Can Pomegranates cure cancer? Probably not, but they may help to reduce the risk of cancer, as well as numerous other ailments. Pomegranate may be one of the most powerful superfoods available, and this article discusses the health benefits and dangers of Pomegranate, as well as ideas for adding this superfood to your diet.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Pomegranates are highly nutritious, and are high in important nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. Pomegranates have more antioxidants than other superfoods such as green tea and blueberries, making them excellent immune system boosters. The antioxidant effect of Pomegranate is also associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Pomegranate contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act like estrogen in the body. Because of the estrogenic effects, Pomegranate may be an excellent superfood for women who have hormonal imbalances due to menopause, post-pill amenorrhea or pregnancy. For men, the estrogenic effects of Pomegranate may slow the growth of prostate cancer. Pomegranate has also been shown to have preventative effects for other types of cancer, including breast cancer and skin cancer. According to a 2004 article published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, Pomegranate Oil significantly reduced the occurrence of skin cancer in mice.
Health Dangers of Pomegranate
It is best to avoid Pomegranate while you are taking cholesterol-reducing drugs, as the combination may cause rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers. Allergies to Pomegranate are extremely rare, but a few cases have been reported. If you have other food sensitivities, watch for adverse reactions the first time you try Pomegranate. Because Pomegranate contains phytoestrogens, it may aggravate endometriosis or breast cysts. It’s also important to remember that the health benefits of Pomegranate cannot make up for an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. Adding superfoods to your diet should be part of a holistic approach to bettering your health that includes balanced nutrition, reasonable exercise and stress management.
Ideas for Adding Pomegranate to Your Diet
It can be easy (and delicious) to add Pomegranate to your diet. You can buy Pomegranates as a whole fruit, or as Pomegranate Juice; when eating a raw Pomegranate, you eat the seeds and discard the skin. Pomegranates are in season from October to January. Pomegranate is also commonly mixed into other foods and drinks, so check labels to ensure it is real Pomegranate and not simply a flavoring. Below are some ideas for adding this superfood to your diet.
*Drink Pomegranate Juice
*Choose other juices that contain Pomegranate Juice
*Add Pomegranate seeds to salads
*Include Pomegranate in fruity desserts (Click here for a Spiced Pears and Pomegranate recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spiced-Pears-and-Pomegranate/Detail.aspx)
*Use Pomegranate Juice to marinate poultry
*Mix Pomegranate seeds into yogurt
*Top your cereal with Pomegranate seeds
*Choose Pomegranate syrup instead of maple syrup
*Mix with ginger, orange and honey for a Pomegranate Ginger Relish, then serve on sandwiches
*Drink Green Tea that has been supplemented with Pomegranate
American Journal of Cardiology; Rhabdomyolysis Associated With Pomegranate Juice Consumption; Alexey V Sorokin, et al. http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149%2806%2901006-X/abstract
Breast Cyst Education; Phytoestrogens cause Breast Cysts; Elizabeth Smith, MD http://www.nobreastcyst.com/phyto.html
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry; Safety and Antioxidant Activity of a Pomegranate Ellagitannin-Enriched Polyphenol Dietary Supplement in Overweight Individuals with Increased Waist Size; David Heber, et al.; 2007 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf071689v
Journal of Medicinal Food; Chemopreventive Effects of Pomegranate Seed Oil on Skin Tumor Development in CD1 Mice; Justin J. Hora, et al.; 2004 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/10966200360716553
Juicing for Health; Pomegranate: Nutrition Information and Facts http://www.juicing-for-health.com/pomegranate.html
Self Nutrition Data; Nutrition Facts; Pomegranates, raw http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2038/2
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler; Pomegranate Power; 2006 http://www.uthct.edu/fitnessoverforty/episodes/pomegranatepower/
WebMD; Breast Cancer Health Center; Pomegranates May Fight Breast Cancer; Jennifer Warner http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20100105/pomegranates-may-stall-breast-cancer