5 Reasons Pomegranates Make You Healthier

This festive fruit is full of unexpected health benefits.
Caroline McKenzie

1. They keep your teeth clean. 
Rich in polyphenolic flavonoids—compounds with antibacterial properties—pomegranate juice has been found to be just as effective as prescription mouthwash at ridding the mouth of plaque, the bacteria that causes cavities and gingivitis.

2. They regulate cholesterol. 
Pomegranates contain paraoxonase—a naturally occurring enzyme in the body that helps keep LDL (bad cholesterol) from accumulating in arteries. In one study, subjects who drank pomegranate juice for two weeks had an 18% increase in production of the enzyme.

3. They can help prevent arthritis. 
Studies have shown that both pomegranate seed oil and pomegranate fruit extract have anti-inflammatory effects that stop the destruction of joints caused by osteoarthritis.

4. They are a great source of fiber. 
“A single pomegranate contains nearly a quarter of the USDA’s daily recommended amount of dietary fiber, which helps you feel full and maintain a healthy weight,” says Jennifer Franklin, a Registered Dietitian at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

5. They protect your skin. 
Packed with potent antioxidants (including powerful ellagic acid), pomegranates help limit the damage of UV rays. They also defend against free radicals and increase collagen production.