Behold the luscious, red pomegranate—it is a fruit rich in flavor and nutrients and is a delectable wintertime treat. A symbol of abundance and fertility throughout history, the pomegranate has achieved superfood status in recent years. It offers a wide array of nutritional benefits and adds a delicious, colorful element to any meal.
The pomegranate is a rich, red fruit about the size of an orange. The outer husk of a pomegranate is inedible; however, inside the fruit are hundreds of tiny seeds called arils. These tiny red seeds are loaded with antioxidants. Some people consume the seeds whole, while others prefer pomegranate juice.
The pomegranate was originally native to Iran and Northern India; however, it has been cultivated in the northern hemisphere for centuries. Its peak season is between September and February.
Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Rich color in fruits and vegetables indicates a concentration of nutrients. Pomegranates are a vibrant, red color, so it’s no surprise that they are loaded with nutrients.
Pomegranates are rich in:
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- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
- Antioxidants called polyphenols
Pomegranates have been found to have many health benefits, including:
- Reducing cholesterol
- Reducing blood pressure
- Improving erectile dysfunction
- Preventing dental plaque
- Reducing inflammation
- Alleviating symptoms of menopause
- Preventing cancer
- Improving response to cancer treatment
- Protecting against environmental damage and aging
That’s a tall order for such a tiny seed. Researchers are scrambling to evaluate the benefits of pomegranates in scientific studies. Although numerous studies have identified strong health benefits associated with the consumption of pomegranates, it’s important to remember that pomegranate is no substitute for medical treatment. However, daily consumption of pomegranate seeds or juice can’t hurt and just might help promote health.
Pomegranate seeds and juice are a wonderful addition to the menu.
- Sprinkle the seeds on a salad for a dash of color, flavor, and nutrition.
- Add pomegranate juice to a smoothie for a delicious antioxidant boost.
- Blend pomegranate seeds or juice into a homemade salad dressing.
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds into oatmeal for a hearty, nutritious breakfast.
- Stir pomegranate seeds into yogurt for an added boost.
- Use pomegranate seeds to decorate desserts in place of sugary sprinkles.