They’re the trendy fruit that are the latest must-have ingredient for salads and juices, even cocktails. But could pomegranates help you live longer, too?

Pomegranate on a white background

New research has identified the exact compound responsible for the anti-aging and cancer-fighting properties of pomegranates.

The magic ingredient is a compound called Ellagitannins. This is found in high concentrations in the red fruit and is broken down by bacteria in our gut into another compound called urolithin A.

Urolithin A helps keep our mitochondria powered-up, providing our cells with energy and nutrients needed for them to function properly. When this compound had been given to mice scientists have found that they live longer and run faster.

It is thought that urolithin also helps block cancer cell growth which explains the cancer-fighting properties previously identified in a trial by University of California. They found that drinking a daily 227ml glass of pomegranate juice significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer. In fact, a new trial is being planned to see whether Urolithin supplements can have similar effects on preventing the spread of prostate cancer.

Want to know more about cancer food and nutrition? Interesting reading:

Try These Simple and Delicious Smoothies for Cancer Patients

Eating Better With Cancer Part 1: What to Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating

Eating Better With Cancer Part 2: Foods to Eat When You’re Feeling Sick

Are you experiencing changes to your taste during chemotherapy?

Live Better With’s Eating Well Guide