Pomegranate is an amazing and delicious fruit which has been touted for its healing properties for centuries.
Loaded with antioxidants, the fruit scores an incredible 10,500 on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) chart which measures total antioxidant capacity. (1)
To put that in perspective, it is more than 3x the ORAC value of blueberries (3,200) which are widely regarded as a superfood.
Pomegranates have two extremely powerful and rather unique antioxidants called “Punicalagins”, found mostly in the peel and “Punicic Acid” which is mostly in the seed.
This is part of the reason I suggest you consume whole pomegranate rather than in juice form as you may lose out on some of the incredible health benefits.
Pomegranate Boosts Testosterone
Pomegranate works in several ways to help boost testosterone levels. I will go a little more in-depth on some of these but here is the high level overview.
- Boosts nitric oxide levels
- Decreases testicular oxidative stress
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Lowers LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Improves Triglyceride/HDL (good cholesterol) ratio
Human Case Study
It’s great when you can dissect all the various ways a food or supplement may encourage increased testosterone levels but it’s even better when there has been a human case study showing exact results.
60 male and female volunteers between the ages of 21 and 64 at Queen Margaret University of Edinburgh drank a glass of pomegranate juice every day.
After just 2 weeks, researchers found both the men and women increased their testosterone levels between 16 – 30% and the men had a 24% increase on average. (2)
That’s a big increase in testosterone and I believe the results could have turned out even better if the participants were eating whole pomegranates instead of just consuming the juice.
Pomegranate Boosts Nitric Oxide Levels, Athletic Performance & Erection Strength
Consumption of pomegranates can increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) which is key in producing nitric oxide (NO) from the amino acid l-arginine. (5)
Because of the extremely high antioxidant level in pomegranate, the fruit can also protect nitric oxide from oxidative destruction and enhance its biological action as well. (6)
You may have heard the expression “what is good for the goose, is good for the gander”.
In this case, what is good for increased athletic performance, is good for stronger erections because nitric oxide increases blood flow.
Erectile drugs such as Viagra, work on the nitric oxide pathway and you can do this naturally, to a slightly lesser extent, by consuming or supplementing with pomegranate.
Pomegranate Lowers Blood Pressure
In a recent study on 30 patients given a nitric oxide lozenge, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased after just 20 minutes.
When the patients were checked again 1 hour after the lozenge was given the researchers found that their blood pressure continued to drop into a healthy range. (7)
In another human study, participants blood pressure was lowered by over 12% by consuming pomegranate juice. (8)
Keeping your blood pressure on the healthy side of low is absolutely crucial to maximizing your testosterone!
Pomegranate Lowers LDL (Bad Cholesterol)
There are two types of cholesterol in your body, low density lipoproteins (LDL), which is bad cholesterol and high density lipoproteins (HDL) which is good cholesterol.
In order to keep your arteries clear, heart healthy and testosterone maximized you want to keep your LDL low and improve your triglyceride to HDL ratio.
Pomegranate has been shown in multiple human based case studies to lower LDL, improve triglyceride:HDL ratios and reduce atherosclerotic plaque. (8, 9, 10)
Conclusion on Pomegranate
Consuming pomegranate is a great way to increase your overall health, athletic performance and testosterone.
Because much of the nutrients are in the peel and seed, including fiber which helps protect against the high fructose levels found in juice, I highly suggest you eat the whole fruit when available.
You can also buy pomegranate extract and powder which is my next go to when getting the whole fruit isn’t an option or simply too time consuming.
My last option which I’ll occasionally go for is to grab a bottle of POM Juice at the grocery store. Because of the high sugar content this is always my last resort.
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- Antioxidants: The Punch that Powers the Pomegranate Super Fruit. Michael A. Smith, MD – Link
- Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Emad Al-Dujaili & Nacer Smail – Link
- Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits. Hord NG, Tang Y, Bryan NS. – Link
- The effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion. Eric T. Trexler, Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Malia N. Melvin, Erica J. Roelofs, and Hailee L. Wingfielda – Link
- Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. de Nigris F, Williams-Ignarro S, Sica V, Lerman LO, D’Armiento FP, Byrns RE, Casamassimi A, Carpentiero D, Schiano C, Sumi D, Fiorito C, Ignarro LJ, Napoli C. – Link
- Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide. Ignarro LJ, Byrns RE, Sumi D, de Nigris F, Napoli C. – Link
- Acute Effects of an Oral Nitric Oxide Supplement on Blood Pressure, Endothelial Function, and Vascular Compliance in Hypertensive Patients Mark Houston MD, MS, MSc & Laurie Hays RN, BSN – Link
- Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, Hayek T. – Link
- Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Hayek T, Presser D, Fuhrman B. – Link
- Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated pomegranate juice consumption in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Esmaillzadeh A, Tahbaz F, Gaieni I, Alavi-Majd H, Azadbakht L. – Link