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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

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Food & Nutrition

The Importances of Great Supplements

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Supplementation has become a big topic in the health and fitness world as more people are turning to natural answers for optimal health.

Why do we need supplements if we are already exercising and eating well? Supplementation provides the foundation within our bodies to perform at the highest level. Even if we are working out regularly and eating an all-organic diet, there are still going to be gaps in our nutrition. Uncontrollable influences such as chemicals in everyday products, genetic predisposition, and injuries can cause lack within our bodies that require extra help; help that can come in the form of supplements.

Also check out: Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts put a strain on their bodies regularly in order to reach new goals or performance levels. Supplements such as Vitamin C or D3 can help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation speeds up the healing process within our bodies and enables us to reach our goals faster with less pain and damage.

Other supplemental vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium improve bone health and oxygenate our blood; two vital needs for those of us building and maintaining muscle. Omegas 3’s are essential for heart health, and we don’t always have access to fresh fish and organic nuts where Omega 3’s are usually found.

Another great aspect of taking supplements is the convenience of it. We cannot always be at the gym, and maintaining a strict diet 24/7 is difficult. Supplements can be taken on the go and will enable our bodies to maintain the health we have worked so hard to achieve. A strict diet can also be difficult to maintain if we do not have access to certain foods at all times. Supplements can be easily ordered online regardless of location.

Supplementation is not an an-either-or option with a good diet. Rather, excellent supplementation compliments and enhances the positive benefits of a great diet and exercise.

Get more information on WrkEthicSupps: https://www.wrkethicsupps.com

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Food & Nutrition

How to Get The Most Out Of Your BCAA Supplement?

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For anyone involved in a committed fitness workout routine, amino acid supplements aren’t anything new and depending on the goals that have been put in place for their fitness lifestyle, they could be beneficial in a multitude of ways! But, how do you know if the amino acids are right for you during your workout? Science breaks it down simply.

Also, check out: 5 Tips To Losing Weight While Keeping Your Sanity

If the individual is reaching their daily protein goals with natural food and beverages, then there is no need for the extra amino acid boost through a supplemented drink. But, that is not to say that there are no benefits to extra amino acids pre-workout. Some research shows that supplementing amino acids before a workout can be beneficial with things such as suppressing muscle protein breakdown and even reduce the signs of muscle damages after a completed workout! What some people don’t know is that taking these amino supplements won’t actually cause the muscles themselves to grow on their own, but instead provide the individual with a slight “boost” during their lift exercises to be able to give a consistent strong workout and promote healthy natural muscle growth.

During an endurance-based exercise routine, proteins are broken down and used by the body as an energy source. Decreasing the number of proteins, or amino acids, used pre-workout can lead to higher levels of serotine to be held in the brain and can cause fatigue during the workout. Therefore, by keeping the supplemental amino acids as a part of the routine, it can be a better “breakdown” and lead to less signs of fatigue and a better workout experience! Those amino acid supplement drinks can still be useful, but make sure that they are introduced correctly into a workout routine.

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Food & Nutrition

3 Great Nutrition Bars on the Market Right Now

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If you’re prone to that sluggishness in the middle of your workday or find yourself struggling to say no to food choices while hunger gnaws at you, you are not alone. More people live hectic on the go lifestyles today and the choices for easily accessible junk food are endless. As if we needed a reason to binge? Why are we sold on the idea that eating right is cumbersome, or impossible to do on a tight schedule? What could be easier than throwing a bar into your bag? Or stashing some in your desk at work? Sure, power bars once had the stigma of being for gym-bunnies, hikers, and hippies, but maybe it’s time the rest of us caught on. Here are three excellent nutrition bars on the market right now that will convince you healthy choices can be simple, quick and delicious.


Source Bar: Naturally Sweetened Cookie Dough
SourceWell calls this bar decadent and unparalleled. With a whopping 20g of protein, 4g of sugar and delectable cookie dough flavor, this bar is already a powerhouse. Did we mention that it’s gluten-free, non-GMO, made with grass-fed whey and organic ingredients? I guess sometimes you can have it all.
Get more information: https://www.sourcewellnutrition.com



Quest Nutrition: Double Chocolate Chunk
This bar from Quest Nutrition is sinfully chocolatey. No worries, there’s a saintly amount of healthful goodness in here. With 20g of protein and only 1g of sugar, this bar is like a delicious power-up. Don’t let that low-sugar count scare you. This bar is naturally sweetened with stevia and sugar alcohol.
For more info: https://www.questnutrition.com



KIND: Double Dark Chocolate Nut
This bar sounds like a really good cup of fancy coffee. It’s everything you want from a good nutrition bar. It’s got almonds, honey, and double chocolatey goodness. While this bar’s 12g of protein and 8g of sugar might not seem as impressive, it’s easy to find and for less than $2 per bar, it’s the kindest to your wallet.
For more info: https://www.kindsnacks.com

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