Harvard Men's Health Watch

Pomegranates for the prostate and the heart: Seeds of hope

Few American men have heard of the pomegranate, and fewer still have eaten the curious-looking fruit loaded with red seeds. But if new scientific studies bear fruit, this exotic edible may one day find a place in healthful diets.

What are pomegranates?

Pomegranates are exotic in America but commonplace in the Middle East. They are the fruit of the Punica granatum tree, which is native to Iran and is also cultivated in some Mediterranean countries and in parts of Russia, Afghanistan, India, China, and Japan.

Pomegranates are relatively new to Americans, but they have a venerable history. Legend holds that they grew in the Garden of Eden, and they have a place in the mythology and traditions of ancient Greece, Persia, Babylonia, and China.

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