The pomegranate tree produces a certain kind of fruit that is believed to have numerous health benefits. The tree itself can also be used to make certain types of herbal medicines. However, the concentration of all the nutrients lies on the fruits. A pomegranate fruit is packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help fight many diseases, including certain kinds of cancer.
Below is a list that enumerates the many known pomegranate health benefits:
1. Lowers instances of heart diseases
Pomegranate can effectively lower down a person’s blood pressure. With constant intake, the risk associated with heart failure, stroke, and plaque buildup in the arteries is reduced. This fruit can keep even the smallest veins of the heart healthy.
2. Boosts the immune system
Pomegranate fruit juice can decrease the bacterial content of the body, while warding off viral infections in the process. Eating the fruit or drinking its juice makes the body several times stronger.
3. Protects against osteoarthritis
It has been discovered that pomegranate can slow down the deterioration of cartilages around the bones. With regular use, bone diseases are prevented. And with the promise of a stronger set of bones and joints, longevity is attainable.
4. Fights against diabetes
Pomegranate is an ideal fruit for diabetic patients as it can lower down blood sugar content while flushing out fats from the digestive tract.
5. Lowers cholesterol
Pomegranate juice can reduce the risk factors related to most heart diseases because of its high concentration of antioxidants. The juice can possibly oxidize LDL, thus allowing the heart to perform better.
6. Prevents breast cancer
Certain enzymes found in the fruit can destroy the cells that cause breast cancer. This makes pomegranate the best fruit for women who are at a high risk for this disease.
Pomegranate Side Effects
But despite the wonderful health benefits of pomegranate, there are a few side effects that daily users should watch out for. These are:
Some people develop a certain kind of allergic reactions to fruits like pomegranate. The ones affected most are those who suffer from asthma. Allergy to this fruit may cause nausea, itchy eyes, hives, difficulty in breathing, and vomiting.
2. May conflict with certain medicines
While all of the health effects of pomegranate are beneficial to the body, it may not be for a few individuals. Those who are taking medicines to increase their blood pressure would find this fruit clashing with their medications. Several types of medicines fail to metabolize because of the enzymes present in the fruit.
3. Not for patients who had gone or will undergo surgery
Because pomegranate can help lower down blood pressure, its functions may interfere with those who will undergo surgery later on. Patients are advised not to take this fruit at least two weeks before and after surgery.
4. Gastrointestinal irritations
Aside from allergies, diarrhea may occur when taking high amounts of pomegranate juice. It may help to check the fruit juice label. When buying bottled pomegranate juice, be sure that it contains only fruit extracts and not root extracts. Juice from the roots usually causes gastrointestinal problems.
If one or all of these pomegranate side effects show up, be sure to talk to your health provider about it. Or better yet, tell your doctor beforehand your intentions of taking pomegranate fruit or juice regularly. Doing so will reduce the possibility of these side effects.
Healthy Pomegranate Recipes
The health benefits of pomegranate are best obtained when the fruit or its juice is added to one’s daily meals. Below are some sumptuous examples of healthy, tasty, and very easy-to-follow pomegranate recipes.
1. Pomegranate Spinach Salad
Spinach is best added to pomegranate to make a very nutritious salad or side dish. To prepare this recipe, you’ll need:
- Baby spinach leaves
- Red onions
- Walnut pieces
- Crumbled feta
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Pomegranate fruit
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
Since this is a salad recipe, the proportions of the above-listed ingredients will be left to you. Simply mix and toss all ingredients in a big bowl. Serve fresh.
2. Pomegranate and Carrot Soup
To make a nice pomegranate soup mixed with healthy and delicious carrot soup, here are what you’ll need:
- 4 cups carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin, grounded
- 3/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Add onions, pomegranate molasses, carrots, and cumin. Cook for 15 mins. Add chicken stock, leaving 1 cup for later. Cover. Cook until carrots are tender. Transfer mixture in a blender, adding the remaining chicken stock to make a puree. Take the solution back to the burner and heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in a bowl. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Enjoy hot.
3. Chicken in Walnut and Pomegranate
For this main dish, you’ll need:
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless and deboned
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1 tbsp Pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
- Minced thyme
- Olive oil
Using a saucepan, combine pomegranate juice, seeds, broth, and wine. Simmer for 15 mins. Swirl butter. Add salt, pepper, and minced thyme. Let it simmer on low heat.
Prepare chicken. Combine rice flour and walnut in a chopper. Put in a plate and coat the chicken. Saute chicken in a skillet until cooked. Garnish with seeds. Serve with the prepared sauce.
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