Pomegranates Help Diabetics
While most fruits are forbidden for diabetics, pomegranates are recommended by doctors. They're rich in antioxidants like tannin that lower insulin resistance, blood glucose levels, and LDL cholesterol levels. They control type 2 diabetes symptoms and preclude heart disease by preventing hardening of the arteries. As the antioxidants raise the natural antioxidant levels, by even 141%, they help the body fight free radical damage.
The glistening seeds of the pomegranate are an irresistible treat for many of us. And several studies now show that diabetics certainly shouldn’t have to resist this fruit! Typically, diabetics are advised to avoid consuming fruits and juices in high quantities as they can cause a spike in blood sugar. But this isn’t true for all fruits.
The pomegranate (both its seeds and juice) has been shown to greatly reduce blood sugar, an especially vital function for those with type 2 diabetes. Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners have long been using pomegranates to treat diabetes, and they’re now finding support from breakthrough scientific research.
Why Are Pomegranates Good For Diabetes Patients?
They Lower Glucose Levels With Antioxidants
Though pomegranates contain sugar, the sugars are attached to antioxidants that lower the blood glucose levels and fight cell damage.
One particular study tested participants three hours after they consumed pomegranate juice in predetermined doses. These participants exhibited reduced insulin resistance and a significant drop in fasting blood glucose levels.1
Unlike many other fruits that contain sugars in free form, pomegranates consist of sugars that are attached to antioxidants. Of these, about four antioxidant compounds belonging to the ellagitannin class are believed to help reduce blood sugar. Commercially available pomegranate juices that are extracted from the whole fruit and not just the seeds have three times as much antioxidants as red wine and green tea.2
Pomegranate antioxidants help your body fight cellular damage caused by reactive molecules called free radicals.
As a diabetic, if your body cannot combat or cope with the reactive free radicals that damage the cells and cause inflammation, it suffers from oxidative stress. Pomegranate antioxidants also reduce the high oxidative stress.3
They Control Type 2 Diabetes
Pomegranates have plant chemicals like tannin and gallic acid that control type 2 diabetes symptoms.
One study found that compounds such as punicalagin and gallic, ellagic, oleanolic, uallic, and ursolic acids in pomegranate have anti-diabetic effects. Antioxidant polyphenols such as anthocyanins, which give the fruit its rich red color, and tannins found in the fruit were also found to be effective in controlling type 2 diabetes.4
They Prevent The Hardening Of Arteries
There’s another positive angle to eating pomegranates: their antioxidants also help prevent the hardening of arteries, a disease known as atherosclerosis.5
Pomegranate juice could raise the natural antioxidant levels in the body of diabetic patients by 141 percent.
Atherosclerosis, as well as associated conditions such as heart disease and stroke, is one of the leading causes of death in diabetics. Pomegranates can help reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body, a major culprit in the onset of heart disease. A study found that in diabetic patients, the pomegranate antioxidants reduced oxidization significantly and increased the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant in the body, by 141 percent.6
How Pomegranates Differ From Other Herbal Treatments
Because diabetes has become such a major epidemic, it’s crucial to consider alternative treatments. As proven here, pomegranates are a wonderful addition to any diabetic’s diet.
Various other plants and plant derivatives – including tulsi, fenugreek, garlic, and jamun – have been used for centuries to control diabetes and are only now getting the research and support they deserve.7
They treat diabetes by reducing cell damage in the body rather than by slowing down the digestion of carbs.
While all these plants function a little differently, most of them work by inhibiting the action of enzymes that aid in the quick digestion of carbohydrates.8 This is in contrast to pomegranates, which actually work by inhibiting the oxidative stress caused by diabetes.9
How Much Is Safe?
Keep the intake moderate with one pomegranate or a cup of juice a day.
While the study on the effect of pomegranate juice to prevent atherosclerosis used a dose of 50 ml daily, University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that 8 to 10 oz, that is a one cup or a little more than that is safe.10 We recommend not more than one pomegranate a day, best mixed into a salad with other fruits suitable for diabetics.
Of course, anytime you’re looking at natural alternatives, like pomegranate, it’s important to discuss these options with your health practitioner first.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Banihani, S. A., S. M. Makahleh, Z. El-Akawi, R. A. Al-Fashtaki, O. F. Khabour, M. Y. Gharibeh, N. A. Saadah, F. H. Al-Hashimi, and N. J. Al-Khasieb. “Fresh pomegranate juice ameliorates insulin resistance, enhances β-cell function, and decreases fasting serum glucose in type 2 diabetic patients.” Nutrition Research 34, no. 10 (2014): 862-867.|
|2.||↑||Gil, Maria I., Francisco A. Tomás-Barberán, Betty Hess-Pierce, Deirdre M. Holcroft, and Adel A. Kader. “Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing.” Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry 48, no. 10 (2000): 4581-4589.|
|3, 6, 9.||↑||Rosenblat, Mira, Tony Hayek, and Michael Aviram. “Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice (PJ) consumption by diabetic patients on serum and on macrophages.” Atherosclerosis 187, no. 2 (2006): 363-371.|
|4.||↑||Banihani, Saleem, Samer Swedan, and Ziyad Alguraan. “Pomegranate and type 2 diabetes.” Nutrition research 33, no. 5 (2013): 341-348.|
|5.||↑||Aviram, Michael, and Leslie Dornfeld. “Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure.” Atherosclerosis 158, no. 1 (2001): 195-198.|
|7.||↑||Modak, Manisha, Priyanjali Dixit, Jayant Londhe, Saroj Ghaskadbi, and Thomas Paul A. Devasagayam. “Indian herbs and herbal drugs used for the treatment of diabetes.” Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition 40, no. 3 (2007): 163-173.|
|8.||↑||Tundis, R., M. R. Loizzo, and F. Menichini. “Natural products as α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitors and their hypoglycaemic potential in the treatment of diabetes: an update.” Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 10, no. 4 (2010): 315-331.|
|10.||↑||Pomegranate. University of Maryland School of Medicine|