The term “super food” has been applied to all kinds fruits and vegetables, from blueberries to broccoli—but did you know the produce section is not the only place you can find them?
Depending on the type of massage cream you use, there may be one or more super foods found in the product’s formula. While research on the topical application of fruit and vegetable extracts is lagging behind the numerous studies focused on the benefits of actually consuming them, there may be some potential benefits from one popular super food that you can incorporate in the session room.
The Power of Pomegranate
Often, the reason various foods achieve their super status is due to the antioxidants they contain. Antioxidants are known for their ability to fight free radicals, which can damage the body and overall health, accelerating the aging process along the way.
In pomegranates, the primary class of antioxidants present is called polyphenols. These chemicals are the driving force behind the rich red color of pomegranate seeds, which almost look like tiny jewels. However, the polyphenols in pomegranates do more than make them red—they also serve as antioxidants that can assist in shielding cells from damage and possibly reduce inflammation throughout the body.
According to a report by the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), pomegranate extracts composed of the juice, rind and oil of this fruit have shown the capacity to decrease the pace of production of cancer cells in test tubes and possibly speed the rate at which these cancer cells die. In terms of heart disease, the report stated there is “some preliminary evidence that drinking pomegranate juice every day may help lower systolic blood pressure.”
Inside the Session Room
While these early insights into the possible benefits of the pomegranate for cancer and cardiovascular conditions seem promising, practitioners might still be wondering why pomegranate oil has a place in massage cream.
In part, the answer to that question comes in the form of flavanols, another type of antioxidant that certain super foods, including pomegranates, contain. The researchers at UMMC stated that flavanols, such as those found in pomegranates, have been linked to the alleviation of osteoarthritis, which is a condition that typically results from wear and tear of the cartilage within joints. With symptoms such as pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis can affect a person’s quality of life. According to early research, flavanols may be able to aid in blocking the inflammation that serves as one source of the damage to the cartilage within joints.
The benefits of pomegranate oil in massage cream also come from the ability to deliver its rich bounty of antioxidants and nutrients onto the skin when applied topically.