Pomegranate In Islam: Symbolism & Health Benefits
Did you know that the sweet fruit pomegranate is a Quranic food and is mentioned in the Holy Quran three times? That's right, Surah Al Anaam and Surah Ar-Rahman both contain verses that speak of this delicious fruit and in this article, I want to explore what those verses are, and the scientific link between pomegranate and wellness.
Pomegranate and the Quran
In them will be Fruits, and dates and pomegranates:
Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny? [55:68]
In the above verse found in Surah Ar-Rahman, the Quran mentions the gardens of paradise and the items found within. One of these items is explicitly mentioned and that is the pomegranate fruit. So we can see just how high an importance this fruit carries for the rest of time.
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) also says:
It is He Who sendeth down rain from the skies: with it We produce vegetation of all kinds: from some We produce green (crops), out of which We produce grain, heaped up (at harvest); out of the date-palm and its sheaths (or spathes) (come) clusters of dates hanging low and near: and (then there are) gardens of grapes, and olives, and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety): when they begin to bear fruit, feast your eyes with the fruit and the ripeness thereof. Behold! in these things there are signs for people who believe. [6:99]
Again, the Quran references the many blessings Allah has sent down for us on Earth, including the pomegranate. Such fruits act as a sign for those who believe that God in his Almighty power is able to produce such things and is able to command the sky to rain.
There are also ten more benefits of pomegranate which have been backed up by science today:
1. They're rich in essential nutrients 🧪
Each pomegranate contains a good source of fibre, protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and potassium. A single pomegranate can provide about 30% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, which is crucial for the maintenance of a healthy immune system and skin health. The fibre content aids in healthy digestion and helps maintain a feeling of fullness which can help with weight management.
2. They're a powerful antioxidant 💪
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids and anthocyanins, even eclipsing the antioxidant content of green tea. Antioxidants neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
3. They have anti-inflammatory properties 🌡
Flavonols, a type of antioxidant found in pomegranates, have been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in Biochemical Pharmacology found that pomegranate extract could reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and inhibit the growth of cancer cells, particularly in colon cancer.
4. They help with digestion 💩
The dietary fibre in pomegranates can help smooth digestion by adding bulk to stools, reducing constipation, and promoting regular bowel movements. This can improve overall gut health and even help in the prevention of certain gastrointestinal diseases.
5. They're great for heart health ❤️
Pomegranates help lower high blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart disease. They also reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), a process linked to atherosclerosis or plaque buildup in your arteries. A healthy heart fundamental to physical exercise which is strongly encouraged in Islam.
6. They can improve memory 🧠
Pomegranates contain a significant amount of polyphenols, antioxidants known to boost cognitive function. A study found that regular consumption of pomegranate juice could improve memory function and functional brain activity in the elderly.
7. They help promote better sleep 😴
Pomegranates have a high content of magnesium (17mg per serving). This element helps to relax your parasympathetic nervous system and works its magic on neurotransmitters in the brain.
8. They're good for skin health 🧕🏻
Pomegranates have been found to promote the regeneration of skin cells, and the antioxidants present can slow down the ageing process, resulting in skin that looks youthful and healthy. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe skin irritation and inflammation.
9. They can do wonders for joint health 🦵
Research suggests that pomegranates can alleviate symptoms of arthritis, a condition characterised by inflammation of the joints. They help by reducing inflammation and the enzymatic reactions that cause damage to the cartilage.
10. They're good for dental health 🦷
The antimicrobial properties of pomegranate can help fight bacteria and protect against oral diseases. It can also help reduce dental plaque, promoting overall dental health.
Pomegranate and the Prophet (pbuh)
It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "There is not a pomegranate which does not have a pip from one of the pomegranates of the Garden (of Jannah) in it." (Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi)
So the next time you enjoy pomegranate, you can take comfort in the fact it is mentioned in the Islamic faith and also has a whole heap of other health benefits too.
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