Pomegranate is scientifically termed Punica granatum and is commonly called Anaar in Hindi, Daanimma in Telugu, Madhulaipazham in Tamil and Daalima in Bengali. It belongs to the deciduous shrub category of flora and is a popular addition in salads, smoothies, baked items and juices.
Pomegranate is widely cultivated in several parts of the world such as the Mediterranean regions, tropical Africa, the Middle East as well as South and Central Asian countries like India, Nepal and China. In India, pomegranates flourish in the monsoon and winter seasons, between the months of September and February.
The pomegranate is typically a medium to tall shrub, composed of many spiny branches. This plant bears glossy narrow leaves and bright red flowers. The edible portion is however, the fruit, which is composed of two distinct parts – the outer tough pericarp encompassing an inner soft mesocarp which holds the juicy arils covering the seeds. The skin and arils of the pomegranate are deep red in colour, with the arils secreting the juice content. One fruit contains a vast number of seeds.
Pomegranate fruits are a marvellous source of Vitamin C, dietary fibers, folate and potassium and are prized for their ability to promote weight loss, confer anti-inflammatory traits and combat prostate and breast cancer. They are also imbued with potent antioxidants like punicalagins and punicic acid which assist in eliminating toxic free radicals from oxidising healthy cells in the body.
These “pearl-like” tiny red arils, no doubt, are infused with a host of advantages for boosting physical and mental well-being. However, the question does arise whether pomegranate is good for diabetics. Also Read: Diabetic Diet Chart (1600 Calories, Vegetarian)
Is Pomegranate Good For Diabetics?
Diabetes is a disorder where the insulin processing functions aberrantly due to pancreas not being able to secrete the hormone in adequate amounts. This in turn leads to uncontrollable levels of glucose or sugars in blood circulation and affects energy metabolism and kidney function in the affected individual.
Chronic inflammation is an underlying contributing factor in many severe ailments, including type 2 diabetes mellitus. The punicalagin class of flavonoid antioxidants in pomegranates offer immense inflammation-reducing qualities, thereby alleviating the agonizing symptoms of high blood sugar such as muscle pain and fatigue.
Moreover, consuming one glass of pomegranate juice in the daytime on a daily basis has been proven, in many scientific studies, to significantly reduce the bad LDL cholesterol levels in patients with diabetes. This immensely prevents heart complications arising from high blood glucose levels, that is characteristic of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Pomegranates have a glycemic load value of 18. Glycemic load (GL) is similar to Glycemic Index (GI) and indicates the exact amount of carbohydrates in foods based on how they alter blood glucose levels. Pomegranate is considered a low glycemic index fruit (GI less than 55) and hence gets assimilated and digested slowly. Although it does contain sugars, it also abounds in phenolic compounds, that aid in weight loss and fibers, which regulate hunger and appetite. Also Browse Through: 5 Fruits Low On Glycemic Index That Are Good For Diabetics-Infographic
It is advised to take measured quantities of pomegranate fruits or the juice, once a day in the mornings or noon time, to help manage the symptoms of diabetes.
Other Health Benefits Of Pomegranate:
The mildly sweet and aromatic pomegranate is not only an ideal garnishing and flavoring for salads and pastries, but also bestows one with innumerable wellness incentives. It is highly efficient in alleviating joint pain in arthritis, lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease, fighting bacterial and fungal infections and enhancing memory.
Therefore, a diabetic patient can consume pomegranate fruits and juice in limited amounts, so as to avoid any harmful side effects and reap its valuable benefits for overall health. Keep in mind to regularly consult your doctor or nutritionist, to gain some insight on how best to incorporate this tasty fruit into the diabetic diet, based on your blood sugar levels and severity of the disease.