iStock

From being revered as the symbol for fertility and prosperity to a fruit sent by God to bring emotional and physical peace among the mankind, the pomegranate holds many titles. This exotic fruit is touted for its benefits, one of which includes weight loss. Great news for those of us who love this delicious juicy fruit--and it's the perfect time since the fruit's harvest season runs from October through February.

Of course, there's more! Those little red pods are jam-packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and plenty of vitamin C. It's a superfruit you should definitely add to your rotation. It's very easy to peel and use too: Simply roll the fruit on any counter to loosen the seeds, then cut around the middle to open it up into two halves. Put the halves over a container and tap the skin with a wooden spoon. It's that easy!

More from MamásLatinas: 40 Latin gluten-free recipes you'll definitely want to make

Now that you know how to get your pomegranate on, let's look at five ways the pomegranate helps you lose weight and boosts your overall health. You'll be surprised at how versatile and healthy it really is--from using it in licuados and smoothies, to using the seeds in salads and other foods, it's as multi-use as they come! And luckily it's in season, so you can chow down!

It makes food taste delicious and keeps you full for long. 1

It makes food taste delicious and keeps you full for long.

Corbis

A research study showed that participants who had a pomegranate supplement before their meals, ate 22 percent less than the control group who were given a placebo. Participants also found the same food much more delicious than their non-supplemental counterparts. Additionally, they experienced 12 percent less hunger, a 21 percent reduction in their desire to eat, an increased satisfaction of 15 percent, and 16 percent more fullness. The reason behind this reduced appetite, according to experts, could be attributed to the presence of powerful polyphenols in this super fruit.

Advertisement

It stops the build-up of plaque in our blood vessels. 2

It stops the build-up of plaque in our blood vessels.

Corbis

Pomegranate protects us against atherogenesis by shielding the walls of our vessels from plaque. It prevents the cholesterol from oxidizing, which can otherwise cause atherosclerosis. The fruit has even been shown to reduce the amount of plaque already built up. The strong antioxidant properties gives them the power to protect the integrity of our circulatory system.  A study has shown that consistently consuming 8 ounces of pomegranate juice for three months increased the flow of oxygen into the heart muscles.

Advertisement

It slows the progression of prostate cancer. 3

It slows the progression of prostate cancer.

Corbis

Research shows that although not a cure, pomegranate juice does suppress the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells. The antioxidants in this super food can shield our DNA from harm, while repairing the damage already occurred. Experts recommend the addition of pomegranate to a plant based diet to reap the maximum benefits. Some research has also shown pomegranate to lower the risk for breast cancer.

It lowers the risk for diabetes. 4

It lowers the risk for diabetes.

Corbis

Even though pomegranate is high in carbohydrates, it is also rich in antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients, which makes the effects of sugar not so detrimental. Research shows that it actually holds important benefits for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. It reduces the production of resistin, which is a signaling hormone whose formation is triggered by an increase in fat cells.

Advertisement

There's a chance it fights osteoarthritis. 5

There's a chance it fights osteoarthritis.

Corbis

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage present at the end of each bone breaks down, which causes bone loss and inflammation. Studies have shown that pomegranate extracts may prevent osteoarthritis by blocking the enzyme responsible for cartilage degradation and joint damage. It also lowers the amount of interleukin-1b, which is a chemical that promotes inflammation. It may protect the integrity of our joints and bones. If you have a weak skeletal system, you may benefit from adding this fruit in your diet.