The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is considered the oldest medicinal fruit of humanity. It has been used for centuries as a food and beverage. Its health-promoting properties are known in many cultures and are also extensively used.
Hardly any other plant has undergone more nutritional studies in recent years than pomegranate.
Health effects studied in studies
While so far mainly green tea and red wine have been attributed strong antioxidant effects, it has now been proven that the pomegranate in addition to other health-promoting properties has a much higher antioxidant activity. Among other things, health effects on the cardiovascular system as well as the lipid and sugar metabolism are described.
Studies show that pomegranate has preventive effects on the development of malignant diseases such as prostate and breast cancers, inflammatory and degenerative diseases and menopausal symptoms.
Pomegranate against oxidative stress
Cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, lipid metabolism diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic diseases, degenerative and in particular neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) belong to the diseases in whose formation and progression oxidative stress plays a role.
Oxidative stress can also contribute to erectile dysfunction, obesity and obesity, and obesity itself can increase oxidative stress. Also in the development of chronic liver diseases, especially fatty liver, oxidative damage plays a crucial role, alcohol-induced damage to the liver included.
Oxidative damage has a partially significant influence on the development and progression of benign and malignant tumors (for example, carcinomas) and their precursors, as well as on numerous other diseases. The same applies to premature aging processes or damage to genetic material, such as environmental toxins.
Composition of the ingredients crucial
Over the past seven years, more than 300 scientific papers on pomegranate have been published. Numerous interesting effects of pomegranate have been demonstrated in clinical and human studies.
However, the pomegranate's spectrum of action is not associated with a single ingredient in a compound. Therefore, a highly concentrated application of isolated ingredients of pomegranate - as with most plants - does not make sense. Rather, the secret of the pomegranate lies precisely in the special interaction of the numerous ingredients that achieve an extraordinary effect.
Antioxidant effects of pomegranate
Numerous effects are associated with the pronounced antioxidant effects of pomegranate preparations. The antioxidant effect of pomegranate juice exceeds even the rectified activity of "food favorites" such as red wine, green tea, blueberry juice and grape juice, but also of vitamin C and vitamin E.
For example, this could be demonstrated by the extent of protection of nitric oxide (NO) from oxidative destruction. Although blueberry juice and grape juice already have significant antioxidant effects, the effect of pomegranate juice was more than a thousand times higher.
Protection of the cardiovascular system
The anti-arteriosclerotic effects of pomegranate juice are mainly associated with the pronounced antioxidant effect. Interestingly, 50 milliliters of pomegranate juice per day resulted in a 36 percent reduction in ACE and a five percent reduction in systolic blood pressure per day within two weeks in hypertensive patients.
5 facts about pomegranates - © istockphoto, Lecic
Positive effects on lipid and sugar metabolism
In diabetics, endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerotic vascular changes in the form of micro- and macroangiopathies occur particularly early and are accelerated. Oxidative stress is a patho-physiological key mechanism. The ability of pomegranate preparations to reduce sugar uptake in the gut and improve postpartum overgrowth is consistent with the effects described in diabetes.
Compatibility of pomegranate
The pomegranate juice pressed from the fruit has been valued for centuries as a well-tolerated food. Special side effects are unknown. The fruit juice is sugar and calorie-containing and therefore only partially suitable for diabetics. He is also acidic, which is why - as with other acidic fruit juices - should be paid to the protection of the enamel (an hour away from brushing teeth).