Pomegranate, a superfood known for its luscious red color and jewel-like seeds may be helpful in certain circumstances according to the research. Let’s learn more about any positive correlations between pomegranate and endometriosis.
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Pomegranate is an ancient fruit most commonly found in the Middle East and was highly regarded as a medicinal food (notably for digestive distress and tapeworm) and for commercial products (notably for dyes). It was cultivated as far back as the Bronze Age and today many cultural traditions include it in their cuisine.
But just because it is tried and true, does that mean it is a food you should eat? Possibly. Next we’ll look more at what the research has to say about the health benefits of eating pomegranates (in any form) and what could be extrapolated from this information for those with endometriosis or related chronic health condition.
Body Benefits of Pomegrantes
In the Journal for Advaned Biomedical Research, researchers summarized these benefits of consuming pomegranate:
- Can help prevent or treat various disease risk factors, such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, and inflammatory activities
- Certain components contain potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic effects
- The antioxidant potential of pomegranate juice is more than that of red wine and green tea.
- Pomegranate juice can reduce macrophage oxidative stress, free radicals, and lipid peroxidation.
- Pomegranate fruit extract prevents cell growth and induces apoptosis, which can lead to its anticarcinogenic effects. In addition, promotes inhibition of some inflammatory markers and their production are blocked via ellagitannins.
- Positive findings have been found for using pomegranate in the following cancers: prostrate, breast, lung, colon, skin.
- A certain type of pomegranate extract (pomegranate flower aqueous extract in streptozotocin) was used to reduce fibrinogen (creates adhesions).
- Consumption was found to increate glutathione.
- Pomegranate leaf extract was shown to help reduce body fat and cholesterol even during consumption of a high fat diet.
- Helps reduce arthritis and joint stiffness.
- Can help promote oral health (repels bad mouth bacteria)
- Helps to improve the quality and quantity of sperm
- Positive effects on wound healing, HIV, Alzheimer’s Disease
Further, a 2022 research study found that pomegranates helped to normalize women’s sex hormones in conditions such as PCOS. Pomegranate juice was found to restore the histological, biochemical and immunohistochemical parameters reviewed in this study. In other words, there is some pretty significant research on pomegranates helping hormone balance, enlarged ovaries, etc.
Did You Know Pomegranates Do This?
Are pomegranates high in estrogen?
There has been some concern about any estrogenic properties of pomegranates, especially in conditions that include abnormal estrogen levels. Pomegranates are adaptogenic, so while the estrogenic properties may help boost estrogen if it is lacking, it has not been found in the reseach to create an estrogen dominant environment.
Does pomegranate lower estrogen?
Pomegranates are thought to be an adaptogenic food. This means that it helps the body keep in the right balance of estrogens.
Benefits to Women with Endometriosis?
Are there parallels between the symtomology of endometriosis and the researched-backed benefits of the pomegranate?
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the endometrial lining of the uterus grow outside of the uterus. For something that sounds super simplistic it is anything but as this condition is similar to cancer in its complexity of cell and organ dysfunction.
While it is largely known as a women’s issue because it affects a women’s reproductive organs and fertility, it is actually a chronic inflammatory disease, with links to one’s genetics, that affects the entire body.
The systems that are impacted include the immune system (though it is considered a auto-immune-like disorder, and may co-occur with various auto-immune conditions, it is not exactly an auto-immune disorder itself), nervous system, endocrine system (such as your hormones), musculo-skeletal system, and can impact every part of your life. Typically, it also affects your social, emotional and spiritual planes as well due to its complexity.
There are several theories about the origins of endometriosis and research more and more provides a shining light into real answers. Just in the last few years alone thousands of new research papers have been published related to endometriosis, providing better ways to help over 200 million women who have the condition worldwide. The incidence is about 10%, so about 1 in 10 women will have endo throughout their life but the prevalence is on the rise. Some believe this is due to the toxicity found in modern life.
Endometriosis causes adhesions to form throughout the body, most notably in the reproductive area in some of the more severe cases. These adhesions are formed by a substance known as fibrin, and fibrigonen respectively.
Is pomegranate good for endometriosis? It seems as though there could be some parallels between the health benefits found in consuming pomegranates and symptoms found commonly in those with endometriosis:
- Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the entire body. Pomegranates have been found to help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Endometriosis may produce adhesions, or fibrin, the stuff that ties organs together that should be mobile (like a spiderweb). Pomegranates have been shown to help dissolve fibrin.
- Endometriosis has been found to invovle over-reaction of macrophages which help spur inflammation. Pomegrantaes have been show to help reduce macrophase induced oxidative stress and reduce abnormal cells.
- Glutathione helps in the body’s natural detoxification. Pomegrantes help produce glutathione. Sometimes women with endo have dysfunctions which don’t produce enough glutathione or can’t convert to glutathione.
These are just a few interesting facts about pomegranate that seem to coincide with some of the problems found accompanying endometriosis.
Can pomegrantaes prevent endometriosis? Well, that is a claim that I don’t think can be made. Endometriosis is too complex for one food to solve on its own. Nutritional support is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to healing from endometrisois, and usually many other factors are needed to move the needle when it comes to pain, infertilityl and improved health outcomes.
The Importance of Foods that Nourish for Endometriosis
There is emerging evidence that lifestyle medicine, such as eating a healthy diet, can help to influence endometriosis symptoms.
In her book, Heal Endo, nutritional therapist Katie Edmonds finds that “nutrition may be considered one foundational pillar to healing from endo. Without adequate nutrients of antioxidances, we won’t be able to quell an inflammatory reponse.”
While pomegranates may not be the one-trick-pony to heal endo, they may be a far better option than those chips or french fries ever will be. When possible, aim to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, greens and lemons for example. Some of the best foods to eat for endo are from the garden. Other common foods that may include those that are plant based.
Hopefully you learned some helpful tidbits about the pomegranate that will help you in your day to day life! You can find pomegranate juice or pomegranate seeds and add them to your daily smoothie for an easy way to incorporate this gem into your diet.