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These Health Benefits of Pomegranate Are Definitely Unexpected

This ruby red fruit is delicious and healthy. But pomegranate benefits your mind, body, and skin even more than you'd expect.

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Improve memory

Pomegranate juice is rich in polyphenols, which have been found to improve memory function. In one study, individuals drinking pomegranate juice daily performed better on memory tests compared to those who used a placebo drink. So if you’re feeling a little forgetful these days, add a cup of pomegranate juice to your morning routine, or blend up one of these healthy fruit smoothies.

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Reduce blood pressure and combat heart disease

According to a recent study, drinking as little as two ounces of pomegranate juice daily has shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and cleanse plaque from arteries—all good news for your heart. The study goes on to suggest that pomegranate juice may be “prudent” to add to a heart-healthy diet.

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Hydrate skin

According to dermatologists, pomegranate juice can help replenish dry, dull skin. It is also a great source of vitamin C, which, when applied topically, can improve skin’s texture and brightness. (Your skin can actually reveal a lot about your health!)

Try this DIY pomegranate scrub when your skin needs a little pick-me-up. Using a blender or food processor combine 3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds, 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin organic olive oil and 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Apply to your face, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. For a two-ingredient scrub, try our DIY avocado oil scrub.

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Prevent and fight cancer

Studies have suggested that pomegranates can prevent certain types of cancer and may even fight cancer at different stages. The anti-inflammatory properties and rich polyphenol content protect DNA from mutations, inhibit cancer cell growth, and help prevent cancer from spreading. More studies are needed, but research shows that pomegranates can help combat prostate, breast, colon, and lung cancer. Who knew this little red fruit could be so powerful?

FYI: These are the 10 most common types of cancer in Canada.

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Encourage hair growth

Wishing for long shiny locks? The pomegranate is packed with antioxidants that make hair follicles stronger, and improve blood circulation in the scalp—factors which help to stimulate hair growth. To start your day with a dose of hair health, make this pomegranate breakfast smoothie.

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Relieve rheumatoid arthritis

Joint pain from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating symptom to endure. Pomegranate to the rescue once again! Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, the pomegranate can decrease joint tenderness, swelling, and pain. And some studies suggest that pomegranate extract may block production of an enzyme that worsens arthritis by destroying cartilage. Here are some more foods to help ease joint inflammation.

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Promote bone health

Instead of milk, got pomegranate? This 2013 study found that pomegranate can be used to reduce bone loss in animals with osteoporosis. It’s all thanks, once again, to the pomegranate’s powerful antioxidants. So give your bones a boost and sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on a salad or a bowl of yogurt. Yum.

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Keep you feeling full

Eating food rich in fibre slows digestion, which helps to keep you feeling full. And the more full you are on healthy fibre-rich foods like pomegranate, the less junk you’re likely to eat. There are about 4 g fibre per 3/4 cup of pomegranate seeds—so eat up!

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Fight acne

Antioxidants help to fight acne by warding off inflammation that can lead to breakouts. So it’s the antioxidant-rich pomegranate to the rescue once again! When snack time hits, put aside the bag of chips, and reach for a bowl of crunchy and juicy pomegranate seeds instead. Next, read up on how pineapple can benefit [both] your skin and health.

Originally Published on Taste of Home