Anti-inflammatory. Heart health. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax, making it vital for cardiovascular health, and pomegranates have been shown to increased levels of nitric oxide in heart cells and also lower systolic blood pressure. In animal studies, pomegranate extract also helped slow the absorption of sugar into the blood, which could be beneficial for those at risk of metabolic syndrome, which is associated with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Pomegranate antioxidant levels are so high that Russian physicians used it to reduce the effects of radiation exposure following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.