Pomegranate Background and Benefits
The pomegranate is a deciduous tree known botanically as Punica granatum. It may grow as a shrub or small tree, with a maximum height of 25 feet. Pomegranates are primarily grown for their fruit, which may be eaten whole or made into juice. They also have other culinary uses such as garnishes and flavorings for alcoholic beverages.
The fruit of a pomegranate is generally round with a maximum diameter of five inches. The rind is primarily yellow when fully ripe, although it typically has pink and red areas. The inside of the fruit primarily consist of seed sacs, which are separated into compartments by pulp membranes. The seed sacs contain the juice, which has a rich, tart flavor.
Pomegranates probably originate from the Middle East, although they have also been cultivated in northern India and the Mediterranean since ancient times. They were also introduced to California and Central America during the 18th century. Pomegranates are currently cultivated on a commercial scale in tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout the world.
The most significant components in pomegranate juice with biological activity are a class of chemicals known as ellagitannins or punicalagins. Ellagic acid in particular has strong antioxidant properties that scavenge free radicals. These chemicals are highly reactive and may cause cellular damage, especially over a prolonged period of time.
Uses of Pomegranate
The most significant effects of pomegranate extract in health supplements are its antioxidant properties. Additional benefits of pomegranate include heart health support, digestive health support and prostate health management.
In addition to ellagic acid, pomegranate extract has other antioxidants such as polyphenols and tannins. These components provide many specific age-defying effects.
Pomegranate may help to support digestion by promoting the secretion of beneficial enzymes.
Heart health support
Pomegranate extract may support heart health by acting as a blood-thinning agent that can help manage plaque deposits in the arteries. It may also help to manage a healthy cholesterol profile.
Prostate health support
Some studies show that pomegranate juice may support prostate health by helping to maintain a healthy level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Signs You May Need Pomegranate
Skin damage caused by free radicals is one of the most obvious indications that you may need from pomegranate extract. These signs primarily include sun damage and wrinkling. A high PSA level is also an indication that pomegranate may be beneficial for men. Cardiovascular signs that pomegranate may help you include an unhealthy cholesterol profile. Digestive signs of a need for pomegranate extract include diarrhea, nausea, hemorrhoids and intestinal parasites.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Grape seed extract - Extracts of grape seed contains high levels of biologically active components such as flavonoids, oligomeric procyanidins and vitamin E. Grape seed extract has strong antioxidant activity.
Green tea extract - Green tea extract comes from leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) that have been lightly oxidized. The primary antioxidants in green tea extract are green tea catechins (GTC).
Bilberry extract - Bilberry extract may come from several species of plants in the Vaccinium genus. It contains a high level of antioxidants such as flavonoids and anthocyanins.