Although the pomegranate is frequently overlooked as a go-to fruit because it's pricey and difficult to eat, it has an expansive list of health benefits, from increasing blood flow to decreasing rates of prostate cancer. It also boasts a powerful combination of antioxidants.
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Calorie Contributors: Carbs, Protein and Fat
As a fruit, pomegranates are higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat than other food groups. One 1/2-cup serving of raw pomegranate seeds contains 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat. The carbohydrates, protein and fat contribute to the total calorie content, weighing in at 72 calories for one 1/2-cup serving of the seeds.
Blood Sugar Balance: Sugar and Fiber
Pomegranate seeds, much like other fruits, are high in sugar. One ½-cup serving of pomegranate seeds contains 12 grams of sugar. This high sugar content is kept in check by the substantial 3.5 grams of fiber also found in one serving of pomegranate seeds, more than twice the amount of fiber found in one ½-cup serving of apples. This balance between sugar and fiber limits the effects the sugar found in pomegranate has on blood sugar levels.
Vitamins and Minerals
Although one serving of pomegranate seeds does not provide an entire daily recommended value of any vitamins, it does contain notable amounts of vitamins C and K, essential for the immune system and blood clotting, respectively. Similarly, pomegranate does not provide the entire daily recommended value of any minerals, but it does contain a notable amount potassium, which plays a role in nerve conduction, muscle control and blood pressure regulation.
Pomegranates are known for their impressive antioxidant levels. Antioxidants, commonly found in fruits, nuts and vegetables, counteract the damaging effects of oxidation on cells. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks pomegranate juice as the fifth strongest antioxidant behind baking chocolate, elderberry, Red Delicious apples and Granny Smith apples based on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity per typical serving.
- Harvard Health Publications: Health Benefit of Pomegranate Juice on Prostate Cancer and the Heart
- Dr. Fuhrman: Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate
- USDA National Nutrition Database: Pomegranates, Raw
- Joslin Diabetes Center: How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Apples, Raw, With Skin
- Colorado State University Extension: Potassium and the Diet
- National Blood Clot Alliance: Vitamin K and Coumadin -- What You Need to Know
- Fruits & Veggies More Matters: Pomegranate Nutrition, Selection
- USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center: USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of Selected Foods