N-SH cells. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jun;55(4):1653-60 Web. Accessed 12/2/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26155780
17. Mousa HA. Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza-Like Illness, and Common Cold by Herbal, Complementary, and Natural Therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):166-174. WEb. Accessed 12/4/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27055821
18. Jurenka JS. Therapeutic applications of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Jun;13(2):128-44. Web. Accessed 12/4/17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18590349

Food & Nutrition

5 Drink Options That May Help You Lose Weight

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Most of the diets require you to abstain from drinks entirely. This is because many of the drinks either contain alcohol or they consist of a high quantity of sugar. The truth is that there are a few drink options which will actually help you in losing weight.

Whenever you’re looking to consume any kind of drink or beverage, you have to go for these drink options.

Also, check out: Should You Quit Dairy Products





1 Water:
You need to keep in mind that water will not only help you satisfy your thirst but it will also ensure that you do not consume any calories. Moreover, you will be able to keep your body hydrated as well. With the help of proper hydration, the metabolic activity will be much better which will help you in losing weight.

2 Green tea:
Green tea not only consists of antioxidants but also speeds up the metabolic activity in the body. As a result, the digestion process is improved. This means that the accumulation of fat is reduced. As a result, you can lose weight.

3 Coffee:
You need to keep in mind that you have to consume coffee in the right form. Only when you consume it in the right from that is without milk and sugar, you will be able to gain any kind of benefits. When you consume it without any milk and sugar, the calories in the coffee will be limited as well. As a result, you will be able to consume coffee on a regular basis.

4 Kombucha:
This beverage helps you in improving the current health. Once that is improved, you can be sure that the harmful bacteria will be eliminated from the body. This will ensure that the digestive process is improved which will ensure that you are able to actually lose weight.

5 Turmeric milk:
If you’re drinking warm milk or tea, you have to think about adding turmeric to it. With the help of turmeric, not only you will be able to get a beverage which tastes different but also you will be able to limit the fat accumulation in the body as well. Moreover, it has antioxidant effects as well which will actually help you in avoiding the infections in the body.

Thus, when you’re looking at the drink options which will actually help you in losing weight, these are the few options which you need to look at. With the help of these few options, it will indeed become much easier for you to lose weight. Instead of avoiding drinks altogether, you have to opt for the drinks which are actually beneficial for you when you’re trying to lose weight. Also, these drinks are widely available which ensures that even when you’re eating outside, you will be able to get these drinks as well. Thus, instead of avoiding the beverages altogether, you have to ensure that you are consuming healthy beverages.

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Food & Nutrition

3 Foods That Benefit Your Brain Health

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Normally, when you’re looking to consume the foodstuffs, you might only look for the foodstuffs which are lower in calories. Once you look for these foods, it will become much easier for you to opt for the healthy variants as well. You have to always keep in mind that when it comes to consuming foodstuffs, you have to look at the overall benefits. There are a few foodstuffs which actually help you in improving your brain health as well. When you are able to opt for these foodstuffs, it will certainly become much easier for you to gain overall benefits as well.

We will today specifically speak about 3 food which can actually help you in improving your brain health.

Also, check out: Changing Your Eating Habits

1Eating the green leafy vegetables and fruits:
You have to always ensure that you are eating green leafy vegetables as well as fresh fruits. These will help you in avoiding depression. Moreover, these will improve your memory as well. These also have anti-inflammatory properties which will help cognitive functions in the brain. That is why you have to think about consuming these foodstuffs.

2 Eggs and chicken:
Another great option which you have got is to go with the eggs and chicken. With the help of both of these options, you will be able to fire up the neurotransmitters in your brain. As a result, memory retention will be improved and there will be proper cognitive development as well. You have to keep this factor in mind and after that only think about including chicken and eggs in your diet.

3 Foods which are rich in vitamin D:
You need to keep in mind that even though, there are very little foods which consist of vitamin D if you are able to consume them on a regular basis in any form, you can be sure that the brain longevity is improved significantly. Moreover, if you’re not able to consume them in any kind of foodstuffs like fatty fish, you can even opt for exposure to sunlight in the morning. If you would like to find out about the food sources, then you can go with the egg yolks as well as mushroom as well.

With the help of these foods, you can be sure that the cognitive power will certainly be improved. With the increased cognitive power, it will become easier for you to increase your physical as well as mental activity. As a result, you will be able to lead a more fulfilling life quite easily. You have to just make sure that you are including these foodstuffs on a regular basis in your diet. As long as you do so it will indeed become much easier for you to lead a healthier diet. You might not have to rely on any kind of supplements as well as long as you are including the natural sources.

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Food & Nutrition

What Should You Know About Supplements Before Taking Them?

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Most of the people think that supplements are the shortcut to getting the kind of physique which they want. This is not true at all. You need to keep in mind that you should only take supplements when necessary. If you’re taking supplements just for the sake of it, there can be quite a few side effects as well.

We will today share with you a few things which you need to know about supplements.

Also, check out: The Importances of Great Supplements

1 Type of supplements:
You need to understand that 1st and foremost, you need to know about the various type of supplements. Generally speaking, supplements can be divided into 2 types. These are:

Food supplements: Food supplements are taken in order to provide the essential nutrients to the body. These are taken in order to ensure that you do not suffer from any kind of deficiency.

Non-food supplements: On the other hand, when you’re consuming non-food supplements, they are often consumed for getting help with the workout or the muscle synthesis process.

Thus, when you’re speaking about supplements you have to be pretty clear regarding the type of supplements which you are speaking about.

2 Supplements which help with the workout:
The non-food supplements can help you with the workout. Then again, there are quite a few types of non-food supplements. Some of the supplements include:

• Carbohydrate-based supplements
• Electrolytes

You have to look at the function of each and every type of supplement before directly taking it. When you are able to do that, it will become easier for you to pick the right kind of supplement. As far as possible, you should keep away from the synthetic supplements. It is a good idea to stick to only the supplements which are made from natural or organic ingredients.

3 Side effects of supplements:
Just like anything else, when you’re taking any substance or any kind of supplement in excessive quantity, there will be definite side effects. That is why, instead of just going on taking the supplements, you have to know your limit. That is why it is a good idea to consult a professional before consuming the supplements.

Thus, instead of thinking that supplements are the shortcut to a great physique, you have to keep these 3 factors in mind. When you know more about supplements and take professional advice, which is only when it is a good idea to consume supplements regularly. Otherwise, you should stay away from supplements and try to build your physique the natural way.

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