The pomegranate has seen it all. The fruit dates back to the early Bronze Age (roughly 3500-2000 BC) and scientists believe it is one of the oldest cultivated fruits, along with the olive, grape, date palm, and fig. Talk about good company! Pomegranates are referenced in the Koran and the Bible, and in many cultures is believed to be a sign of luck, abundance, and fertility. It’s roots are in the Middle East, but it’s a versatile plant that can grow in a variety of climates and soil, which means today she's quite a worldly thing that grows on a number of continents.
A classified super fruit, pomegranate’s health benefits are abundant. But she’s cool for a few other reasons, too:
- Pomegranate trees can live for over 200 years.
- One pomegranate can hold more than 1,000 seeds.
- Pomegranates can be stored up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
If that isn’t enough to fill the socially-distanced small talk in the line at the coffee shop, here are 5 important health benefits of pomegranate:
Pomegranate Can Support Healthy Digestion
Pomegranate seeds (or if you're feeling fancy, arils) are packed with 3.5 grams of fiber per half-cup serving. It's also the proud owner of a really good kind of fiber that lowers LDL, or as your parents call it, the "bad cholesterol."
Pomegranates have been shown to be an effective prebiotic, making it another important player in digestive health. Prebiotics feed probiotics, the good gut bugs in charge of a healthy digestive tract, which is important for a variety of things from bloating to immunity. The prebiotics in pomegranates also work to slow the growth of the bad bugs that can colonize in your digestive tract and cause a host of problems. Double win.
It's Anti-Everything (In All the Good Ways)
Longevity, meet your new BFF. Pomegranate's antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may help to protect against or improve the course of diseases like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. How, you ask? The juicy fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties and high level of antioxidants reduce inflammation and relieve oxidative stress, both major contributors to chronic illness.
Pomegranate Is Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
The super fruit is super high in potassium and Vitamin C, both critical to the normal functioning of our bodies. Major bonus: pomegranates maintain almost all of their potassium when juiced.
After a full year of living through a pandemic, most humans understand the importance of vitamin C to a healthy immune system. But don’t sleep on potassium--it’s a key mineral to help your cells function properly. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps move fluid through your body, helps your nerves fire properly, moves nutrients and waste in and out of your cells, and by counteracting sodium levels, can help keep your blood pressure in check.
It's Good for Heart Health
Beyond helping to regulate your blood pressure, some research shows that consuming pomegranate can reduce the effects of cardiovascular diseases. Harvard dubbed the arils “seeds of hope” as they have been shown to increase cardiac blood flow and decrease the carotid artery thickness in patients. This is all thanks to those high levels of polyphenols, extremely potent antioxidants found in pomegranate and wine (yay!).
It Could Help with Joint Pain and Athletic Recovery
A small study on the effects of pomegranate consumption on athletic performance and recovery in elite weight lifters showed that it can in fact accelerate recovery. One key polyphenol in pomegranate, gallic acid, has been shown to improve muscle recovery and strength. Additionally, pomegranate is a great source of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that helps improve recovery and increase muscle performance. Rounding out the trifecta is nitrates, which is abundant in pomegranate and helps increase athletic performance. Shameless plug: beetroot powder is also a great source of nitrates, and teams up with pomegranate in our fan-favorite blend Unbelievaberry.
Studies have also shown that the antioxidants in pomegranate could help delay the onset of osteoarthiritis and pomegranate extract could decrease the biomarkers of rheumatoid arthritis.
Pomegranate is Absolutely Delicious in Smoothies
Thanks to Lizzo's recent viral post on "nature's cereal"- a simple combination of berries, pomegranate arils, ice, and coconut water - the berry/pomegranate combo is having a well-deserved moment. But we're not afraid to say we've been on to the trend all along. Meet Unbelievaberry, our berry blend that contains blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and pomegranate: