Is pomegranate juice good for weight loss?

Quick answers

Pomegranate juice may help with weight loss in a few key ways:

– It’s low in calories and high in nutrients. An 8-ounce glass has around 120 calories and lots of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.

– The polyphenols in pomegranate juice may increase fat burning and reduce fat storage. Animal and human studies show modest benefits for weight loss.

– Drinking pomegranate juice instead of higher calorie beverages like soda and juice can help reduce calorie intake.

– Some small studies show pomegranate juice may slightly reduce appetite, calorie intake, and body weight. But results are mixed.

– Any weight loss benefits are likely mild. Pomegranate juice alone won’t lead to dramatic weight loss. It should be combined with an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Nutrition facts

Pomegranate juice is nutritious and relatively low in calories. An 8-ounce (240 ml) glass contains about: (1, 2)

– Calories: 120
– Total fat: 0 g
– Sodium: 15 mg
– Potassium: 450 mg
– Total carbs: 28 g
– Sugars: 23 g
– Protein: 1 g

It also provides substantial amounts of:

– Vitamin C: 40% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
– Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
– Folate: 16% of the RDI

Additionally, pomegranate juice is rich in powerful plant compounds called polyphenols, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other health benefits.

The main polyphenols in pomegranate juice include:

– Punicalagins: Potent antioxidants unique to pomegranate. They’re responsible for over 50% of the juice’s antioxidant activity.
– Anthocyanins: Pigments that give pomegranates their red color. They’re strong antioxidants that may reduce inflammation.
– Ellagitannins: Compounds that may lower oxidative stress and help reduce blood pressure.

Weight loss mechanisms

Here are some of the ways pomegranate juice may help with weight loss:

Low in calories

Pomegranate juice is low in calories yet high in nutrients.

Replacing high calorie beverages like soda and fruit juice with pomegranate juice can reduce overall calorie intake and may lead to some weight loss over time.

An 8-ounce (240 ml) serving of pomegranate juice has about:

– 120 calories

Compare that to other drinks:

– Cola: 140 calories
– Orange juice: 110 calories
– Apple juice: 115 calories
– Cranberry juice cocktail: 140 calories
– Red wine: 125 calories

So pomegranate juice is lower in calories than many alternatives.

May increase fat burning

Some research suggests the polyphenols in pomegranate juice may help increase fat burning and reduce fat storage.

In one study, overweight and obese adults took 1.7 ounces (50 ml) of pomegranate juice daily for 4 weeks. The researchers observed significant increases infat oxidation — or fat burning — after meals (3).

Another study found pomegranate extract boosted fat burning during exercise in 12 young, healthy men. The men who took the extract burned 17% more fat than the placebo group (4).

Animal studies report similar weight loss effects. Mice fed pomegranate extract or juice had significant reductions in body weight and body fat, compared to a control group (5, 6).

The ellagitannins and anthocyanins in pomegranate are likely responsible for its fat burning effects (7).

May reduce appetite

Some evidence indicates pomegranate juice may slightly reduce appetite.

In an 8-week study in 19 overweight people, 1.7 ounces (50 ml) of pomegranate juice per day significantly reduced appetite scores.

However, other studies show conflicting results. In obese and diabetic adults, 8 ounces (230 ml) of pomegranate juice per dayfor 4 weeks did not affect feelings of fullness or hunger (8, 9).

So the evidence is limited and mixed when it comes to pomegranate juice’s effects on appetite and satiety (feeling full).

May lower calorie intake

Due to its rich taste and flavor, some research shows pomegranate juice may help lower overall calorie intake by improving meal satisfaction.

In one study, 28 overweight people took 5 ounces (150 ml) of pomegranate juice with their breakfast meal for 4 weeks.

The pomegranate juice group lowered their calorie intake at breakfast by 20%, on average — and said their meal was more satisfying. As a result, they ended up consuming fewer calories and losing body fat (10).

Other studies note no significant difference in calorie intake or body weight when people drank pomegranate juice (8, 11).

So results are conflicting. Larger and longer studies are needed.

May reduce body weight

Some studies demonstrate modest reductions in body weight from drinking pomegranate juice daily, while others show no benefit.

In one study in obese and diabetic adults, those who drank 8 ounces (230 ml) of pomegranate juice daily had significantly less body weight, body mass index, body fat, and belly fat after 4 weeks (8).

Other studies show 8–12 ounces (230–350 ml) of pomegranate juice per day for 4–8 weeks resulted in slight but insignificant reductions in body weight, BMI, and belly fat (9, 12, 13).

That said, a review of many studies on the topic did not find strong or consistent evidence that pomegranate juice helps reduce body weight (14).

Larger clinical trials lasting longer than 12 weeks are needed to properly determine pomegranate juice’s effects on body weight.

Other potential benefits

Aside from possible weight loss, pomegranate juice has several other health benefits:

– May lower blood pressure: Drinking 5 ounces (150 ml) daily for 2 weeks may lower systolic blood pressure by 5–8 points in people with hypertension (15).
– May reduce heart disease risk: Pomegranate juice may improve blood flow and cholesterol levels, potentially lowering heart disease risk (16, 17).
– May slow cancer cell growth: Test-tube studies suggest pomegranate compounds inhibit the growth and spread of certain cancer cells (18, 19).
– May protect brain function: Animal studies indicate ellagitannins and urolithins from pomegranates may reduce oxidative damage linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases (20).
– May reduce joint pain: Pomegranate extract may reduce inflammatory activity in the body and lower oxidative stress in joints, potentially reducing arthritis symptoms (21).
– May boost immunity: The vitamin C and other antioxidants in pomegranate juice may strengthen the immune system and help ward off illnesses (22).

So adding pomegranate juice to your diet provides a range of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may offer additional health benefits beyond possible weight loss.

Does it really work?

Some small studies — mostly in overweight and obese people — show modest benefits of pomegranate juice on body weight and fat reduction.

However, not all studies demonstrate weight loss. A review of several controlled trials concluded pomegranate juice does not significantly impact body weight or BMI (14).

Also, most studies are small and last fewer than 12 weeks. More research is needed on larger populations over longer periods to know how it really affects weight loss.

Additionally, pomegranate juice alone is unlikely to lead to major weight loss. Any beneficial effects are slight, even when juice intake is paired with reduced calorie diets.

For significant, long-term weight loss, pomegranate juice should be combined with an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle.


Most studies examining pomegranate juice and weight loss have used doses of around 8 ounces (230 ml) per day.

The optimal dosage is unknown, but more juice does not necessarily equal more benefits. One study gave obese people 1 cup (240 ml) or 2 cups (480 ml) of pomegranate juice daily for 4 weeks. Both doses reduced body weight and belly fat by similar amounts (23).

To obtain benefits for weight loss, aim for around 8–12 ounces (230–350 ml) of 100% pomegranate juice per day.

Should you try it?

Pomegranate juice may offer some benefits for weight loss, but studies show relatively modest effects.

Here are some factors to consider if you want to try it:

– Benefits are small. Expect only slight reductions in body fat — not dramatic weight loss.
– Works best paired with diet and exercise. For significant weight loss, combine it with a reduced calorie healthy diet and plenty of physical activity.
– May be helpful for overweight people. Most studies showing benefits used overweight and obese participants. Effects may be small for already normal-weight people.
– Easy to add to your diet. Drinking some pomegranate juice with meals or as a snack is an easy nutrition strategy.
– May help meet weight loss goals. When combined with other weight loss strategies, pomegranate juice may provide an extra edge for shedding pounds.
– Good source of nutrients. Provides antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols that benefit overall health.
– Low risk. Pomegranate juice is healthy and generally considered safe. Side effects are rare.

Overall, pomegranate juice can be a smart addition to a healthy weight loss diet, especially for overweight individuals — though its effects will likely be modest.

As with any dietary change for health, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help determine if trying pomegranate juice is right for your goals.

Food sources

The best source of pomegranate is in its pure juice form.

Choose 100% pure pomegranate juice with no added sugars or sweeteners. Freshly squeezed juice that has not been reconstituted from concentrate provides the most nutrients.

Bottled juices sold in stores are typically made by reconstituting concentrate with water. Still, these retain many of the polyphenols and antioxidants that may benefit weight loss.

Other sources of pomegranate include:

– Whole pomegranates. About half the fruit is edible — the juicy seeds and pulp.
– Pomegranate arils. These are the red seed pods inside the fruit. They provide the juicy pulp and nutrients.
– Dried pomegranate seeds. These can be eaten as a snack or added to recipes. They still contain some polyphenols.
– Pomegranate powder. Made from dried pomegranate seeds ground into a powder. Can provide antioxidants.
– Pomegranate extract supplements. Tablets and capsules made from concentrated pomegranate. May have more polyphenols than juice.

Keep in mind processed pomegranate products like juices and extracts may lose some of the original polyphenols and micronutrients found in fresh pomegranate seeds and pulp.

Side effects

Pomegranate juice has no major side effects for most people, but some things to keep in mind:

– Sugar content: While pomegranate juice has no added sugars, the natural fruit sugars add up to around 20–25 grams per 8-ounce serving. People with diabetes need to account for this.
– Dental erosion: Acids may wear away tooth enamel. Avoid swishing juice in your mouth. Use a straw instead.
– Drug interactions: Pomegranate may interact with blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Check with your doctor.
– Allergies: Some people are allergic. Reactions may include itchy mouth, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.
– Color: Pomegranate juice can temporarily turn urine and stool pink or red. This is harmless.
– Diarrhea: Very high intakes may have a laxative effect due to the fiber and acids. Stick to moderate amounts.
– Risks for certain groups: Safety for pregnant and breastfeeding women is unknown, so they should avoid high intakes. People with bleeding disorders and on blood-thinning medication should be cautious and speak to a doctor first.

In most cases, up to 12 ounces (350 ml) of pomegranate juice per day is considered safe, especially when consumed with food.

Start with small servings of 4–8 ounces (120–230 ml) to assess your tolerance, and speak with your healthcare provider about potential interactions with medications you take.

Weight loss diet tips

Here are some additional diet tips that may support weight loss when combined with pomegranate juice:

– Reduce calorie intake. Aim for a 500–1000 calorie deficit each day to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Tracking your intake with an app can help.
– Eat more protein and fiber. Choose lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, oats, veggies, and other high protein, high fiber foods to help stay full.
– Limit added sugars. Reduce intake of sugary beverages, candies, baked goods, and other sweets that provide excess calories.
– Watch portion sizes. Use smaller plates and bowls, avoid overfilling them, and don’t go back for seconds to cut overall calories.
– Fill up on fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories and high in water and fiber to help fill you up.
– Choose whole grains. Opt for whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and oats instead of refined grains.
– Stay hydrated. Drink water before and during meals to help fill your stomach.
– Exercise more. Aim for 150–300 minutes of moderate exercise per week to maximize fat burning.
– Get enough sleep. Those who get 6–8 hours of sleep per night tend to weigh less.

Making dietary changes like drinking pomegranate juice works best when paired with an overall healthy eating pattern and active lifestyle.

Healthy pomegranate juice recipes

Here are some healthy recipe ideas to enjoy pomegranate juice:

Pomegranate blueberry smoothie

Blend pomegranate juice, blueberries, banana, Greek yogurt, and spinach for a nutrient-packed smoothie.

Pomegranate juice spritzer

Mix pomegranate juice with sparkling water and serve over ice with mint and lime.

Pomegranate juice vinaigrette

Whisk together pomegranate juice, oil, shallots, and herbs for a tangy salad dressing.

Pomegranate mule

Combine pomegranate juice, ginger beer, lime, and vodka or gin over ice for a festive cocktail.

Pomegranate orange sorbet

Purée pomegranate juice, orange juice, honey, and frozen berries for a refreshing, low-fat dessert.

Baked chicken with pomegranate glaze

Brush chicken breasts with reduced pomegranate juice mixed with honey and cayenne pepper while baking.


Pomegranate juice provides antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds that may offer modest weight loss benefits when incorporated into an overall healthy diet.

Replacing high calorie beverages with pomegranate juice, the potential small decreases in body fat, and the juice’s ability to improve meal satisfaction may aid weight loss — especially in those who are overweight.

That said, any effects are slight. For significant weight reduction, pomegranate juice should be paired with calorie restriction, meal planning, and regular exercise.

Overall, incorporating some pomegranate juice into a healthy lifestyle is a smart strategy as part of a comprehensive weight loss program.

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