Nutritional Benefits of Pomegranates
For as long as I can remember I have loved pomegranates. Before they became well known for their wonderful health benefits I have loved pomegranates. Pomegranates have been around since before Christ and are thought to be the earliest known fruit, originating in Asia. It wasn't until around 2000 that scientists began to realize just how good they are for people. Now, the world can't seem to get enough of them. But that is a good thing.
According to Nutrition Data, one medium pomegranate will provide you with 234 calories of nutrition. Pomegranates are high in Vitamin C (an immune booster) and Vitamin K (required for blood coagulation), folate, and thiamin as well as providing your body with the much needed minerals potassium, copper and manganese. Pomegranates are also low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. Pomegranates are high in natural sugars, but according to the POM Wonderful website the antioxidants are attached to the sugar molecules and are therefore beneficial for diabetics as well.
Speaking of antioxidants, they are the real reason why pomegranates are so very good for you. Fruits all contain various antioxidants, to varying degrees, that fight specific free radicals in our bodies that can do harm. The unique thing about pomegranates is that they contain several forms of antioxidants, allowing a pomegranate to fight various oxidants in our systems as opposed to just one.
Pomegranates are very good for you, but their juice is even better. Pomegranate juice is a highly concentrated powerhouse of a food and a little bit goes a long way. Studies have shown that pomegranate juice can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer such as breast, skin, prostate and lung cancers. Pomegranates have also been shown to reduce the affects of aging - something I am always up for.
Pomegranates are in season from September through January. I take full advantage of this time to load up on healthy antioxidants and you should too. Pomegranates can be eaten by the handful or in many salads and various recipes. When not in season, pomegranate juice is a wonderful thing to add to your diet. You can eat the entire aril (not just the outside), as the seed inside contains lots of fiber. While pomegranates can be difficult to eat (the arils take some work to get to), they are well worth the time it takes. If you haven't tried pomegranates before, now is a perfect time to do it - your body will thank you later.
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