10 Cool Facts You Didn't Know About Pomegranates

Sweet and tart. Tangy and juicy. Delicious.

That's the pleasure you get when you crack open a fresh pomegranate and suck on the deep red seeds of the luscious fruit. Or when you simply crack open a bottle of pure pomegranate juice and take a satisfying gulp.

Not only are pomegranates tasty, but they're also full of natural health benefits. After all, this fruit's rich ruby-red look comes from polyphenols, the potent antioxidants. Plus, both the fruit and its outer skin are rich in flavonoids (a compound with important health benefits). That's part of the reason pomegranates have recently generated a flurry of excitement in the scientific community.

Bonus: November is National Pomegranate Month. So I recommend enjoying the delightful little gems while they're in season this fall and early winter. Not only is drinking an 8-ounce glass of unsweetened pomegranate juice a great way to start your day, but the fruit's vibrant red hues also make a wonderful addition to holiday meals.

Here's a look at some of the fascinating benefits of pomegranates discovered by researchers around the world:

1. They're anti-inflammatory.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University discovered that eating pomegranates reduces the production of chemicals that cause inflammation. In other words, they could provide relief of chronic inflammatory conditions and have anti-aging effects.

2. They're good for the heart.

As we know, pomegranate juice is rich in polyphenols with high-antioxidant potential. Research from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing notes that it's a heart-healthy fruit that can help reduce blood pressure.

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3. They can assist with weight loss.

Chinese researchers found that a polyphenol in pomegranate might help reduce obesity caused by high-fat diets and protect against metabolic disorders.

4. They help protect your skin from damage.

The strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate might help protect skin against sun-induced damage, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

5. They could improve sexual health.

Pomegranate juice has been shown to enhance blood flow. And a pilot study found that pure pomegranate juice could have beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction.

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6. They protect the liver.

Chinese researchers found that polyphenols and flavonoids, the major antioxidant components harnessed from pomegranates, might protect people from liver damage.

7. They help fight infection.

Pomegranate has been recognized for its antimicrobial effects. For example, the dried powder of pomegranate peel has been shown to strongly inhibit candida and yeast.

8. They could help women in labor.

A study from the University of Liverpool discovered that pomegranate extract has the potential to be used to encourage the uterus to contract during labor, through a rise in calcium, which is necessary for any muscle to contract.

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9. They protect against arthritis.

Pomegranate is used as a nutritional therapy in alternative medicine for inflammatory conditions like arthritis. U.S. scientists discovered that pomegranate could help reduce severe arthritis and joint inflammation and help keep your bones strong.

10. They help with brain health.

An international team of researchers led by the University of Huddersfield discovered that a natural polyphenol compound found in pomegranate can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells, to help prevent or slow down Alzheimer's development.

Want to learn more about how to enjoy pomegranates? Check out the recipes I created for The Fat Resistance Diet.

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