Pomegranates are known for being delicious, healthy, and full of antioxidants. Here are health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates are known for being delicious, healthy, and full of antioxidants. But anyone who loves pomegranate knows that it can also be a little difficult to eat.
To solve this problem while still getting all of the health benefits, you could try drinking 100% pomegranate juice! It’s delicious enough to enjoy on its own, or as a mixer for your favorite cocktail. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice.
1. Pomegranate nutrition facts
Pomegranate is a ruby-red fruit with juicy seeds—called arils—that can be added to salads, cocktails, and meat- or rice-based entrees. This versatile fruit provides important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and copper, along with a healthy dose of fiber.
Like most fruits, pomegranate is very low in fat and sodium. While it can be labor-intensive to free the arils from the flesh of the pomegranate, it’s worth it for their bright flavor and antioxidants.
One pomegranate (282g) provides 234 calories, 4.7g of protein, 52.7g of carbohydrates, and 3.3g of fat. Pomegranate seeds, or arils, are a very good source of fiber and rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. This nutrition information, for one pomegranate that is 4 inches in diameter, is provided by the USDA.
Carbs: Pomegranate calories come primarily from carbohydrates. There are two types of carbohydrates in pomegranate. You’ll get 21 grams of sugar if you consume a medium-sized fruit. You’ll also benefit from 6 grams of fiber, or 21% of the recommended daily intake.
As expected, carb counts, sugars, and calories are different for pomegranate juice compared to the fruit. According to USDA data, one cup (8 oz) of 100% pomegranate juice provides 134 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrate, 31 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fiber. Pomegranate juice cocktail (pomegranate juice blended with other fruit juices and added sugar) usually has more calories, carbs, and sugar than plain pomegranate juice.
The estimated glycemic load (GL) of fresh pomegranate is 18. Glycemic load is an estimated glycemic index that considers the serving size of a given food or beverage. It is considered more helpful than just using glycemic index for people choosing foods based on their effects on blood glucose.
Fats: There is a small amount of fat in pomegranate. There is less than 1 gram each of saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fat in a whole fruit. These small amounts are not likely to make a significant difference in your diet unless you consume a considerable amount of this food.
Protein: Pomegranate provides a small amount of protein. A medium-sized fruit provides 3 grams of protein. You’ll get nearly 5 grams of protein from a larger fruit. Pomegranate juice, on the other hand, provides almost no protein (0.4 grams per cup).
Vitamins and Minerals: Whole, fresh pomegranate contains important vitamins and minerals. There is 16mg of vitamin C in a medium-sized fruit, which is about 18% of the recommended daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. A medium-sized pomegranate also contains 28% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K for women and 21% for men. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with blood clotting functions in the body.
Recommended daily allowance (RDA) is the daily level sufficient to meet the nutrition requirements of nearly all (97% to 98%) healthy individuals. Pomegranates are also a good source of folate (15% of RDA), copper (27% of RDA), thiamin (9% of RDA), vitamin B6 (9% of RDA), and potassium (10% of the recommended intake; potassium does not have an RDA).
According to the USDA, if you drink pomegranate juice, you’ll still benefit from vitamin K, folate, and (some) copper, but the juice provides almost no vitamin C. However, new products come out every day, which may include vitamin C. It is best to check food labels.
Calories: One pomegranate (282g) provides 234 calories, 81% of which comes from carbs, 12% from fat, and 8% from protein.
Pomegranate is a lower-calorie, very low-fat, nutrient-dense food providing a large amount of fiber. The fruit is also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc.
2. Health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice
You may experience heart health support
According to our dietitians, 100% pomegranate juice is quite possibly one of the best juices you can have for your heart.
“Pomegranates are a source of potassium, which is one nutrient that is important when supporting heart health. Data shows that increasing potassium intake may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility.
Not only can it help in providing important nutrients like potassium, but according to Rachel Fine, RDN and founder of To The Pointe Nutrition, “some research shows benefits of drinking pomegranate juice for improvements in blood pressure,” which is an important factor when it comes to protecting your heart.
You may reduce your cancer risk
“Pomegranate juice contains an antioxidant called anthocyanin, and consumption of this antioxidant is linked to a reduced risk of developing certain cancers,” says Manaker.
In fact, pomegranate juice is so full of antioxidants that it has more than most other drinks on the market, according to UCLA researchers.
You will feel hydrated
It’s important to stay as hydrated as possible. While water is always the most crucial drink for hydration, having other hydrating, nutrient-dense beverages on hand can be helpful too.
“Pomegranate juice is a liquid, and as such, drinking it can help people meet their fluid needs. Especially during the hot months, this is a feature that many people can benefit from,” says Manaker.
You may help manage chronic inflammation
There’s another potential outcome that can come from pomegranates having such a high antioxidant content—it may help fight against inflammation.
“Thanks to the polyphenol antioxidants, drinking pomegranate juice may help combat chronic inflammation,” says Manaker. Recent research has shown that one of the ways these antioxidants can fight inflammation is by working with certain proteins involved in cell signaling, which can ultimately be protective against certain chronic diseases.
You may improve your memory
One newer, lesser-known potential benefit of drinking pomegranate juice is that it may help with certain aspects of your memory as you age.
“More recent research shows that a glass of pomegranate juice might help to slow declines in visual memory among older adults, but did not show improvements in other markers of memory and cognition when compared to a placebo,” says Fine.
Helps build bones, cartilage, and muscle
Pomegranates provide lots of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). This vitamin is essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing. Vitamin C must be consumed through the diet because our bodies are unable to make it.
Fights oxidative stress
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Ongoing research is examining whether vitamin C, by limiting the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role.”
Pomegranates also contain other antioxidant compounds, such as quercetin and anthocyanins, which also repair cell damage caused by oxidative stress.