From Dr. Mercola:
If you cut a pomegranate in half, you’ll find it’s filled with juice-filled seed sacs called arils (about 600 of them in an average pomegranate). If you’re willing to put in the work to get them out, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful tart flavor and health benefits to boot.
In the US, however, pomegranate, the “seeded apple,” is often passed by in the produce section because of the perception that it’s too complex to get to the “jewels,” or arils.
As a result, pomegranate juice has skyrocketed in popularity while the whole fruit sits in the shadows (at least in the U.S.; worldwide it’s one of the most popular fruits). Many of the research studies have looked into pomegranate juice, but I strongly suggest consuming the fruit in its whole form instead.
You’ll get the antioxidants that pomegranates are known for without the excess fructose that can come from fruit juice (plus, pomegranate arils have beneficial fiber that’s not found in the juice).
Pomegranates Are Technically a Berry
The pomegranate has a thick leathery skin and a striking bright red color, giving it a somewhat exotic appearance. It’s actually classified as a berry, which is filled with edible seeds.
Pomegranates are one of the oldest known fruits, originating in Persia, and have traditionally been associated with health, fertility, and longevity.
They’ve been found in Egyptian tombs, eaten by Babylonian soldiers prior to battle, and incorporated into Persian wedding ceremonies to symbolize a joyous future. The arils are quite impressive, nutritionally speaking. In one cup, you’ll find:1
Fiber (7 grams) Protein (3 grams) Vitamin C (30 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) Vitamin K (36 percent of the RDA) Folate (16 percent of the RDA) Potassium (12 percent of the RDA) Antioxidants – Pomegranates’ Claim to Fame
Pomegranates have a number of nutritive properties in addition to those listed above, including providing a good source of B vitamins, copper, manganese, fiber, and phosphorus. However, what this fruit is really known for is its impressive antioxidant content.
According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which compared the potency of 10 different polyphenol-rich beverages, pomegranate juice scored top billing as the healthiest of them all.2
Its potency was found to be at least 20 percent greater than any of the other beverages tested, beating out concord grape juice, acai, and blueberry juice—three well-known sources of potent antioxidants. It beat them primarily because it contained the most of every type of antioxidant.
Pomegranates contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, in significant amounts. Ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins account for about half of pomegranates’ antioxidant ability, and many of their health benefits.
Pomegranates have been studied for their potential role in 105 different diseases and have at least 39 associated pharmacological actions.3
9 Healing Benefits of Pomegranates
1. Improve Heart Health
According to the authors of a study published in the