Laying the seeds for less fat and more muscle


By now, you should be well aware of the power of pomegranate juice. Its rich antioxidant content not only offers numerous health benefits, but also enhances nitric oxide levels. And if you look deeper, the pluses of pomegranate don’t end there.

Pomegranate seeds are a rich source of a healthy fat known as conjugated linolenic acid. This is different from CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. The fat in pomegranate seeds may actually enhance fat loss and muscle gain, according to new research from the University of Houston. They fed rats a high-fat diet supplemented either with pomegranate seed oil or nothing.

The rats getting the pomegranate seed oil gained less bodyfat and had increases in insulin sensitivity and in leptin levels. An increase in leptin can help to boost your metabolic rate, which helps to burn more bodyfat.

Increased insulin sensitivity can enhance both fat loss and muscle gain, because it means that insulin is more active at your muscle cells; it better instigates muscle protein synthesis and blood sugar uptake, which prevents carbohydrates from being stored as bodyfat and helps you burn more bodyfat.

Try eating pomegranate arils — the fleshy parts that contains the seeds — with breakfast or before workouts. One cup of pomegranate arils provides 144 calories, 3 grams of protein, 33 g of carbs and 7 g of fiber.