Pomegranate – Make this Fruit your Friend

Today we are introducing you to the Pomegranate.

Pomegranates are in season between September – February and they can be used for cooking, baking and making wine.

The pomegranate is originally from the Middle East and was introduced into America in the late 16th century by the Spanish settlers and is grown in California and Arizona.

The fruit is between the size of a lemon and a grapefruit and has a thick reddish skin.  The seeds within a pomegranate vary in amount from  200 to 1400 seeds per fruit.

Using the Fruit

As we showed yesterday’s video, separating the seeds is best done in a bowl of water so that the seeds sink and the pulp floats. Freezing the fruit also makes it easier to remove the seeds.

The juice from a Pomegranate can be either sweet or sour and can be found at health food stores.

If you dry the seeds, you can use them as a spice.  The pomegranate spice is called Anardana if you want to try and find it at the store.  If you decide to dry your seeds and not make a spice, you can add them as a topping to your salads. (They would be your fruit for the meal.)

The pomegranate peel is inedible but is used to create dietary supplements and preservatives.

Benefits of Pomegranate

Pomegranate seeds are an excellent source of fiber and a 100 gram serving provides 12 percent of your daily Vitamin C, 16 percent of your vitamin K adn 10 percent of your Folate daily nutritional requirements.

Research into Health Benefits:

Pomegranates have several health benefits.  One research study concluded:

 Pomegranate can be used in the prevention and treatment of several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases. In addition, it improves wound healing and is beneficial to the reproductive system. Pomegranate can induce its beneficial effects through the influence of its various bioavailable constituents and metabolites on gene expression. Although many in vitro, animal and clinical trials have been carried out to examine and prove the therapeutic effects of these compounds, further human trials and studies are necessary to understand the therapeutic potentials of pomegranate.

Because the fruit offers some of the same benefits as certain drugs, you need to be careful eating, digesting this fruit while on specific medications. Here is a link to a very useful article taking about this. 

Illustration_Punica_granatum2

Photo of pomegranate by Samantha Forsberg

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