The ruby-red seeds of the pomegranate instantly add an exotic flair to your meal. Also known as Granada or Chinese apples, these tangy fruits originated in the Middle East and spread to Southeast Asia. Full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this powerful superfruit may provide effective treatments against heart disease and cancer.
Pomegranates grow in subtropical regions with hot summers and cool winters. Florida and California are the major cultivators of pomegranates in the United States. The word pomegranate means “seeded apple,” which comes from its edible, bright red seeds. One pomegranate provides 234 calories, 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat. Pomegranates are high in fiber, an indigestible material that promotes healthy digestion. For good health, women should eat 25 grams of fiber each day. One pomegranate provides 11 grams of fiber.
One pomegranate provides 50 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, fight disease and preserve skin and bone health. Pomegranates also contain vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting. Women need 90 micrograms of vitamin K per day. One pomegranate provides 46 micrograms. This nutritious fruit is a good source of folate, a key nutrient for cell production. Folate is especially important for pregnant woman, as it produces healthy cells for the baby and prevents developmental problems.
Pomegranates are a good source of potassium, an important mineral for blood pressure control. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that most people do not consume enough potassium. Strive for 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. One pomegranate provides 660 milligrams of potassium. Pomegranates also provide copper, a mineral that protects cells from damage.
Compounds in pomegranates may be effective against several diseases. Pomegranates contain antioxidants and antimicrobials. Antioxidants protect against cell damage, and antimicrobials fight germs. A study published in “Molecules” showed that pomegranate extract may be an effective treatment against certain fungal infections. Preliminary research of pomegranate juice shows that it controls the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. Pomegranates may also boost heart health, even in people with chronic diseases. A study from the “International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research” showed that pomegranate juice controlled cholesterol and lowered heart disease risks in people with diabetes. More research is needed to confirm these health benefits, but the nutrients in this fruit make it a healthy and flavorful addition to any meal.
- Fruits and Veggies More Matters: Pomegranate Nutrition and Storage
- USDA Nutrient Database: Pomegranate, Raw
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Benefits of Potassium
- MedLine Plus: Vitamin K
- MedLine Plus: Vitamin C
- Purdue University: Pomegranates
- Molecules: Activity of Spray-dried Microparticles Containing Pomegranate Peel Extract Against Candida Albicans
- Breast Cancer Research and Treatment: Pomegranate Juice and Specific Components Inhibit Cell and Molecular Processes Critical for Metastasis of Breast Cancer
- International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research: Cholesterol-lowering Effect of Concentrated Pomegranate Juice Consumption in Type II Diabetic Patients With Hyperlipidemia
- Profeomics: Proteomic Exploration of the Impacts of Pomegranate Fruit Juice on the Global Gene Expression of Prostate Cancer Cell
Jennifer Dlugos is a Boston-based writer with more than 10 years of experience in the health-care and wellness industries. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter who teaches screenwriting and film production classes throughout New England. Dlugos holds a master's degree in dietetics.