Pomegranates have become branded as the new “superfruit” because of the many health benefits associated with the fruit.
The pomegranate fruit, once associated with the Greek goddess Persephone, has now become one of the “superfruits” that nutritionists and researchers are finding have more and more benefits to human health.
While the fruit has been cultivated for centuries throughout the Middle East and northern India, pomegranates did not make their way to North America until the 16th century and were brought to Florida by Spanish sailors, says The Nibble. However, with as much hype as the pomegranate has received recently, it is sometimes hard to remember that pomegranates have only recently made their way into mainstream Western culture.
Pomegranates and Antioxidants
According to HealthCentral.com, pomegranates are full of antioxidants, compounds that have multiple uses throughout the human body. Antioxidants are compounds found in varying concentrations in foods and beverages such as grapes, blueberries, and red wine, that are believed to fight off free radicals in the body.
In the blood, antioxidants help to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. This helps to prevent athersclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits form within the arteries. Antioxidants also help to work like aspirin in preventing unwanted blood clots.
Researchers are also discovering the power of pomegranate juice and its effects on the human body. A study in the American Journal of the College of Cardiology in September 2005 found that drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice every day can help patients with coronary heart disease get more oxygen to their heart tissue.
In addition, researchers published a study in the July 2005 edition of the Journal of Urology that was of interest to men. According to the study, consuming pomegranate juice over an extended period of time can help fight problems associated with erectile dysfunction.
Pomegranate juice is also often paired with other fruits, such as cranberries, in commonly sold juices or juice cocktails. These beverages also have added health benefits due to the combinations of different kinds of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients present in these foods.
Pomegranate extract is also being tested to see if it can be found to prevent various forms of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer.
The superfruit pomegranante has many benefits, with more and more being found as researchers continue to study this newly popular fruit. As more and more benefits are discovered and the consumption of the fruit becomes more mainstream in Western culture, it is possible that researchers and nutritionists may find that there is more to the pomegranate than was previously thought.