Come fall you’ll notice grocers start stocking pomegranates. This is the time of year they come in to season (in the states they are commercially grown in California and Arizona). These sweet treats may not be the easiest to take apart, but once you get the avrils (seeds) out of of the fruit, it’s hard to stop eating them! It’s worth it, because the beautiful pomegranate is loaded with nutrition.
- As with any brightly colored edible plant, pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, which help control oxidation in our bodies, thus reducing inflammation and long-term damage. Pomegranate juice has the highest concentration of antioxidants compared to any other juice known for antioxidant capacity (such as acai and blueberry juice).
- A half cup serving of pomegranate arils (the bright red seeds) contain around 15% of daily vitamin C requirement, 18% of vitamin K requirement, 8% folate, and 6% potassium requirement. They also contain a wide array of B vitamins and trace minerals.
- A half cup serving of pomegranate arils contains 3.5 grams of fiber.
- Arils contain punicic acid, which has been found capable of inhibiting breast cancer proliferation, increasing peripheral insulin sensitivity, and reducing body fat.
- Pomegranate juice has been shown to lower blood pressure and atherosclerotic plaque.
- In animal and single cell studies, pomegranate extracts were successful in blocking enzymes known to damage joints in people with osteoarthritis.
- Some studies have shown possible memory improvement with pomegranate juice supplementation.
You can use pomegranate juice to get some of these benefits, but you’ll miss out on important fats contained within the seed, plus the fiber. When you can, eat whole avrils. It’s easier than you think to get the seeds out!
♦ Score the pomegranate in quarters, cutting through the skin to the pulp, but no further.
♦ Fill a medium size bowl with water, and place the scored pomegranate in it.
♦ While it’s under water, work your fingers into the scored sections, and pull the pomegranate apart into quarters. (The reason you’re doing this underwater is to avoid getting juice everywhere.)
♦ While still submerged run your thumbs along the lines of avrils, pushing them off the pulp. You don’t have to be delicate here, they’re tough little suckers.
♦ The avrils will sink to the bottom, while the pulp will float to the top, making it easy to separate the two out. Drain the avrils, and you have delicious pomegranate seeds for snacking!
- Authority Nutrition – 12 Proven Benefits of Pomegranate
- Dr. Fuhrman – Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate
- Wikipedia – Pomegranate
- Mercola.com – Healing Benefits of Pomegranates
- PubMed.gov – Punicic acid is an omega-5 fatty acid capable of inhibiting breast cancer proliferation
- Science Direct – Pomegranate seed oil, a rich source of punicic acid, prevents diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice
- ACS Publications – Comparison of Antioxidant Potency of Commonly Consumed Polyphenol-Rich Beverages in the United States