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POMEGRANATE (Punica Granatum): HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES

 

Family Name: PUNIACACEAE

Botanical Name : PUNICA GRANATUM

Common Name: POMEGRANATE, ANAR

Part Used: SEEDS, FLOWERS

The name “pomegranate” is of ancient origin. In classical Latin, the fruit was known either as malum punicum or malum granatum. In these names, malum means “apple”, granatum derives from granum “grain” and means “(multi)grained” (alluding to the many seed grains)

Pomegranate Uses: Pomegranate juice is remarkably rich in antioxidants, such as soluble polyphenols, tannins, and anthocyanins, which scavenge free radicals and help prevent DNA damage that can lead to a number of serious health conditions Juice used to treat jaundice and Diarrhoea. Juice of flower is used to treat nose bleeds.

Pomegranates have beneficial effects on heart disease, haemorrhoids, reduction in the hardening of arteriesfertility animproved heart health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol are potential pomegranate benefits all under consideration.

The interior of the pomegranate fruit is composed of many pink-red sections of pulp-like tissue, each of which contains a small seed grain. These sections are usually, slightly inaccurately, referred to as “pomegranate seeds”.

"Antioxidants can protect us against the oxidative stress in our industrialized world, such as pollution, chemicals, viruses and bacteria, and consequently cardiovascular diseases and cancer," said Professor Aviram.   His research shows that pomegranate juice contains the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices, red wine, green tea, tomatoes, vitamin E and other headline makers.   Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have independently confirmed that pomegranate juice contains at least three major antioxidants.  Pomegranate juice has three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea (using the Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity test). 

A single pomegranate provides 40 per cent of an adult's recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, and is a rich source of folic acid and vitamins A and E. One pomegranate also contains three times the antioxidant properties of red wine or green tea.

Because of their tannin content, extracts of the bark, leaves, immature fruit and fruit rind have been given as astringents to halt diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhages. Dried, pulverized flower buds are employed as a remedy for bronchitis.

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion*
Calories 63-78
Moisture 72.6-86.4 g
Protein 0.05-1.6 g
Fat Trace only to 0.9 g
Carbohydrates 15.4-19.6 g
Fiber 3.4-5.0 g
Ash 0.36-0.73 g
Calcium 3-12 mg
Phosphorus 8-37 mg
Iron 0.3-1.2 mg
Sodium 3 mg
Potassium 259 mg
Carotene None to Trace
Thiamine 0.003 mg
Riboflavin 0.012-0.03 mg
Niacin 0.180-0.3 mg
Ascorbic Acid 4-4.2 mg
Citric Acid 0.46-3.6 mg
Boric Acid 0.005 mg

*Analyses of fresh juice sacs made by various investigators.

Research on Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Professor Aviram, who has been studying for many years the effects of various foods on cholesterol oxidation and cardiovascular diseases, suggests vegetables like onions and tomatoes, herbs like garlic, licorice and rosemary, and fruits like grapes (and red wine) and pomegranates as good sources of a variety of natural antioxidants.

Pomegranate juice confers cardiovascular health benefits

In vivo studies in healthy nonsmoking men and mice with experimentally induced atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) concluded that pomegranate juice (Punica granatum) had potent antiatherogenic effects, possibly due its antioxidant activity. In the men, consumption of pomegranate juice decreased the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to aggregation and retention, and increased the activity of serum paraoxonase (a naturally occurring antioxidant) by 20%. In mice, pomegranate juice reduced oxidation of LDL by 90%. In addition, pomegranate juice shrank atherosclerotic lesions in the mice by 44%, compared with control mice.

Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 71: 1062-1076.

Research on Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

A study of a small group of patients with coronary heart disease found that drinking about one cup (240 mL) of pomegranate juice daily helped reduce stress-induced myocardial ischemia, poor blood flow to the heart muscle brought on by stress or exercise.

"The results of this study demonstrate, for the first time, that daily consumption of pomegranate juice for three months may decrease myocardial ischemia and improve myocardial perfusion in patients who have (coronary heart disease)," writes the study's lead author, Michael Sumner, of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute.

The researchers examined 45 coronary heart disease patients who had poor blood flow to the heart muscle.

The patients were divided into two groups, with the experimental group drinking a daily cup of pomegranate juice for three months and the control group drinking a placebo, a similar-looking and similar-flavoured beverage that did not contain pomegranate juice.

Electrocardiographic images were captured to assess the effect of the juice on myocardial ischemia.

Results showed that study participants who drank the pomegranate juice experienced a 17% improvement in blood flow to the heart muscle, whereas those given a placebo beverage had an average worsening of 18%.

Research on Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Pom Wonderful says research has shown that just “about everyone may benefit from drinking an 8 oz. glass of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice daily.”

With the highest levels of polyphenol antioxidants, “pomegranate juice is showing promising benefits for the heart: it’s 60% better than other juices at preventing the formation of plaque-forming oxidized LDL in the arteries… and has been shown to reduce build-up of plaque by up to 30% in a pilot study of 19 elderly patients with atherosclerosis.”

“In fact,” the say, “research indicates that the high level of antioxidants found in pomegranate juice is effective in combating free radicals that may cause a number of afflictions, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease…even cancer.”

And, there is research to back up their claims, and then some.

“Pomegranates have beneficial effects on heart disease, haemorrhoids, fertility and blood pressure - among other things - and this week, scientists have discovered their usefulness in treating prostate cancer and osteoarthritis,” notes Rhodes in the Telegraph.

Pomegranate Juice's Potential Benefits For Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

A study published in the July 2005 edition of the Journal of Urology, entitled "Oxidative Stress in Arteriogenic Erectile Dysfunction: Prophylactic Role of Antioxidants," examined the effects of long term intake of pomegranate juice on erectile dysfunction (ED) in an animal model. The results suggest for the first time that free radicals (oxidative stress) are a contributing factor in erectile dysfunction. As a result, pomegranate juice may be of benefit through an antioxidant mechanism.

Buying and storing tips

Choose pomegranates with good color and that feel heavy; avoid those with dry-looking, wrinkled, or cracked rind. They will keep at room temperature for two to three days or in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Pomegranate Punch

1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 quart gingerale

Have all ingredients chilled. Dissolve sugar in water and combine with pomegranate, orange and lemon juice. Add gingerale and serve. (More sugar may be added as needed; pineapple juice also is a good ingredient).

Pomegranate Drink

Serves 4 to 6.
  • 3 cups fresh pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • sugar to taste
  • a pinch of salt
  • seltzer or water, to taste, and ice cubes

Combine everything in a blender, or mix well in a pitcher and serve with ice cubes.

Concentrated pomegranate juice improves lipid profiles in diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia.
J Med Food. 2004 Fall;7(3):305-8.

This study assessed the effect of concentrated pomegranate juice (CPJ) consumption on lipid profiles of type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia (cholesterol >/= 5.2 mmol/L or triacylglycerol >/= 2.3 mmol/L). In this quasi-experimental study 22 otherwise healthy diabetic patients, 14 women (63.6%) and eight men (36.4%), were recruited from among patients referred to the Iranian Diabetes Society. The patients were followed for 8 weeks to establish a baseline for normal dietary intake before beginning the CPJ intervention. During the pre-study period a 24-hour food recall and food records (recording flavonoid-rich foods) were completed every 10 days. At the end of the eighth week, anthropometric and biochemical assessments were done. Thereafter the patients consumed 40 g/day of CPJ for 8 weeks, during which time dietary assessment was continued. After completing the study, anthropometric and blood indices were again evaluated. The Wilcoxon signed test was used for statistical analysis. A value of P <.05 was considered significant. Mean (+/-SD) age, weight, and duration of diabetes were 52.5 +/- 5.2 years, 71.5 +/- 10.3 kg, and 7.9 +/- 6.6 years, respectively. After consumption of CPJ, significant reductions were seen in total cholesterol (P <.006), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (P <.006), LDL-cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (P <.001), and total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol (P <.001). But, there were no significant changes in serum triacylglycerol and HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Anthropometric indices, physical activity, kind and doses of oral hypoglycemic agents, and the intakes of nutrients and flavonoid-rich foods showed no change during the CPJ consumption period. It is concluded that concentrated pomegranate juice consumption may modify heart disease risk factors in hyperlipidemic patients, and its inclusion therefore in their diets may be beneficial.

Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation.
Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33.

Dietary supplementation with polyphenolic antioxidants to animals was shown to be associated with inhibition of LDL oxidation and macrophage foam cell formation, and attenuation of atherosclerosis development. We investigated the effects of pomegranate juice (PJ, which contains potent tannins and anthocyanins) consumption by atherosclerotic patients with carotid artery stenosis (CAS) on the progression of carotid lesions and changes in oxidative stress and blood pressure. Ten patients were supplemented with pomegranate juice for 1 year and five of them continued for up to 3 years. Blood samples were collected before treatment and during pomegranate juice consumption. In the control group that did not consume pomegranate juice, common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) increased by 9% during 1 year, whereas, pomegranate juice consumption resulted in a significant IMT reduction, by up to 30%, after 1 year. The results of the present study thus suggest that pomegranate juice consumption by patients with CAS decreases carotid IMT and systolic blood pressure and these effects could be related to the potent antioxidant characteristics of pomegranate juice polyphenols.

Studies on antioxidant activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) peel extract using in vivo models.
J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 14;50(17):4791-5.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) peel extracts from the pomegranate tree fruit have been shown to possess significant antioxidant activity in various in vitro models. Dried pomegranate peels were powdered and extracted with methanol for 4 h. The dried methanolic extract was fed to albino rats of the Wistar strain, followed by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), and the levels of various enzymes, such as catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and lipid peroxidation were studied. Treatment of rats with a single dose of CCl4 at 2.0 g/kg of body weight decreases the levels of catalase, SOD, and peroxidase by 81, 49, and 89% respectively, whereas the lipid peroxidation value increased nearly 3-fold. Pretreatment of the rats with a methanolic extract of pomegranate peel at 50 mg/kg (in terms of catechin equivalents) followed by CCl4 treatment causes preservation of catalase, peroxidase, and SOD to values comparable with control values, wheres lipid peroxidation was brought back by 54% as compared to control. Histopathological studies of the liver were also carried out to determine the hepatoprotection effect exhibited by the pomegranate peel extract against the toxic effects of CCl4. Histopathological studies of the liver of different groups also support the protective effects exhibited by the MeOH extract of pomegranate peel by restoring the normal hepatic architecture.



       
ayurveda herbs ayurvedic supplements natural cure
ayurveda herbs ayurvedic supplements natural cure
ayurveda herbs ayurvedic supplements natural cure
ayurveda herbs ayurvedic supplements natural cure