The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree, which is a member of the family Lythraceae. It is native to Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated over the entire Mediterranean region since ancient times.
These fruits prefer a semi-arid mild-temperate to subtropical climate and are naturally adapted to regions with cool winters and hot summers.
The fruits are red and categorized as berries, which grow about 5-12 cm (2-5 inches) in diameter. They are round, with a flower-shaped stem.
The skin of the fruits is inedible and thick, but the fruit is rich in hundreds of edible seeds, known as arils. These seeds can be eaten raw or processed into pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates are incredibly beneficial fruits that are full of essential nutrients and offer strong antioxidant power that prevents free radical damage.
A cup of these seeds has 144 calories and provides high amounts of potassium, folate, vitamins C and K, 7 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
The juice contains strong plant compounds, like punicalagins, while the seeds are high in punicic acid. The beneficial nutrients in these fruits have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties and prevent infections and illnesses.
The consumption of pomegranates fights inflammation, prevents obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, researchers have found that you can lower blood pressure by drinking 150ml of pomegranate juice daily for two weeks, and thus lower the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
The journal Atherosclerosis published a study which revealed that pomegranate extract can help you lower the risk of developing a heart disease, since it prevents the accumulation of fat and the thickening of the coronary arteries.
Researchers have found that pomegranate offers the following benefits:
- Reduces plaque buildups in arteries
- Prevents cardiac enlargement
- Prevents oxidative stress
- Inhibits chemokine, a chemical messenger linked to inflammation in the arteries
- Prevents ECG abnormalities
- Reduces the accumulation of lipids in the heart muscle
Moreover, another study has shown that pomegranate juice can reverse carotid artery stenosis by amazing 29% within a year!
Therefore, the consumption of fresh pomegranate juice will unclog the arteries and lower the risk of heart diseases.