Red, juicy and bright, pomegranate is packed with many essential nutrients. This superfood, commonly known as anar, is extremely delicious and healthy. When it comes to eating pomegranates, some people avoid eating their seeds. But did you know that these tiny seeds are actually edible and packed with a punch of health benefits?
Health Shots reached out to Nupuur Patil, a nutritionist and dietician based in Mumbai and UAE, to understand the health benefits of eating pomegranate seeds.
“Pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants, particularly punicalagin and anthocyanins, which help combat 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 says.
Health benefits of pomegranate seeds
Here are 6 health benefits of eating pomegranate seeds:
1. Packed with antioxidants
Pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants content, particularly polyphenols which help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Not only this, antioxidants also help fight against chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart health issues, and cancer. To reduce the risk of these diseases, consume pomegranate seeds and do not spit them.
2. Improves digestion
Pomegranate seeds are good for healthy digestion. Patil says, “These tiny seeds may promote digestion due to their fibre 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 woes. Additionally, pomegranate seeds may have a mild laxative effect, which can be beneficial for those experiencing digestive discomfort.
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3. Promote heart health
“Consuming pomegranate seeds can also improve cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing blood vessel function,” Patil says. The antioxidant content, particularly punicalagin and anthocyanins, and 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 skin
There are multiple benefits of pomegranate for skin. It helps improve skin health by reducing wrinkles, preventing sun tan and damage, reducing acne, boosting collagen production, and detoxifying the skin. The antioxidant content is helpful in reducing the risk of premature ageing. All in all, it helps contribute to radiant and youthful-looking skin.
5. Reduce the risk of cancer
Pomegranate seeds are rich in a few compounds, such as ellagic acid and anthocyanins, which have anti-cancer properties. These compounds inhibit the growth of cancer cells and promote apoptosis, a process by which the body naturally eliminates damaged or harmful cells. While more research is needed in this area, incorporating pomegranate seeds into your diet may contribute to cancer prevention efforts.
6. Boost immunity
Pomegranate seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate. 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 folate is crucial for DNA synthesis and cell repair. Consuming pomegranate seeds during the cold and flu season can help you stay healthy.
Pomegranate seeds are versatile and can be enjoyed for several health benefits!