If like me you find yourself hitting a bit of an energy dip immediately after lunch, then you’re most likely suffering from a post meal preferential shift, a process that see’s your body redirect a large portion of its blood from the brain to its stomach to aid digestion. Where blood goes oxygen follows, therefore this shift of blood away from the brain can leave you feeling rather sluggish, sleepy and demotivated…not good when you have your boss breathing down your neck for that report!
So here is a little info on why you may wish to include this Middle Eastern fruit in your diet when fatigue kicks in:
These little gems are packed full of energy, the natural sugar content is great to trigger those sugar receptors in your mouth which instantly tell the brain sugar is on its way. This is music to your brains ears which causes it to release endorphins and release glycogen for instant energy (because the brain is satisfied that the glycogen can be readily replaced).
Pomegranate is also high in insoluble fibre meaning it slows the release of sugars making the energy a little more sustainable, as well as delivering vitamins A, C and E, all of which are antioxidants and are key to energy metabolism.
As if that wasn’t enough for you to get some pomegranate into your life, the relative high levels of nitrates make them great for increased oxygen delivery. Similar to beetroot and green leafy vegetables, pomegranate contains the nitric oxide boosting nitrates, compounds that readily widen blood vessels and increase blood flow and oxygen delivery around the body…including to your brain!
One thing to consider is that pomegranates contain the polyphenolic compound known as tannins. Tannins are thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, however if consumed too close to an iron rich meal may inhibit the absorption of this critical mineral. If you have consumed an iron rich meal such as steak and sweet potato chips then be sure to leave 30mins between eating and consuming your pomegranate.