The Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Although they might seem like a fair amount of work, pomegranates are excellent little fruits that make not only for a healthy snack, but also something to keep your hands busy for a bit!
Pomegranates, with their antioxidant qualities, offer a myriad of youth-maintaining benefits. For example, regular consumption can help to regenerate skin cells to reduce cell damage from aging, environmental impact or sun exposure. Pomegranate juice is regularly used in beauty products to help improve moisture and manage oily or combination skin.
A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries and green tea. The antioxidants found in pomegranates include flavonoids and polyphenols, which help to renew cells and can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Helps Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Pomegranates contain a compound that isn’t found anywhere else – called punicalagin. This amazing little compound has shown incredible results when consumed regularly, from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure to increasing the reduction of heart blockages (atherosclerosis). All of these factors lead to overall better cardiovascular health.
Vitamins and Minerals
Pomegranates are chock-full of important vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy, low-calorie snack choice. For example, just 100ml of pomegranate juice contains 16% of your daily vitamin C. You’ll also find a good source of vitamin K and manganese, which help with bone health. Pomegranates are additionally a great source of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and iron. Pomegranates also contain folic acid and niacin, which makes it a great choice for pregnant women.
The juice from pomegranates helps encourage the body to secrete enzymes that aid digestion and normalizes digestion – which can be beneficial if you regularly suffer from intestinal maladies like nausea, diarrhea or constipation. As a high-fiber fruit, pomegranates are a good option for those looking to manage weight and reduce food cravings.
Many people avoid pomegranates due to their perceived fussiness and messiness – having to pick out all the little seeds. It turns out that we’ve been eating them wrong all this time! Here’s how to easily get the seeds out of a pomegranate:
- Cut off the top (stem)
- Score the outside skin, in quarters
- Break the pomegranate into four pieces, you should be able to pull them apart easily
- Over a bowl of water, bend back each quarter and gently loosen the seeds with your fingers
- The seeds will fall to the bottom; any flesh (white parts) will float on the top
You can keep pomegranates for up to two months if you wrap them in a plastic bag – so when they go on sale you can grab a few. The seeds on their own will last a few days if kept refrigerated in a sealed container. Add pomegranate seeds to just about anything – smoothies, salads, breakfast foods, muffins, or just as a healthy snack. Their beautiful color is sure to brighten up any dish. Enjoy!