Pomegranates are tasty, juicy maroon-red fruits that come from the Middle East. They are rich sources of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. What’s more, they have no cholesterol or saturated fats. Surprisingly, for some reason, this fruit is not very popular in the US.
Would you like to make this delightful fruit a part of your eating routine? Let’s learn more about the sweet fruit and explore how pomegranate seeds can be best enjoyed.
Pomegranate seeds – are they what you think they are?
Contrary to popular belief, pomegranate seeds are not the red, pearl-like drops that you scoop out of the shell. Those are arils. Pomegranate seeds are the yellow crunchy bits present inside the arils. The arils and the seeds are both edible while no other part of the fruit can be eaten.
Health benefits of pomegranate seeds
The pomegranate fruit comes with several health benefits. An average pomegranate fruit comprises of about 600 arils. They are great for the both the heart and the brain. In fact, they hold health advantages for the entire body. Some of the benefits for health of this fruit have been discussed below:
Fights off free radical damage
The fruit which is both antiviral and anti-tumor is full of antioxidants as well. This feature enables it to fight off damage causing free radicals. Hence, eating pomegranates can help one age gracefully.
Enables blood thinning
Pomegranate can also prevent harmful blood clotting by thinning the blood thanks to its antioxidant content. There are two kinds of blood clotting – one which is good as it helps heal physical injuries. The second kind is harmful as it can cause clotting in arteries and other places in the body.
Improves blood circulation
Pomegranate also lowers harmful cholesterol levels and enables better blood flow. By improving blood circulation, the fruit takes up the oxygen markers in the body.
Prevents bacterial infections
Pomegranate is very helpful when it comes to fighting off bacterial infections. It can prevent diarrhea, ulcers, microbial and parasitic infections, etc. This it is able to do thanks to its high content of flavonoids.
Reduces the risk of arthritis
The consumption of pomegranate is also beneficial for bone health. The fruit curbs inflammation and fights off the enzyme that is responsible for cartilage damage.
Digestive problems can be very embarrassing and taxing to deal with. Fortunately, pomegranate can help with digestion as well. The fruit is able to ease digestion as it contains a high amount of fiber.
Compromised immune health can allow several diseases and illnesses to barge in. Since pomegranate contains vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties, it works to boost immunity and saves from several immune-related disorders.
Combats heart diseases
Since pomegranate can allow for blood thinning, reduces bad cholesterol levels and improves blood circulation, it can also lower the risk of developing heart diseases.
A study showed that the consumption of pomegranate juice can fight off prostrate cancer. It can slow the growth of cancer cells and eventually kill them off.
Pomegranate juice can also improve memory. It is said that the intake of pomegranate juice can support the mental health of Alzheimer’s patients.
Stress can be an obstacle between you and your goals. It can hamper personal and professional development. Pomegranate can help lower stress markers. Studies show that those who consumed the fruit had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Helps in weight management
The consumption of pomegranate seeds can also prove to be helpful in weight management. The fruit is high in fiber and low in calories which enables it to help one maintain weight.
How to eat pomegranate seeds?
Pomegranate seeds are eaten with the arils. They can be made into a juice, a delicious smoothie with the addition of milk or they can also be enjoyed with oatmeal for breakfast. What’s more, several yummy desserts such as pancakes can be made to include pomegranate arils.
Some desserts that can include pomegranate seeds are pancakes and puddings. If you would like to know more about foods that you can prepare using this fruit, you can easily explore a recipe book or find recipes online. Know that you can also enjoy the arils on their own.
You can either get the arils already separated from the tough exterior or you can get your hands on the whole fruit. Be sure to not wear your nicest clothes when getting to scooping out pomegranate arils. The experience can be more than a wee bit messy as the juice typically spills out.
Moreover, know that you can keep a whole pomegranate (unsliced) in room temperature for about a week. Pomegranate arils can be refrigerated and must be consumed within three days.
Side effects of eating pomegranates
You can enjoy this gift of nature without fearing negative side effects. However, if you notice that you are allergic to pomegranate intake, stop eating the fruit immediately. In the case of any reactions, visit a health professional. Moreover, also note that pomegranates can interfere with certain prescription meds and cause dangerous side effects.
Wrap up thoughts
Pomegranates are packed with several health benefits. They are a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients. The tough outer layer of the fruit cannot be eaten but the arils it contains inside are entirely edible. The seeds are crunchy yellow bits enclosed in the arils which are also edible.
Health benefits of pomegranates include its ability to protect cardiovascular, brain, and bone health. The fruit can control inflammation, strengthen the immune system and prevent cancer, bacterial infections and arthritis as well. It can also better digestion, blood flow, blood pressure and more.
This is why you should consider adding pomegranates to your lifestyle. While opening the fruit can be a messy experience as it can result in stains, the taste and the health advantages that it provides are well worth it.