For years now I have heard of the benefits of Pomegranate and how wonderful the fruit is. I am a little ashamed to say this, but it wasn’t until recently (December 2011) that I actually sat down and ate this amazing fruit. This little moment happened when my girlfriend Kathleen added some pomegranate seeds to a recipe we were playing with. All I can say is wow, I have been missing out on an absolutely killer fruit. Pomegranate or should I say the pomegranate seeds are crazy delicious and add both color and flavor to any recipe. The seeds are a little on the sour side and some my not find them as tasty as I do.
History Of Pomegranate
This slightly awkward fruit has held legendary powers for countless centuries. In ancient times, Egyptians would bury their dead with pomegranates because they believed it offered eternal life. Many Greeks will have pomegranate at their weddings as a symbol of good tidings. It is said the Chinese will eat the fruit’s seeds to bring good luck.
The pomegranate seeds have a ton of antioxidants. Antioxidants are what helps to neutralize free radicals within your body. Your body produces its own antioxidants, but very often, the amount is insufficient to protect against the total oxidative stress we all experience in day to day life. Many scientists believe free radicals lead to various types of diseases and cancers.
It is advised that consuming a diet rich in natural antioxidants, like those that come from fruits and vegetables, may help protect against free radical damage.
Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants that rival green tea and red wine. Loaded with with both Vitamin C and Potassium, pomegranates are said to help:
- Lower Risk of Heart Disease
- Lower Risk of Cancer, Especially Prostate & Breast
- Lessen Symptoms of Diarrhea
- Reduce Cholesterol
- Control Your Weight
- Help to Neutralize Free Radicals and Cell Damage
- Seeds have similar aspirin like properties, keeping blood platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots.
- Studies have show increased oxygen levels
- Reduce Inflammation of Arthritis
How To Eat Pomegranate:
Pomegranates are about the size of an orange or small grapefruit. Inside the fruit there are tons of seeds which must be removed prior to eating them. I typically cut the Pomegranate in half and then start pulling the fruit apart with my hands extracting the seeds as I go. This process can be really messy, so be prepared for a little red juice here and there. I wouldn’t suggest doing this with a while shirt or blouse on. I have been told not to pick or eat the seeds that are sort of a brownish color. It’s more of a preference thing and the brownish color seeds are usually passed their prime. I have also been told that some people like to suck the seeds to extract the juice and then spit out the seeds. I guess it comes down to personal choice. I have found eating the entire seed works for me and actually from what I have read, this is where most of the beneficial fiber actually comes from.
If you prefer to juice the pomegranate, you can do that as well. The fruit juice is extremely beneficial since the peel that is not normally eaten, is processed in the juice, providing a large source of antioxidants.
Here is a great recipe called the Curried Apple Couscous using Pomegranate as one of the ingredients.
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