Pomegranate: the Superfruit!
The Takeaway First
Remember years ago when I was raving about pomegranates? I’m still raving, and it’s because scientists are finding out more and more about the power of pomegranate juice and extract to boost male health. The latest findings, which I list below, confirm that pomegranate extract induces cancer cell death, blocks free radicals, and counters inflammation. For these and other reasons, pomegranate is a genuine superfruit—so put it on your shopping list!
The Details of Studies
The latest study (Lucci et al., 2015) on pomegranate and prostate cancer, published this past January in the journal Food Chemistry, found that pomegranate extract had a strong ability to block the growth of new cancer cells—also known as an antiproliferative property. This study also confirmed that pomegranate contained powerful antioxidants and healthy fats.
Another study (Ammar et al., 2015) published around the same time in the journal Prostate looked at how pomegranate extract affected prostate enlargement in rats. Compared to controls, the prostates of rats that received pomegranate extract shrunk by a whopping 30 percent. OK, we are talking about rats here, but still.
My Take on Pomegranates
It’s very interesting living in the 21st century because of the way traditional medicine and modern science are colliding. Pomegranates have been used in Indian Ayurveda traditional medicine for thousands of years, and now scientists are taking these traditions into the lab to examine their specific effects, and the specific mechanisms by which they do what they do.
The body is a complicated machine, so I don’t mean to claim that pomegranate juice or extract, by itself, is going to cure you of any disease without incorporating other key nutrients and lifestyle practices. Foods are just about as complicated as we are, and frankly, we only know a tiny bit about the numerous chemicals that give pomegranates their effect. However, the latest findings provide a pretty good reason to give pomegranates a place in our dietary lifestyle. Besides their antiproliferative and antioxidant properties, pomegranates can be an aid in weight management and can also help to manage diabetes. They contain good fiber and plenty of nutrients, too. Because of pomegranates’ high anti-oxidant content, scholars have suggested that it could aid in circulation and cardiovascular health (Zhang et al., 2011). Oh and yes, pomegranate can improve blood flow down below and possibly improve erectile function. (I’m waiting eagerly for more research on this!)
What You Should Do
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the benefits of pomegranates. My personal recommendation is to eat pomegranate seeds whole ( in a salad or something) or blend them together in a refreshing smoothie. After all, whole foods work synergistically; this means that you’ll get a lot more from eating the fruit as it appears on the tree than, say, from ingesting a few ingredients isolated in a lab. If it’s hard to get the whole fruit where you live, then by all means take a dietary supplement. I do. We can see from the latest research that even pomegranate “extract” has powerful effects.
Ammar, A. E., Esmat, A., Hassona, M. D., Tadros, M. G., Abdel-Naim, A. B., & Guns, E. S. (2015). The effect of pomegranate fruit extract on testosterone-induced BPH in rats. Prostate, 75(7), 679-692. doi: 10.1002/pros.22951
Lucci, P., Pacetti, D., Loizzo, M. R., & Frega, N. G. (2015). Punica granatum cv. Dente di Cavallo seed ethanolic extract: antioxidant and antiproliferative activities. Food Chem, 167, 475-483. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.123
Zhang, Q., Radisavljevic, Z. M., Siroky, M. B., & Azadzoi, K. M. (2011). Dietary antioxidants improve arteriogenic erectile dysfunction. International Journal of Andrology, 34(3), 225-235. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2010.01083.x