Pomegranate (Punica granatum
) is a shrub widely known for its healthy red fruits, that contains hundreds of edible seeds called arils. These seeds are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. Two of the most beneficial compounds are:
- Punicalagins: Powerful antioxidants that are predominately concentrates in the juice and peel of the fruit
- Punicic acid: the seed oil and main fatty acid in the arils.
Anthocyanins from pomegranate fruit were found to possess higher antioxidant activity than vitamin-E (????-tocopherol), ????-carotene, and ascorbic acid.
Ancient Egyptians realized the benefits of pomegranate as a remedy for a variety of ailments and, in recent times, pomegranate has been shown to have multiple beneficial effects, such as antiparasitic, hypolipidemic, hypoglycaemic, and antitumour activities.
Pomegranate juice and seed extracts have 2-3 times more antioxidants than green tea or red wine.
Two studies conducted in mice with prostate cancer showed proof that pomegranate fruit extract inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis via modulation of proteins regulating apoptosis.
Pomegranate fruit extract suggests pomegranate constitutents prevent collagen degradation and may potentially inhibit joint destruction related to osteoarthritis.
Several in vitro studies showed that pomegranate extracts may inhibit growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Diplococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, Escherichia coli
and Candida albicans