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5 Benefits Of Pomegranate That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

5 Benefits Of Pomegranate That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

Pomegranate is a superfood that originated in a place in the Middle East once known as Persia. It is a powerful fruit for many reasons. Some love it for its health benefits, others for its cultural significance. Many would argue that pomegranate was the original forbidden fruit, not the apple. Whatever might be true, it is undeniable that this is one incredibly healthy fruit. For this reason, we should try to incorporate it into our diet.

Unfortunately, pomegranate is not so popular among fruit lovers. However, after you read about the amazing benefits of pomegranate, you will want to stock up. Not only is it good for your physical health, it also tastes delicious. Read on for some of the amazing health benefits of pomegranate, as well as some recipes to help you incorporate it into your diet.

1. Pomegranate could prevent heart disease

Pomegranate is useful if you want to lower your blood pressure. It helps keep your blood vessels open, so your blood flows more easily. By keeping your heart healthy this way, you could prevent heart attacks and strokes. Thanks to the polyphenols and anthocyanins found in pomegranate, as well as its antioxidant properties, your heart will be healthy for a long time.

2. Fight joint pain with pomegranate

Another benefit of this wonderful fruit is the ability to treat joint pain and arthritis, thanks to the anti-inflammatory elements found in it. By consuming pomegranate, you increase your chances of reducing inflammation. You cannot cure arthritis, but you can still significantly reduce the pain, which is better than nothing.

3. Pomegranate can help fight cancer

Because it is rich in antioxidants, acids and other healthy elements, pomegranate is recommended for fighting cancer. Another useful property is its anti-inflammatory ability. Pomegranate helps banish cancer cells or slow them down. The fruit, or its juice, are good for breast, prostate, skin or lung cancer.

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4. Treat fungal or bacterial infections with pomegranate

If you boost your immune system with this red fruit, you could fight off any infections in your body. For example, use it to fight urinary infection or any inflammation in the mouth. The juice from the fruit could help heal the damaged tissues in your body, and strengthen your immune system.

5. Pomegranate can help with erectile dysfunction

Consuming pomegranate juice can help you protect nitric oxide from being destroyed, which is important for the proper function of your blood vessels. Having good blood flow is crucial for your whole body and overall health, as well as proper erectile function. Drinking pomegranate juice, or eating the fruit itself on regular basis, would be good for you. After a certain time, positive changes should occur. There are many other ways to treat ED, but you could start by changing your diet and eating healthier.

As you can see there are many health benefits coming from pomegranates. Even better, you can consume it in different ways such as eating the raw fruit, drinking pomegranate juice or including it in some of your recipes.

Enjoy the Benefits of Pomegranate With These Recipes

Sweet potatoes with coconut, pomegranate, and lime

Pomegranate and sweet potatoes

    For this meal you will need four sweet potatoes, coconut flakes and milk, chopped cilantro, 1 cup of pomegranate seeds, salt and lime. Start off by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is being heated, prepare the potatoes, which you will pierce with a fork to make small holes. Bake them for 45 minutes, or until they are tender.

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    After they are done, let them cool a little, then make a small opening on top of each potato. Combine the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle on top. You can season with salt according to your taste. It is recommended to serve the potatoes with lime wedges.

    Cranberry-pomegranate relish

    Pomegranate cranberrie relish

      Take a medium-sized saucepan and heat two spoons of oil in it. When it is heated, cut one shallot and put it in. Cook until it is soft brown in color. The next step involves adding one bag of frozen cranberries, one cup of pomegranate juice, and half a cup of brown sugar. You can also add salt and pepper, if you wish.

      Keep it on the stove until it boils. Turn the heat down, and let it simmer for 10 more minutes with constant stirring. When done, add half a cup of pomegranate seeds. After it is cooled, it will be ready to serve.

      Spiced pears and pomegranate

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      Pear and pomegranate juice

        The required ingredients for this recipe are: three peeled pears, cut into wedges; one pomegranate; lemon juice; brown sugar; nutmeg; cinnamon.

        Put the pears and pomegranate seeds into a bowl. Add lemon juice and the rest of ingredients. Mix so the fruit is nicely coated. When you finish, cover the dish and let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve cold, on small plates. If you like, you can add chopped almonds to spice it up, and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

        Spinach and pomegranate salad

        Pomegranate and spinach salad

          This recipe is very easy to make. You will need 10 ounces of baby spinach leaves, 10 ounces of arugula leaves, one sliced red onion, one can of mandarin oranges and one pomegranate.

          Mix all ingredients in a bowl and it will be ready to serve. You can eat just the salad or use it as a side dish.

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          Pomegranate and berry smoothie

          Pomegranate and mixed berry smoothie

            If you are in a hurry, this is the perfect recipe for you. It is ready in five minutes and you only need three ingredients: half a cup of pomegranate juice, half a cup of vanilla yogurt, and one cup of frozen berries. Put the ingredients in a blender, and blend until they are mixed and pureed. Serve in glasses.

            Featured photo credit: Bon Appetit via shutterstock.com

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            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

            Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

            Video Summary

            Why is it important to train up our core strength?

            There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

            This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

            Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

            In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

            One Exercise, multiple benefits

            There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

            By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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            When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

            Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

            In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

            What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

            What will happen when you start doing planks every day

              1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

              Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

              • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
              • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
              • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
              • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

              2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                  Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                  4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                    Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                    A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                    A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                    On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                    5. You’ll improve overall balance

                      Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                      6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                        Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                        7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                          Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                          How to hold a plank position

                          1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                          2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                          3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                          4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                          5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                          6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                          7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                          Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                          Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                            How to improve your plank time gradually

                            1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                            2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                            3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                            Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                            Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                            You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                            • Prolapse
                            • After prolapse surgery
                            • Pelvic pain conditions
                            • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                            • Previous childbirth
                            • Overweight

                            Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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