Pomegranate

Pomegranate is known as one of the oldest fruits. Its botanical name Punica granatum. Pomegranate has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of diseases. It is understood to be the fruit that grew in the Garden of Eden and which biblical scouts brought to Moses to show the fertility of the promised land. It is also said to have 613 seeds – corresponding to the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah. It is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout India and the drier parts of southeast Asia. 

It is a rounded shrub or small tree growing 6 to 10 m high, the pomegranate has multiple spiny branches, and is extremely long-lived, with some specimens in France surviving for 200 years. They  prefer a semi-arid mild-temperate to subtropical climate and are naturally adapted to regions with cool winters and hot summers. They cannot survive the humid climates. It is usually deciduous, but in certain areas the leaves will persist on the tree. The trunk is covered by a red-brown bark which later becomes gray. The branches are stiff, angular and often spiny. There is a strong tendency to sucker from the base. They have glossy, leathery leaves that are narrow and lance-shaped. The attractive scarlet, white or variegated flowers are over an inch across and have 5 to 8 crumpled petals and a red, fleshy, tubular calyx which persists on the fruit. The flowers may be solitary or grouped in twos and threes at the ends of the branches. The pomegranate is self-pollinated as well as cross-pollinated by insects. Cross-pollination increases the fruit set. Wind pollination is insignificant. The edible fruit is a berry, intermediate in size between a lemon and a grapefruit, 5–12 cm in diameter with a rounded shape and thick, reddish skin. The number of seeds in a pomegranate can vary from 200 to about 1400.Pomegranate juice can be sweet or sour but most fruits are moderate in taste, with sour notes from the acidic tannins contained in the juice. Pomegranate juice has long been a popular drink in Armenia, greater Iran, Israel and India, and now is widely distributed in the United States and Canada. 

The pomegranate is a nutrient dense food source rich in phytochemical compounds. This fruit is claimed to be effective against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer. A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagin is the major component responsible for pomegranate's antioxidant and health benefits. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away. A potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes. Some people use pomegranate for flu, swelling of the lining of the mouth (stomatitis), gum disease, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, acidosis and HIV Disease. It helps in preventing obesity and and also in weightloss. It  is used as a gargle for sore throat, and it is applied to the skin to treat hemorrhoids. Eating a pomegranate every day is a good way to add fibre to your daily diet. One pomegranate can fulfil about 45% of your daily recommended intake of fibre, which is about 20 to 35g. Many studies have shown that they have incredible benefits for our body. Traditionally, pomegranates are known as a symbol of health, with several Ayurvedic and herbal medicinal scriptures mentioning their use as a natural remedy. Being rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, pomegranates are extremely healthy for those suffering from immune-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and osteroarthrits. They are also rich in vitamin C, which boosts antibody production and development of immunity. Pomegranates can thus help you maintain a healthy immune system. Pomegranate juice has been linked to reduced symptoms of erectile dysfunction and are considered as a symbol of fertility.  A glass of pomegranate juice boosts testosterone levels in both men and women. This property makes natural aphrodisiac that is great for your sex life. Pomegranates contain certain compounds that are similar to sex steroids found in the human system, explaining why it improves sex stamina and desires. Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, being completely unprocessed, triumphs over packaged juice any day, as it retains the maximum number of vitamins. A single glass of pomegranate juice can provide you with 40% of the daily requirement of folic acid and vitamins A, C, and E. Although pomegranate juice contains fructose, it does not elevate the blood sugar levels as other fruit juices do. Daily intake of a glass of pomegranate juice can slow down the growth of cancerous cells in prostate cancer. Pomegranate juice has strong anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties which help fight viruses and bacteria and boost our immunity system. Pomegranate juice contains ample amount of iron which helps in surmounting the red blood cell deficiency in the body therefore it is very good for people suffering from Anemia. 

Pomegranate juice is extremely beneficial for pregnant women. It is a great source of a number of vitamins and minerals including folic acid which is a crucial element of a pre natal diet. The anti-inflammatory property of pomegranate juice ensures a healthy blood flow, which is essential for the overall development of the foetus . The potassium content in this juice can also help prevent leg cramps that are generally associated with pregnancy. When consumed regularly by expectant mothers, it is known to lower the risk of premature child birth or birth of babies with low birth weight. Pomegranate juice, can be a secret potion to get a healthy, vibrant and youthful skin.  It can help to slow down the process of ageing by reducing wrinkles and fine lines caused by constant exposure to sun.  It also helps to sustain the regeneration of the skin cells and prevents hyper pigmentation and occurrence of dark spots. works wonders for dry skin . Its small molecular structure penetrates deeply into the skin to provide ample moisturisation and hydration to the skin. Thus it soothes dry and irritated skin. Its content of punicic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid keeps the skin constantly hydrated by sealing in the moisture. Pomegranate juice is beneficial for oily and pimple prone skin too. Application of pomegranate juice on oily skin prevents the outbreak of pimples and controls the production of sebum. Even the oil of pomegranate seeds is loaded with skin friendly nutrients which are beneficial for the strengthening and regeneration of the epidermis. It also protects the skin from sun burns and heals the damage caused to the skin due to constant exposure to the sun. The research showed it packs more antioxidants than grape, blueberry, and orange juices. It even edges ahead of green teas and wine. So, I will say that it is the best fruit which can be enjoyed in the juice form too.

References are taken from :- incredible smoothies, wikipedia, health site, webd, nutrition and you, style craze

(all the pictures are sourced from the internet)

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