Can you eat pomegranate flesh?

In this short discussion, we will answer the question, “Can you eat pomegranate flesh?” We will also discuss the health benefits and side effects of eating pomegranate flesh. 

Can you eat pomegranate flesh?

Yes, you can eat pomegranate flesh. Usually, the edible portions of pomegranate fruit are the arils-the red fleshy layers that cover the seeds

It is also safe to eat the white fleshy pith, technically known as the fruit mesocarp. The outer skin can also be eaten or processed into other forms of edible extracts (1,2).

Pomegranate fruit flesh has abundant nutrients and vitamins that would benefit your health significantly when you include them in your diet. However, with every plant origin diet, there are nutrients and antinutrients, hence you have to know how and when to eat pomegranate flesh (1).

How nutritious is pomegranate flesh?

Pomegranate flesh is highly nutritious, it has significant levels of nutrients and minerals that can improve the health of human beings. Table 1 below shows the nutritional profile of pomegranate flesh as determined analytically and by theoretical methods by the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA (3).

Table 1: The nutritional profile of raw pomegranate per 100 g of edible portion (3).

Total fat1.17
Energy346 KJ
Total Fiber4g
Total sugars13.7g
Iron0.3 mg
Calcium10 mg
Magnesium12 mg
Phosphorus36 mg
Potassium236 mg
Zinc0.35 mg
Sodium3 mg 
Manganese0.119 mg
Copper0.158 mg
Selenium0.5 microgram
Vitamin C10.2 mg
Folate (Vitamin B9)38 microgram
Total Choline7.6 mg
Vitamin K1634 microgram

What are the associated health benefits of eating pomegranate flesh?

The nutrients and minerals of pomegranate flesh can benefit humans in a number of ways. Among these include the following (4,5,6);

  • Pomegranate flesh contains vitamin C which can help to strengthen the immune system and fight against diseases as a result of oxidative stress.
  • Pomegranate flesh is also a reservoir for polyphenolic compounds which have remarkable biological activity on heart health. Hence eating pomegranate fruits will prevent the onset of heart disease. 
  • The vitamin B9 in pomegranate flesh aids the production of red blood cells and also it is essential for cell growth and repair. That implies pomegranate fruit can be very necessary in the case of anemia, and it is also essential for growth and development.
  • The high potassium level in pomegranate is essential for proper nerve impulse transmission and muscle health.
  • A study conducted by Rettig and his colleagues reveals that pomegranate fruit can be used to manage prostate cancer.
  • The polyphenolic antioxidants in pomegranate are capable of inhibiting the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) into peroxides and aldehydes thus preventing atherosclerosis.
  • Tannins and flavonoids in pomegranate can play a role in cancer prevention. They are large tannin molecules called punicalagins in Punica granatum which themselves have potent antioxidant activities. 

When punicalagins pass through the gut, they get metabolized to release other biologically active compounds called Urolithins (A, B, C, D). Urolithin C has been reported to have colon cancer prevention activities due to its anti-inflammatory actions (4).

Could there be some side effects from eating pomegranate flesh?

Overall, no. Eating pomegranate flesh does not present side effects. But pomegranate contains quite small levels of certain naturally occurring antinutrients, such as tannins, which have the ability to bind to food proteins and lessen their digestibility, potentially preventing the absorption of nutrients (7). 

However the tannin level of pomegranate flesh is frequently minimal to have a significant negative effect on either nutrition or health (7).


In this short publication, we have answered the question, “can you eat pomegranate flesh?” We also discussed the health benefits and side effects of eating pomegranate flesh. References

1. Loukhmas, S., et al. Assessment of physical and physicochemical characteristics of fruit mesocarp and peel of ten Moroccan pomegranate cultivars. Materials Today: Proceedings, 2023, 72, 3487-3494.

2. Khatib, M., et al. Mesocarp and Exocarp of Laffan and Wonderful Pomegranate Varieties: By-Products as a Source of Ellagitannins. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 201, 4(1).

3. Pomegranates, raw. USDA, 2019.

4. Viuda-Martos, M. Pomegranate and its Many Functional Components as Related to Human Health: A Review. Compreh Rev in Food Sci and Food Safety, 2010, 9.

5. Rettig, M.B, et al. Pomegranate extract inhibits androgen-independent prostate cancer growth through a nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent mechanism. Mol Cancer Ther. 2008;7:2662–71.

6. Kandylis, P., Kokkinomagoulos, E. Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Pomegranate and its Derivatives. Foods, 2020, 9(2):122.

7. Nath, H., et al. Beneficial attributes and adverse effects of major plant-based foods anti-nutrients on health: A review. Human Nutrition & Metabolism, 2022, 28.

8. Bargagli, M, et al. Dietary Oxalate Intake and Kidney Outcomes. Nutrients. 2020, 12(9):2673.

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