This article is going to give an overview of the health benefits of pomegranate. This amazing fruit is recognized in the Bible as one of the Blessings the Promised Land would provide for the Israeli people as they entered into this land. Here’s the Scriptural context:
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey.” Deuteronomy 8:7-8
As modern day science continues to study this fruit, their research is showing that the health benefits of pomegranate center on two primary health issues:
- Cardiovascular Health
- Cancer Prevention
Let’s look at each so that you can see why this amazing fruit should be part of your daily diet.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate – Cardiovascular Health
Your cardiovascular health centers on the function of a tissue that lines all of your cardiovascular system. That tissue is called the endothelium.
This is a one-cell thick layer that lines the inside of all of your blood vessels. Your capillaries are just extensions of this endothelium. In fact, it is the largest tissue in your body. Let me give you a point of reference:
If you took your endolhelium out of your body and laid it flat out, depending on the size of the adult individual, it would cover the surface area of 3 to 6 tennis courts.
And the healthier your endothelium, the healthier your capillary function for improved blood flow.
Damage to your endothelium increases your risk for all types of cardiovascular disease. There are 4 main factors that damage your endothelium:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Sugar
- LDL Cholesterol or more specifically oxidized LDL Cholesterol
The health benefits of pomegranate focus mainly on preventing oxidized LDL cholesterol, reversing plaque formations that result from oxidized LDL, and enhancing the ability of the eNOS enzymes of the endothelium to produce higher levels of nitric oxide to dilate your blood vessels for improved blood flow.
Most statin drugs work to lower cholesterol and do a good job in accomplishing this objective. The problem is they do not work effectively in reducing the cause of plaque, which is oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol creates inflammation that then leads to the formation of plaque. As this plaque grows over time, the inside of your vascular system narrows.
This narrowing then increases your risk for a stroke or heart attack.
Your body has natural mechanism to protect you from this sequence. And this is where the health benefits of pomegranate extract show up:
- Protect LDL molecules from being oxidized
- Moderate the effects of inflammatory white blood cells and their role in plaque formation
- Boost your natural antioxidant systems to protect your endothelium from free radical damage
- Initiate vascular repair systems to help remove oxidized LDL from your arterial walls
- Enhance eNOS enzymes for greater production of nitric oxide
Additionally, a 2014 study showed that the combination of pomegranate extract with the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin significantly lowered both oxidized LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
For more details on the health benefits of pomegranate on cardiovascular health please click here.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate – Cancer Prevention
New studies are expanding the health benefits of pomegranate to cancer prevention. Pomegranate contains these key compounds:
These compounds help to initiate multiple pathways in cancer prevention. Primarily because they inhibit inflammation. But it goes beyond this.
Research in the health benefits of pomegranate, as it applies to cancer cells, has shown the following:
Block cell cycle – pomegranate can help to shut off the cancer cell’s ability to divide by targeting specific cancer genes needed for cell replication. But doesn’t effect healthy cells.
Induce cell death – compounds in pomegranate directly cause programmed death of cancer cells.
Blocks blood vessel formation that feed cancer cells – blood vessels are needed to support cancer growth in tumors. Pomegranate selectively blocks the needed growth factors to help limit the formation of new blood vessels in a tumor.
Preventing the spread of cancer – pomegranate helps to inhibit multiple factors, which then helps to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
Two specific cancers that have promising studies in helping to prevent them and their spread are prostate and breast cancer.
And there are ongoing studies on how pomegranate can help in the prevention of leukemia, bladder, brain, cervix, colon, liver, lung, skin, and thyroid cancers.
Plus, there are additional studies that show pomegranate aiding conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy. These ongoing studies seem to indicate that pomegranate enhances the cancer-killing effect of the drug while helping to protect normal cells.
For more details on the health benefits of pomegranate on cancer prevention please click here.
Personally, I’ve been using pomegranate fruit extract for over 10 years. I use it to help me enjoy the benefits as it applies to cardiovascular health. It’s good to know that it’s also helping me with cancer prevention.
Blessing Lives Through Nitric Oxide Therapy!