Health Reasons to Eat Pomegranates

Cut through the hype and find out the real reasons that pomegranates are so healthy for you.
Hands holding pomegranate arils in the shape of a heart.

Hands holding pomegranate arils in the shape of a heart.

Pomegranate seeds shaping heart in hands

Photo by: olgaman

olgaman

Remember when pomegranate juice hit the shelves along with a lot of marketing hype about its super powers? While pomegranate juice does have laudable health benefits (it might help quell the growth of prostate cancer, prevent heart disease and improve memory), eating pomegranate arils may be even better. (FYI on the lingo: Arils are the seeds encapsulated by jewel-like juice sacs.) In fact, for all fruits and vegetables, getting the whole form is usually better than the juice, as whole fruits are packaged in perfect portions.

They’re rich in health-promoting flavanols. Flavanols are plant compounds that give pomegranate juice and the whole fruit most of its most-promising health benefits (see above: cancer and heart disease prevention, memory).

They take a long time to eat. Consider grapes: They are big, plump, sweet and easy to eat. You can down a couple cups of grapes (200 calories) without even realizing it. Pomegranates, on the other hand, make you work for those arils within. And the arils themselves contain seeds that require chewing.

Fiber! A half cup of pomegranate arils gives you 4 grams of fiber. Eating enough fiber is important for several aspects of your health: It makes you feel full, which can help keep your calorie intake in check, it can lower your cholesterol and it prevents your blood sugar from spiking. Women should get at least 25 grams per day; men need at least 38 grams.

They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals. Pomegranates are a good source of vitamins C and K, which support supple skin and strong bones, respectively. They also have a smattering of numerous other vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

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