We hear the word "healthy" and tend to think about green smoothies or green-colored foods. One superfood in the red group proves high nutrition comes in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, and could even extend our lifespan. Pomegranate, the antioxidant-rich food, delivers a cornucopia of health benefits for men and women which range from increased blood flow in erectile dysfunction to reduced inflammation in breast cancer cells.

The bright red food contains three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, giving it a nutritional punch. Its antioxidant powers mainly come from ellagitannin compounds, which are responsible for pomegranate's benefits for the mind and body. The fruit is also able to maintain its nutritional value in its liquid form; a UCLA study ranked it number one in the top 10 healthiest juices and other beverages.

Read More: Scientists Discover Anti-Aging Compound That Humans Get From Eating Pomegranate

Down below are examples of pomegranate's attributes that protect both men and women's health.

Fights Obesity

Eight ounces of pomegranate juice a day keep the weight gain away. Many people are overweight or obese because they eat and drink more than what their body needs. Others have an underlying desire to eat non-stop due to their brain's reward centers responding to food cues, even long after they've eaten and aren't hungry.

Pomegranate fights obesity by curbing hunger pangs through creating a full sensation. In a 2016 study, researchers from the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland gave volunteers a daily pomegranate supplement containing the skin, pith and seeds of the fruit; after three weeks they were given a glass of pomegranate juice before eating a meal with tomato sauce. Those given the supplement were less hungry, had less desire to eat, and felt fuller and more satisfied than the placebo group. They hypothesized the fruit's polyphenols are what act as an appetite suppressant.

Protects Against Heart Disease

Pomegranate could potentially decrease how many people die from heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. A 2010 study found taking 800 milligrams of pomegranate seed oil daily for four weeks lowered triglycerides — where body fat is stored and used for energy — and improved the ratio between triglycerides and HDL "good" cholesterol. In addition, half a glass of pomegranate juice and three dates a day has been found to protect against heart attacks and strokes, too. It's believed the fruits' high levels of different antioxidants contribute to this protective effect.

Fights Breast Cancer

The phytochemicals in pomegranates may help prevent and even slow the growth of various types of breast cancer. A 2010 study found the ellagitannins inhibited the growth of estrogen-responsive breast cancer in several tests. Ellagitannins work by inhibiting aromatase — a key enzyme used by the body to make estrogen. They also influence breast cancer growth by preventing the duplication of breast cancer cells, and the growth of these estrogen receptors. Urolithin B, an ellagitannin-derived compound, inhibited breast cancer cell growth the most.

Improves Memory

Polyphenols in pomegranates have been linked to aiding brain health by improving memory in older adults. Our fluid cognitive abilities, such as speed and memory, tend to deteriorate with age, known as age-related memory loss. However, following a healthy diet can significantly lessen the effects of aging.

Drinking pomegranate juice could hold the key to a younger, healthier mind. A 2013 study found drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice for four weeks significantly improved markers of verbal and visual memory in a cohort of middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints. These effects were immediate and long-term for the patients in the study.

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Fights Arthritis

Diet plays a role in arthritis inflammation. Pomegranate is an anti-inflammatory food that can help neutralize inflammation and reduce the severity of symptoms. A 2016 study found pomegranate extract decreased biomarkers of rheumatoid arthritis and oxidative stress. Those given the extract twice a day experienced less joint tenderness, swelling, and pain than the placebo group. The researchers credit its anti-inflammatory effect to its antioxidant properties.

Treats Erectile Dysfunction

Drinking pomegranate juice has been shown to promote healthy sexual functioning in men. A 2007 study found drinking POM Wonderful 100 Percent Pomegranate Juice daily helped with the management of erectile dysfunction. About half of the participants reported an improvement in their erections with POM Wonderful after drinking eight ounces every evening for two weeks, and then four weeks. Only 30 percent saw improvements in erections in the placebo group. Researchers suspect the results may be due to pomegranate juice's antioxidant content, which can stop free radical molecules from inhibiting blood flow in the penis.

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