Red, juicy and bright, pomegranate is packed with essential nutrients. This superfood, better known as anar, is extremely tasty and healthy. When it comes to eating pomegranates, some people avoid eating their seeds. But did you know that these little seeds are actually edible and packed with health benefits?
Health Shots contacted Nupuur Patil, a nutritionist and dietician based in Mumbai and the UAE, to understand the health benefits of eating pomegranate seeds.
“Pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants, especially punicalagin and anthocyanins, which help fight oxidative stress, reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage. These antioxidants have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer,” says Patil.
Health benefits of pomegranate seeds
Here are 6 health benefits of eating pomegranate seeds:
1. Packed with antioxidants
Pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants, especially polyphenols that help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Not only this, antioxidants also help fight chronic diseases like diabetes, heart problems and cancer. To reduce the risk of these diseases, consume pomegranate seeds and do not spit them out.
2. Improves digestion
Pomegranate seeds are good for healthy digestion. Patil says, “These tiny seeds can aid digestion due to their fiber content and anti-inflammatory effects.” Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. While anti-inflammatory properties help heal digestive problems. Additionally, pomegranate seeds may have a mild laxative effect, which can be beneficial for people who suffer from digestive problems.
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3. Promote heart health
“Consuming pomegranate seeds can also improve cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure and improving blood vessel function,” says Patil. Its antioxidant content, especially punicalagin and anthocyanins, and its anti-inflammatory properties reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the cardiovascular system. So add this heart-friendly fruit to your daily diet.
4. Good for the skin
There are several benefits of pomegranate for the skin. It helps improve skin health by reducing wrinkles, preventing sunburn and damage, reducing acne, stimulating collagen production and detoxifying the skin. Its antioxidant content is helpful in reducing the risk of premature aging. All in all, it contributes to radiant and youthful-looking skin.
5. Reduce the risk of cancer
Pomegranate seeds are rich in a number of compounds, such as ellagic acid and anthocyanins, which have cancer-fighting properties. These compounds inhibit the growth of cancer cells and promote apoptosis, a process by which the body naturally eliminates damaged or harmful cells. Although more research is needed in this area, including pomegranate seeds in your diet may contribute to cancer prevention efforts.
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6. Increase immunity
Pomegranate seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folic acid. Vitamin C supports a strong immune system, while vitamin K is essential for bone health and blood clotting. Potassium, on the other hand, helps regulate blood pressure, and folic acid is crucial for DNA synthesis and cell repair. Consuming pomegranate seeds during cold and flu season can help you stay healthy.
Pomegranate seeds are versatile and have several health benefits!