Pomegranate juice proves that juice doesn’t have to be green to be healthy. In fact, in some cases, it may even be the healthier option. This delectably sweet, ruby red beverage that comes from pomegranate seeds contains over 100 phytochemicals and is jam-packed with impressive health benefits.
Of course, all of this only applies to 100 percent pure pomegranate juice, not the processed “juice blends” that really only contain a tiny amount of pomegranate.
So, why should you drink a glass of pomegranate juice each day?
1. It Reduces The Risk Of Some Cancers
Pomegranate fruit contains polyphenols and other compounds that have been found in scientific studies to offers powerful effects that include reducing the risk of certain cancers, including breast, lung, prostate and other cancers. Research from 2003 showed that the oil from pomegranate seeds dramatically lowered the occurrence of skin cancer in mice that had been exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.
Multiple other studies have had similar results, including finding that the primary active compound in pomegranate seed oil, punicic acid, provides anti-proliferative effects on breast cancer that aid in halting the spread of cancerous cells. Especially promising research that was published in 2006 in the journal Clinical Cancer, found that pomegranate juice is particularly good for prostate cancer patients. Men who had been diagnosed with the disease and who had already undergone surgery or radiation to treat it were given eight ounces of pomegranate juice a day, until there was cancer progression. The results showed that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time was significantly prolonged in those who drank the juice daily. The finding is significant as PSA is considered a blood marker for prostate cancer and the PSA doubling time is used to determine the life expectancy of a prostate cancer patient, with the lower PSA doubling time meaning a better outlook.
2. Supports Heart Health
The punicic acid in pomegranates offers properties that can help manage cholesterol levels and normalize blood pressure to support heart health. 2010 research published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that volunteers who took pomegranate seed oil daily for a four-week period had reduced levels of triglycerides and lower ratios of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. Flavonoids in the fruit also help to lower overall cholesterol, in turn, helping to decrease the total number of unhealthy fat cells to help shed excess weight.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the primary contributors to strokes and heart attacks, but those polyphenols also work to help normalize blood pressure levels. A study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2014 showed that pomegranate juice played a key role in protecting the cardiovascular system in those diagnosed with the condition. It naturally lowered blood pressure just two weeks after participants began consuming it daily. Further research in 2017 led researchers to note that the evidence “suggests it may be prudent to include this fruit juice in a heart-healthy diet.”
3. Boosts Memory
If you want to improve your memory, you have yet another reason to drink a glass of pomegranate juice each day. Researchers have found that its polyphenols are neuroprotective.
In a 2013 study which assigned participants with memory problems to drink a cup of either pomegranate juice or a flavor-matched placebo beverage for four weeks found that it significantly improved markers of verbal and visual memory. The experts concluded that the juice seemed to improve memory function. Other research has provided evidence that this delicious fruit may reduce the risk, or at least delay the onset of, Alzheimer’s disease.
4. It Has Aphrodisiac Properties
In a number of cultures throughout history, pomegranates have been associated with fertility. It seems that people have known for centuries what science has proven. The fruit has frequently been reported to have a positive impact on sexual functioning, similar to the popular pharmaceutical drug Viagra when consumed regularly. A 2012 study out of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, revealed that both men and women who consumed pomegranate juice for a two-week period experienced dramatically increased levels of the sex hormone testosterone. A higher testosterone level is known to increase sexual desire and lift one’s mood.
Drinking the juice may even help those with issues such as erectile dysfunction, as it’s been seen to work in animals with the condition as well as some studies that included a small number of humans. While study authors concluded that additional studies with more patients and longer treatment periods are necessary to prove this, they believe there is the strong potential for pomegranates to be used as an alternative to common erectile dysfunction medications.
5. Aids Fertility
The high concentration of antioxidants and the ability of pomegranate juice to impact oxidative stress mean that it may aid fertility. Oxidative stress has been found to result in sperm dysfunction as well as playing a role in decreasing fertility in women.
6. Fights Inflammation
Pomegranate juice contains a high level of antioxidants, in fact, the fruit is ranked among some of the top high-antioxidant foods, with studies showing it has a greater antioxidant capacity than red wine, grape juice, green tea and cranberry juice. This also results in its ability to be a powerful inflammation fighter. One study demonstrated its significant anti-inflammatory action in the gut, while other research focused on individuals with type II diabetes also found that it was able to reduce inflammation. Subjects drank just a little over one cup of pomegranate juice each day for 12 weeks and were able to significantly lower their inflammatory markers, including CRP by 32 percent and 30 percent for interleukin-6.
7. Relieves Pre- & Post-Menopause Symptoms
Women experiencing both pre- and post-menopause symptoms should definitely be drinking pomegranate juice daily. That’s because it contains a phytoestrogen referred to as 17-alpha-estradiol, a compound that along with the other nutrients in the oil, have been found to work together to relieve symptoms like hot flashes. Research from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria, found that women who took pomegranate seed oil each day for a 12-week period experienced a moderate reduction in symptoms that improved for another year after intervention. It also helps to improve sleep issues.
In a lab study, pomegranate extract also showed that it may relieve symptoms like bone loss and depression associated with menopause. Polyphenols, which are important substances found in pomegranate and other fruits, have been taken from the juice and tested against breast cancer cell lines in vitro. Other research using pomegranate seed oil showed a 90% inhibition of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Additional tests have had similar results, revealing that both pomegranate oil and pomegranate juice have a strong effect on breast cancer cell growth.
8. Reduces Inflammation & The Pain Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Inflammation plays a primary role in worsening symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an aggressive form of arthritis. The disease is said to be in remission when inflammation is absent or low. Studies have found that various foods have a role in inflammation and arthritis. Foods that have a high level of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants may help neutralize inflammation and relieve symptoms. One of the foods most often recommended is pomegranate.
Research has shown that consuming pomegranates, and pomegranate juice, can reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by suppressing inflammation as well as reducing swelling, joint tenderness and pain. It also helps to block the production of a cartilage-destroying enzyme.
A 2011 study found that pomegranate extract reduced joint tenderness in rheumatoid arthritis patients by 62 percent. The experts credited pomegranates’ antioxidant properties, coming to the conclusion that the fruit may help lessen symptoms in those with the disease. Another study, conducted in 2016, demonstrated that pomegranate extract can reduce biomarkers of the condition and oxidative stress. Those who were given pomegranate extract two times each day experienced significantly less joint tenderness, swelling, and pain intensity as compared to a placebo group.
9. Relieves Osteoarthritis Symptoms
In addition to treating rheumatoid arthritis, pomegranate juice can help those with osteoarthritis, one of the most prevalent forms of musculoskeletal conditions that lead to joint degeneration. Research has suggested that pomegranate juice may play a protective role by reducing cartilage inflammation which has been attributed to its high level of antioxidants.
A 2016 Iranian study looked at the effects of pomegranate juice on patients who’d been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in their knees. Some of them drank pomegranate juice for six weeks while the others drank a different control substance. The results showed that consuming pomegranate juice had a number of positive effects, including decreasing the breakdown of cartilage enzymes, improving antioxidant status, physical function and stiffness.
10. It’s Antiviral & Anti-Bacterial
Thanks to its high level of vitamin C and a number of other immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin E, pomegranate juice may help to prevent an illness and fight off infection. The fruit has also been tested and found to be antibacterial and antiviral in lab tests. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties can also reduce the effects of dental plaque to help protect against a wide range of oral diseases.
11. Treats Anemia
Drinking pomegranate juice can help maintain healthy blood flow through the body, and as it supplies iron, it also helps to reduce symptoms of anemia, like weakness, dizziness, exhaustion and hearing loss.
12. Improves Digestion
Pomegranate juice can also be used to resolve digestive issues like an upset stomach and diarrhea as well as reducing problems associated with cholera and dysentery. The fruit has a key role in the secretion of enzymes to improve digestive functioning. As it’s a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, that further aids digestion and improves bowel movement while helping to keep one feel more satiated longer, which can even aid weight loss efforts.
13. Lowers The Risk Of Osteoporosis & Reduces Symptoms
Recent studies have revealed that pomegranate juice can help people who suffer from osteoporosis and help prevent it in those who haven’t been diagnosed. The fruit is said to be exceptionally effective in attacking the protein Interleukin 1-b, a pro-inflammatory protein, which is largely responsible for causing osteoarthritis and the degradation of the cartilage. The enzymes present in the fruit prevent damage and degeneration of the cartilage thereby, preventing osteoarthritis while inhibiting the anti-inflammatory response in the body, making the juice beneficial for those with osteoporosis as well.
14. Aids Pregnancy & Improves Fetal Health
As pomegranates are very rich nutritionally, with a good amount of niacin, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, folate, iron, and fiber, drinking the juice is very beneficial for pregnant women as well as the baby they’re carrying. It helps to maintain a pregnant woman’s health while also encouraging cell growth. Consuming pomegranate juice during pregnancy also helps to reduce cramps and improve sleep length and quality. It’s also been found to improve blood flow to the baby to lower the risk of brain damage.