Pomegranate seeds are edible. They contain healthy nutrients and antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. But if you have chronic constipation, eating a lot could cause an intestinal blockage.
Pomegranates are beautiful red fruit filled with seeds.
In fact, the term “granate” is derived from the Medieval Latin “granatum,” meaning “many-seeded” or “containing grains.”
The seeds comprise about half of the weight of a pomegranate (1). Each seed is encased in a sweet and juicy covering known as an aril.
While the seeds themselves are hard and fibrous, you might be missing out on some health benefits if you discard them.
This article tells you everything you need to know about pomegranate seeds.
Eating pomegranate or drinking its juice has been linked to several health benefits.
Pomegranate seeds may have value, too.
Many of the nutrients in pomegranates come from the arils, but the seeds themselves provide a few nutrients as well.
Studies show they’re particularly high in vitamin E and magnesium (2).
Pomegranate seeds are rich in fiber. According to one study, flour from these seeds boasts about 17%-28% fiber (
The main fiber types in pomegranate seeds are cellulose and lignin (4).
Both cellulose and lignin are insoluble and pass through your digestive system unchanged. Interestingly, they’re the main constituents of wood (
The seeds are safe for most people to eat, although excessive intake may cause intestinal blockage in rare cases. This risk is greater for people with chronic constipation (7,
Like all fruit components, pomegranate seeds contain antioxidants. However, they’re not as rich in antioxidants as the arils (
The seeds contain various phenolic acids and polyphenols, including flavonoids, tannins, and lignans (10).
Unique fatty acids
Pomegranate seeds comprise around 12–20% seed oil. This oil mainly consists of punicic acid, a polyunsaturated fat (
Studies in animals suggest that punicic acid may reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity (
There is some research on humans confirming the effect of pomegranate seed oil on blood sugar, as well as research showing that punicic acid may decrease inflammation in the brain.
The latter may be helpful in treating certain neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s (14,
Learn more on how to open and seed a pomegranate and watch the demonstration below.
Pomegranate seeds are different from the arils, which are the sweet, juice-filled pulps that this fruit is known for.
The seeds themselves appear to be perfectly edible.
They are a good source of antioxidants, insoluble fiber, and punicic acid. Animal studies suggest that this unique acid provides anti-inflammatory effects for the body and brain.
While no evidence indicates that pomegranate seeds are unhealthy, a very high intake may increase the risk of intestinal blockage in people with severe, chronic constipation.