There’s more to pomegranate nutrition than what the food label tells you. It includes the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and its antioxidants… something a label won’t mention. Let’s break out the magnifying glass and dive a little deeper to see what kind of pomegranate nutrition we’re talking about.
Both pomegranate juice and pomegranate fruit’s nutrition profile show that it’s a good source of…
- Vitamin C
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
- Vitamin K
The biggest difference is the whole fruit version contains seeds where the juice form does not. Below is an image of what the edible “seeds” look like (aka. arils). The white stuff on the inside is the seed. The seeds contain more fiber, some omega fatty acids and some extra phytochemicals & micronutrients not yet discovered by the scientific community.
But it’s interesting to note that most of the benefits you read about pomegranate come from the research done on pomegranate juice. So the juice is just as healthy as the whole fruit.
Below are pomegranate nutrition labels provided by Nutrition Data for the juice version and the whole fruit version.
Here we can see not much of a difference in pomegranate nutrition between the two versions. While the nutrients are important to discuss, there’s something even more important to go over and that is…
You’ll hear a lot about pomegranate’s antioxidant powers and what it can do for you. Almost all of the studies done to reveal these antioxidant powers have been on pomegranate juice.
Warning: I’m about to get a little nerdy with some of the antioxidant names but this detective will keep his promise by explaining it in simple terms.
Pomegranate has 2 important antioxidants you should be familiar with: anthocyanins and punicalagins.
Anthocyanins are what gives pomegranates their bold red color. They are also found in acai and blueberries. Anthocyanins are great for cardiovascular health and have some anti-inflammatory advantages as well.
And what about punicalagins? This antioxidant is a type of tannin. Tannins are found in wine and is what gives some wines its bittery, want-to-pucker-your-face taste. This explains why pomegranate has some tartness to it and the health benefits in wine. Punicalagins are important because lab studies have shown potent antioxidant/anti-disease and anti-inflammatory properties.
What Does This Mean For You?
It means pomegranate’s antioxidants are not only great for your immune system but also great for your heart and in preventing inflammation & various cancers (e.g. prostate cancer).
If you want these benefits then it’s time to add pomegranate in your diet! I recommend eating the fruit version but pomegranate juice and other pomegranate products (e.g. pomegranate molasses, pomegranate concentrate) are just as good… especially the juice.