What is a Pomegranate?
Punica granatum or known as the pomegranate, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub that growing between 5 and 8 m tall. Pomegranates are used in smoothies, juice blends, meal garnishes, baking, cooking, and alcoholic beverages, such as wine and cocktails. In the Southern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from March to May and in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February. (Source: Wikipedia)
Pomegranates may be one of the oldest fruits known to man and have been used for thousands of years as the symbol of abundance and hope in many cultures. They’ve been eaten by Babylonian soldiers, incorporated into Persian wedding ceremonies, and also found in Egyptian tombs.
Some people even suggested that it was not apples but pomegranates that grew in the Garden of Eden, because pomegranate literally translates to “seeded apple,” but modern research shows pomegranates may pack even more nutritional punch. In North America, pomegranates are referred to as the Winter Jewel, because they are in season during early winter.
How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate?
While people prefer to drink pomegranate juices, many the experts suggest consuming the fruit in its whole form instead. Not only to ensure that you do not overdosing on fructose, It will give you added fiber that found in the edible seeds. If this is the first time you eat a pomegranate, you may be curious which part is edible and not. When you cut a pomegranate in half, you’ll find it’s filled with arils (juice-filled seed sacs), separated by thin white membranes.
Many people enjoy pomegranates as a juice, but you can sprinkle the arils over cooked dishes or salads. Inside each aril you can find the seed. Many people spit them out, but can eat them whole, seed and all. To cut open a pomegranate you will need a sharp knife, a bowl of water and follow this simple three-step process:
- First, cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into several sections.
- Place each section in the bowl, then roll out the arils with your fingers.
- Strain out the water, then enjoy the seeds, arils, and juice.
You can cut a pomegranate with the same way you cut open an apple or an orange, but you’ll lose a lot of precious juice. You can watch a video on “How to cut pomegranate properly” by Svetlana van Uden for assistance
Pomegranate Health Benefits
A pomegranate is a fruit that is very rich in nutrients which makes it quite popular around the globe, despite the fruit originated in areas of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Northern India.
Nutrition Facts of Pomegranate
Pomegranates seeds are high in calories because they contain carbohydrates, sugar, and unsaturated oils, but there is a great deal of protein and fiber in these seeds as well.
Pomegranates are filled with more antioxidants like punicalagin than other superfoods like green tea or acai berry.
The fruit has 130-150 calories, with around 105 calories being derived from the seeds.
The fruit is high in iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Pomegranates are filled with potassium that helps to balance fluid levels and maintain cellular functions, and manganese which helps to form bone structures during the metabolic process.
It also contains high amounts of vitamin B5 that helps the body metabolize, and vitamin K that helps to support bone health
Pomegranates are also high in vitamin C
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Help Lose Weight. Pomegranates have a natural property that provides you with additional energy and cleanse the body, making it easier for you to lose weight.
Cure Anemia. The high amounts of iron will raise hemoglobin levels in your blood to help correct anemia.
Increase Appetite. Drink a glass of pomegranate juice to get an appetite stimulant.
Boost Digestive Condition. Pomegranate juice helps to secrete enzymes with anti-bacterial properties that aid digestion and help to fight off diarrhea, piles, intestinal parasites, dysentery, nausea and hemorrhoids. You can also use pomegranate juice to treat constipation.
Improve Bone Quality. The enzyme inhibitors in pomegranate juice can help to control cartilage degeneration to prevent osteoarthritis and prevent damage to the cartilage.
Fight Cancer. The antioxidants contents are effective in clearing away some types of cancer, including skin, prostate, and breast cancers.
Protect Cardiovascular Health. Consuming pomegranate juice can help increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and improve heart health. Pomegranate juice can act as a blood thinner to minimize the risk of atherosclerosis.
Eliminate Free Radicals. The high levels of antioxidant contents like polyphenols or hydrolysable tannins in pomegranates help to remove free radicals from the body and minimize the effects.
Reduce Inflammation. The pomegranate’s high vitamin C content will help to manage wheezing, cough, sore throat, and asthma.
Relieve Blood Clots. Pomegranates are often used to help relieve blood clots.
How to Make Pomegranate Juice?
Pomegranate juice is beneficial for many medical conditions and rich in potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It is also scientifically proven to be effective in raising HDL (good cholesterol) and reducing LDL (bad cholesterol). Apart from its health benefits, this pomegranate fruit juice recipe also tastes better due to flavoring of black pepper, black salt and lemon juice.
- 1 cup fresh Pomegranate seeds
- 1 pinch Black pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Salt or Salt
- 1½ teaspoons Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- 4 Ice Cubes
- 1½ cups Water
- Grind pomegranate seeds with 1/2 cup water in a mixer for 5 seconds.
- Take a small size bowl, strain pulp through sieve and press it using spoon to extract more juice.
- Add lemon juice, salt, sugar and water. Stir well until sugar dissolves completely.
- Add some black pepper powder, as it will enhance its digestive capabilities and add distinct aroma and flavor.
- Put ice cubes in a glass, fill them with prepared juice and serve.