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The One Food You Can Eat to Look and Feel Stronger

It helps with muscle health, skin health, and gut health.

Did you know that once you hit your 30s, muscle decline can start at a rate of 3 to 5%? Studies show that between the age of 30 and 40, muscle decline will increase at a faster rate. For older adults, a loss of muscle strength (and size) will cause functional declines, increased risk of falling (the cause of 646,000 deaths globally each year), and an even higher risk of mortality. Maintaining good muscle health is important as you get older, and pomegranates can actually help you look and feel stronger.

In order to understand the health benefits of pomegranates, we spoke with Edwina Clark, RD and Nutrition Advisor for Timeline Nutrition, who recently launched a nutrition class that addresses age-associated cellular decline and powering muscle cells. Clark expresses the importance of muscle health in her work, and pomegranates can be a key component to stronger muscles.

Pomegranates assists with muscle health

"Pomegranate contains ellagitannins, a group of compounds that are converted to Urolithin A by gut bacteria in some people," says Clark. "Urolithin A is clinically-proven to improve muscle strength by revitalizing mitochondria—the powerhouse of the cell. Mitochondrial function tends to decline as we age and urolithin A works on the process that cleans-up dysfunctional mitochondria to improve muscle health."

However, according to Clark, only 30 to 40% of people have the right gut bacteria to produce urolithin A, and a small number of people actually eat enough ellagitannins to reap the benefits. For others who don't produce urolithin A, they can turn to a supplement like Timeline Nutrition that contains Mitopure—a proprietary ingredient and highly pure form of urolithin A.

Pomegranates can also assist in your post-workout recovery. Clark says some studies do suggest that a 500 milliliter serving (about 2 cups) of pomegranate juice before and after a workout can improve your recovery experience.

Pomegranates are full of fiber & vitamin C

Not only is fiber great for weight loss, but it also significantly improves your gut health and digestion. Ultimately, fiber (and vitamin C) will help you to feel better—both found in high quantities in a serving of pomegranate. A 1/2 cup serving of pomegranate arils (seeds) provide you with 3.5 grams of fiber and 14% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Plus, vitamin C plays an important role in terms of collagen formation—which keeps your hair and skin looking young.

How to add pomegranates to your diet

Ready to reap the benefits of pomegranates? While eating the arils—or sipping on juice—is an easy way to get pomegranates into your diet, you can get creative by adding it to some of your favorite recipes. Clark recommends sprinkling the pomegranate arils on salads, oatmeal, or even yogurt. Pomegranate juice is great for adding to smoothies, and it works as a great marinade when combined with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.

Speaking of smoothies, here's What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten