Thanks to recent, intense research on the health benefits of pomegranate juice and extracts, we know that this crimson fruit not only offers anti-aging benefits but supports sexual health. The fruit is good for both men and women but the list of pomegranate benefits for men is not only impressive but continually growing. This is why it makes our list of the 10 Best Foods for Men.
What makes pomegranate nutritious?
It should be no surprise that pomegranate has so much potential to boost men’s sexual health when you consider the fruit’s nutrition. A low-calorie, high-fiber fruit, it’s a source of a good number of vitamins and minerals important to sexual health and overall health.
A 1/2 cup serving of pomegranate is approximately 72 calories and offers:
68.7mg omega-6 fatty acids
8.9mg vitamin C
14.3mcg vitamin K
And the antioxidants found in pomegranate have experts talking for a number of other reasons. Like all foods rich in antioxidants, pomegranate is prized for its ability to fight free radicals. But some of the research into the antioxidants in pomegranates have led researchers to believe that this fruit’s nutrients may assist in fighting cancer, or slowing the growth of cancer cells in the body. (Incidentally, did you know that there are more antioxidants in a serving of pomegranate than a glass of red wine?)
Although there isn’t enough conclusive evidence, it’s suspected that pomegranate may even be able to fight prostate cancer. That’s because in a recent test tube study pomegranate extract appeared to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. However, whether this works outside of a lab is yet to be determined.
Why pomegranate is one of the 10 best foods for men’s sexual health
Pomegranate is a healthy food for both men and women, that’s a widely accepted fact. But recent studies show even more reasons why men should eat this superfood. The study of pomegranate, particularly pomegranate juice benefits for men, is still in its infancy but here’s a closer look at some of the most remarkable findings to date.
It could be nature’s viagra
Initial evidence shows that pomegranate may provide a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction. In one 2007 double-blind trial, men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction demonstrated positive effects from pomegranate. In fact, more than half the subjects showed improvement in their condition from treatment with pomegranate juice.
Other studies, such as this 2006 test-tube study into its impact on nitric oxide in the body, show that pomegranate juice may be beneficial in protecting nitric oxide from oxidative damage. And since nitric oxide plays an important role in erectile function, studies like this help support the idea that pomegranate could provide a natural alternative to erectile dysfunction medications.
In addition, since pomegranate is a source of vitamin C, it’s helping your body to produce nitric oxide. That’s because the vitamin is able to convert the nitrites in foods into nitric oxide. So in this way, pomegranates can pack a one-two punch when it comes to supporting erectile function.
But as good as that sounds, it would be premature to throw out your prescription in exchange for pomegranate juice. Further study is needed to understand just how pomegranate can help with this men’s health issue.
It can make you last longer in bed
And speaking of a healthy sex life, pomegranate could potentially directly impact performance in the bedroom as well as in the gym. A study on the impact of pomegranate supplements on healthy adults showed that the fruit had the potential to increase exercise endurance as well as muscle recovery. And improved exercise performance can be beneficial not just on the field but also in the bedroom!
Improves male fertility
Historically, the seeds of the pomegranate were looked upon as symbols of fertility and because of that, the fruit was used in many cultures as a fertility treatment. Interestingly, these treatments often worked for unknown reasons, a fact which prompted modern researchers to investigate pomegranates’ ability to support fertility.
Because pomegranate is a source of folate, scientists have also looked into a theory that the folate content was what made this fruit a successful fertility treatment. Although you will get about 8% of the DV for folate from a 1/2 cup serving, a 2014 trial points to a rich combination of antioxidants in the fruit as being the true fertility booster. According to the double-blind trial, pomegranate extract with the fruit’s powerful blend of antioxidants significantly improved sperm production and motility in the treatment group when compared with the placebo group.
May help control weight
Additional research demonstrates that pomegranate may serve as a weight loss aid. A 2016 study from Queen Margaret University found that subjects who drank pomegranate juice daily had less desire to eat and felt more full after meals than subjects in the placebo group. It may be that the fruit’s polyphenols act as an appetite suppressant but this hypothesis is yet to be substantiated by further studies.
Pomegranate seeds may improve heart health
Because they’re loaded with seeds, pomegranates also have oil. And one component of that oil, punicic acid, is linked with protecting the heart from heart disease and potentially reducing high blood pressure. And without a healthy heart, it’s hard to have a healthy climax! This means although pomegranate provides key nutrition for men, the punicic acid in the fruit’s seeds may also potentially help women enjoy a healthy sex life.
Pomegranate juice may increase testosterone levels
In more promising research to benefit women as well as men, one 2012 study found that both men and women who drank pomegranate juice daily experienced increased testosterone levels in just 2 weeks. (Keep in mind that low testosterone levels can result in reduced sex drive.) The average test subject had a 24% increase! But this study offered several additional, significant conclusions of the effects of pomegranate juice on overall wellness including:
- Reduced stress levels
- Improved mood
- Reduced feelings of anxiety or fear
- Reduced blood pressure
How to incorporate pomegranate into your diet
Pomegranate fruit is in season from early fall to January. (Some early-ripening varieties may be available in August.) You can tell if a pomegranate is ripe by its leathery skin and its weight. The fruit gains weight as it ripens and should feel heavy in your palm when you pick it up.
Removing pomegranate seeds, called arils, from the tough skin can be a messy job. One of the easiest ways to do it is by pulling the fruit apart under water in a clean bowl.
Of course, pomegranate juice is in season all year long and there’s nothing messy about unscrewing the lid from the bottle. Just remember that an 8-oz glass of pomegranate juice has 31.5g sugar as compared with 11.9g sugar in a serving of fresh fruit.
But whichever way you choose to get your pomegranate, be it whole fruit or juice, we’ve got a recipe to inspire you to use more of this tasty and incredibly nutritious fall fruit.
Pomegranate Roast Pork Loin
Lamb Tagine with Pomegranates & Apricots
Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Pomegranate Molasses & Pomegranate Cream
Pomegranate Champagne Mule
The Aphrodisiac (a pomegranate cocktail)
Heart of Pom Pomegranate Mocktail
10 Best Foods For Men
Up Next: Bison
Edited by Delahna Flagg: This article was reviewed and additional research provided by Center for Mind-Body Medicine certified practitioner and Eat Something Sexy Nutrition Director Delahna Flagg.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is important to consult your physician before making dietary changes.
This article was written in 2015 and most recently updated in October 2022.
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