Pomegranate in a Gout Diet
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is one of the world’s most popular fruits but yet it’s one of the least most popular fruits in North America, reason being people view at as a complicated fruit to consume since it has more than 600 juice-filled seed sacs that you need to work hard to get them out. But if you have the patience, the health benefits of pomegranate are tremendous! That’s why in North America people prefer to rather drink pomegranate juice instead.
So the question is, does it help with gout? Although there haven’t been any studies done with gout sufferers per se, there have been studies done with people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which are related conditions. Remember that pomegranate is technically a berry since it’s filled with plenty of edible seeds and is very high in antioxidants which helps work for gout sufferers.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
A cup of pomegranate has 144 calories, 3 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 30% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C which is very important for gout sufferers, and 12% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium. Plus they are a good source of vitamins B, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
The most important health benefit of pomegranate though is it’s powerful antioxidant properties which help reduce uric acid in the blood. The reason is because it contains the most of every type of antioxidant out there.According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which evaluated the potency of 10 different beverages that were rich in polyphenols, pomegranate juice was ranked first as the healthiest of them all! Pomegranate beat its’ competitors by at least 20% like acai juice, blueberry juice and grape juice.
Did you know that pomegranate has been studied for its’ potential role in 105 different diseases and has at least 39 associated pharmacological actions? Pomegranates cut your risk of developing heart disease by improving blood circulation and slowing the growth of plaque formation in arteries. It helps improve mood and fight depression. Pomegranates help reduce cancer risk since they are very high in antioxidants and have a protective effect as well. It helps to boost memory and lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease down the road. It can even fight bacterial and fungal infections.
Of most interest to gout sufferers is that pomegranates can treat bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Pomegranate’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects reduce oxidative stress and have a positive effect on your bone health. In fact, a systematic review of 8 studies revealed the positive effects of pomegranate juice of extract on not only osteoporosis but osteoarthritis and even rheumatoid arthritis, diseases that are very similar in ways to gout. One study even found that pomegranate extract decreased joint tenderness in RA patients by 62 percent!
The health benefits of pomegranate don’t even end there! Studies have shown them to reduce joint pain and inflammation in arthritis sufferers. Basically, the antioxidants in pomegranates help to reduce inflammation that contributes to the deterioration of cartilage in your joints. So common sense would dictate that this would also beneficial for gout sufferers as well and not only arthritis sufferers. Besides gout is part of the arthritis family of diseases. Heck, one study even found that pomegranate extract blocked the production of a cartilage-destroying enzyme! You know you want to add pomegranate in your gout diet!
Another important fact about pomegranates is that their content carries acids like citric and malic acid. Citric acid helps eliminate uric acid and its salts through the urine helping gout sufferers. If you ask me, it looks like pomegranate should be considered a superfood for gout sufferers.
Pomegranates are in season in the fall here in North America and don’t worry about the seeds, they are edible and high in fibre. You can also consume pomegranate extract and is available in powder, pill or capsule form.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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