If you want healthy, youthful-looking skin, maintaining a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is one of the most important and effective things you can do. Choosing your fruit and vegetables wisely will help provide your body with antioxidants which have valuable anti-aging effects. The food you eat affects your skin's elasticity, smoothness, sun damage, acne and the appearance of fine lines. One fruit that may have a beneficial effect on your skin is pomegranate.
Pomegranate is rich in anthocyanins and hydrolysable tannins, potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Antioxidants are the naturally occurring substances in plants that protect the body from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that interfere with normal cellular functions and have a negative impact of your health. Free radicals you are exposed to on a daily basis include pollutants, food additives, pesticides, herbicides and cigarette smoke.
UVB radiation from the sun is known to be the cause of many adverse health effects including photo-aging and skin cancer. The use of natural antioxidants in the protection against UVB damage is receiving increasing attention. Pomegranate contains anthocyanins and hydrolyzable tannins which possess strong anti-oxidant and anti-tumor promoting properties. In a study published in the June 2009 issue of "Experimental Dermatology," researchers Farrukh Afaq and colleagues explored the effect of pomegranate juice and oils on damage caused by UVB radiation. Results of this study show that pomegranate juice and oils protect from UVB damage through strong antioxidant activities.
A number of studies report on the anti-inflammatory properties of the anthocyanins and hydrolysable tannins found in pomegranates. A study by Zafar Rasheed and colleagues published in the January 2009 issue of the "Journal of Inflammation" examined the effect of pomegranate on mast cells and basopils. These cells are play a key role in the inflammatory process. The results showed pomegranate juice inhibits the inflammatory activity of human mast cells. Therefore consuming eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily may help protect against inflammatory diseases in which mast cells play an active role. These include psoriasis, rosacea and acne.
Drinking eight to 12 ounces of pomegranate juice a day will provide you with 40 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements. In addition, pomegranate juice is a rich source of vitamins A, E and folic acid. To get the full benefits of pomegranate juice always choose 100 percent juice without any additives such as fructose or corn syrup. In addition, it is always preferable to drink organic juices, as non-organic juices may contain undesirable pesticides used in the farming process.
- "Journal of Inflammation"; Polyphenol-Rich Pomegranate Fruit extract (POMx) Suppresses PMACI-Induced Expression of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines by Inhibiting the Activation of MAP Kinases and NF-κB in Human KU812 cells; Z. Rasheed et al.; 2009
- "Experimental Dermatology"; Protective Effect of Pomegranate Derived Products on UVB-Mediated Damage in Human Reconstituted Skin; F. Akaq et al.; 2009