Pomegranate, fruit of the desert, a functional food, and a healthy diet
Keywords:ellagitannins, health benefits, pomegranate, punicalagin, traditional medicine
Traditional medicinal plants contain various ranges of chemical contents and they have become popular because of effectiveness, frequently inadequate provision of modern medicine, preferences and cultural beliefs. Pomegranate belongs to the family of Punicaceae, and its various pharmacological activities are due to presence of wide range of bioactive compounds. The current searching was done by the keywords in main indexing systems including PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Institute for Scientific Web of Science as well as the search engine of Google Scholar. The keywords were traditional medicine, health benefits, pharmaceutical science, pomegranate, punicalin, punicalagin, and ellagitannins. Major polyphenols in peel and juice of pomegranate are flavonoids such as flavonols (catechin, epicatechin, gallocatechin), condensed tannins, phenolic acids such as gallic, ellagic and caffeic, hyrolysable tannins such as ellagitannins and gallotannins. The main organic acids in pomegranate juice are malic and citric, and in seed is fatty acids (punicic). The major alkaloids and lignans in peel are punigratane and isolariciresinol, respectively. Pomegranate fruit has been proven to act against various diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, male infertility, inflammation, coronary heart disease, and aging. The review summarizes the beneficial impacts of pomegranate which is recommended for consumption. Pomegranate is a high potential natural functional food due to its high pharmacological activities as an ancient efficacious natural drug.
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