POMEGRANATE

Introduction

The Pomegranate, also known as Punica granatum is a small tree or a bush that belongs to the family Lythraceae. Its juicy part is consumed as fresh fruit. On the other side, it is also consumed as juice, juices are also added in syrups, providing flavors and liqueurs. Pomegranates are rich in dietary fibers, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and folic acid. 

This plant is 5-7 meres Longwith elliptic to lance-shaped, having bright-green leaves approx 7.5 cm. Flowers borne at the end of branchlets are of orange-red colors. The Calyx is in five to seven lobes, petals are present between calyx lobes. The ovary is present in the calyx with several compartments lying one above the other in two series. The fruit, large orange, leathery skin, brownish, and consists of many chambers that contain transparent arils of reddish, juicy pulp and seeds are enclosed in it. (Pomegranate | NCCIH, n.d.)

History

In ancient times it showed great fertility and has been depicted in history many times. It is being in India for a long time. Now it is widely cultivated in California and Arizona(On the Pomegranate on JSTOR, n.d.).

In the 2000s it has reached the reputation of a trendy superfood. The study performed by POM Wonderful proved that there can be other uses of pomegranate other than salad, before this people thought that it can be applied as salad only. For now, these juices are available in stores and that is not confined to medical(Why Pomegranate, and Why Now? – Chowhound, n.d.)

Cultivation

Although it is indigenous to Iran and its neighboring countries, its cultivation is also reached to Arabian Afganistan and India. Commonly it is cultivated in the Americas, in the warmer parts of the Us to Chile. The warmer climatic conditions, dry atmosphere, and high temperature are favorable for the incubation period of Pomegranate. In soils loamy soil best suited to grow pomegranate. Propagation is best suited when it is cut 250-300 mm long wood and then rooting them in the open ground. 

Nutritional facts

Pomegranate consists of some antioxidant property and its trails are packed with nutrients, this provides a reduction in cell damage or delays cell damage. It is three-time rich in nutrients as compared to red wine and green tea. (Gil et al., 2000)(Verma et al., 2020)b(High Blood Pressure Dangers: Hypertension’s Effects on Your Body – Mayo Clinic, n.d.) The arils in pomegranate contain some other nutrients too, according to the US department of agriculture defines that half a cup of pomegranate juice contains 72 calories 27 grams (g) carbohydrates with 89 g sugar 5 g fiber (14 percent daily value, or DV) 205 milligrams (mg) potassium (about 5 percent DV) 3 micrograms (µg) vitamin K (about 18 percent DV) 33 µg folate (about 8 percent DV). 

Health benefits

Protect against heart diseases: some Studies showed that a person taking pomegranate with high cholesterol resulted in decreasing the level of cholesterol. This ultimately reduces the risk of heart diseases. (High Blood Pressure Dangers: Hypertension’s Effects on Your Body – Mayo Clinic, n.d.)  

Lowering the high blood pressure: As I mentioned earlier that pomegranate has antioxidant properties. Some studies have been proved that antioxidant that is found in pomegranate reduces the high blood pressure so that arteries, brain, and heart keep working well.(Ellulu et al., 2015)(Foods That Fight Inflammation – Harvard Health, n.d.)

Anti-inflammatory property: Pomegranate contains vitamin c type of property, this is helpful to protect against several diseases like different types of cancer and diabetes type-2 also. (Pomegranate | NCCIH, n.d.) (The Heart Truth® | NHLBI, NIH, n.d.)

Action against certain cancer: It is evident from some studies that drinking pomegranate reduces the chances of cancer, also slows down the spread of prostate cancer. (Pomegranate Juice: A Cure for Prostate Cancer? – Mayo Clinic, n.d.)

Erectile dysfunction: Study revealed that drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice resulted in erections in half of the patients under study.(Forest et al., 2007), 

Weight loss: there is not much data evident that it is good for weight loss, But some studies said that pomegranate contains fiber, so consumption of pomegranate would induce the feeling of fullness, due to which a person would end up having a lesser amount of diet. This can lead to weight loss but this won’t happen overnight. 

Some insufficient evidence uses are

In hardening of arteries. Some earlier studies showed that it removes the deposition of fatty acids in the neck arteries.

Symptoms of menopause: Some studies showed that pomegranate consumption might improve the sleeping habit of women going through menopause, and doesn’t reduces hot flashes. 

Metabolic syndrome: some studies earlier showed that pomegranate for one month if consumed daily, improves the functioning of blood vessels in adolescence hence reduces the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and stroke. Muscle strength: Consuming pomegranate improves muscle strength after exercise. 

Thrush: applying gel that contains pomegranate, improves the symptoms of thrush. 

Rheumatoid arthritis: studies show that consuming pomegranate for 2 weeks, 2 times a day, improves the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Sexually transmitted infection by Trichomonas vaginalis: previous studies showed that taking pomegranate can eradicate or reduce the infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis. 

Sunburn: earlier it was shown that consuming pomegranate by mouth doesn’t improve the sunburn symptom. It can also affect the hormonal dysfunction or enlargement of ovaries with a cyst known as polycystic ovary syndrome(POMEGRANATE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews, n.d.)

Side effects: Although pomegranate is very safe to use with no side-effect some people may face some allergic reactions after eating pomegranate. This may result in itchy eyes or eyes or difficulty in breathing. (Pomegranate | NCCIH, n.d.). There is a negative impact with diseases like a case high blood pressure and high cholesterol 

Or long with the medications taken for these diseases. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/pomegranate-juice/faq-20058560 The person must check or consult with a doctor before going for regular consumption of pomegranate or pomegranate-related products. 

Toxicity

It contains 25% of tannin and it is shown that tannin is carcinogenic and if taken in an excessive amount it can be severe to health. Due to the tannin content, immature fruit leaves are astringent to dysentery, halt diarrhea, hemorrhages. (Pomegranate, n.d.)

Precautions

In pregnancy and breastfeeding: It is generally considered safe for pregnant women. To use other forms of pomegranate like pomegranate extract, there is still a need for data for its safety.

Low blood pressure: It helps to decrease blood pressure, it may lead to the severity in a person having a problem of low blood pressure.

Surgery: While having surgery, pomegranate can reduce blood pressure. Doctors recommend stopping consuming pomegranate before 2 weeks of the surgery. 

Allergies to plants: People suffering from plant allergies have more chances to develop an allergic reaction after having a pomegranate. 

Dosing

Generally orally consumed

And in case of high blood pressure, 43-330 mL of the pomegranate used can be given to the patient daily for a time period of 18 months. (POMEGRANATE: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews, n.d.)

What about extract

Although pomegranate juice is good for health but makes sure to check the labels while consuming. It should not be mixed with other juices otherwise it may result in another sugary beverage. 

But what about the extract, The pomegranate extract is also considered good, It is similar to juices but in a more concentrated form, this can be the source of the more beneficial product. Pomegranate extract can be available as liquid or as a solid supplement. Yes, pomegranate juices and extracts are good but none of them gives the same benefit as given by the fresh pomegranate because these juices and extracts are made by the removal of many fibrous components. That reduces some of its quality.(What Are Pomegranates? Nutrition, Health Benefits, How to Eat Them, and More | Everyday Health, n.d.)

Cook with pomegranate

Oftentimes pomegranates are a garnish added to a drink or a main dish. But they can also be the star of the show if they’re eaten in seed form. Or, they could be blended into a juice, sauce, or dip.

Here are some recipe ideas featuring pomegranates, pomegranate juice, and pomegranate molasses: