Pomegranates: Health Benefits
I'm sure several of you have had pomegranates before, but were you aware of all the health benefits they provide?
This antioxidant rich super-food contain seeds surrounded by a kind of ruby red pulp. The pulp infused seeds are actually the only edible thing inside the pomegranate. You can eat the seeds straight out of the pomegranate or juice it. It has a sweet tart taste which varies depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
So, before I tell you about all the wonderful properties of the pomegranate, lets look at its history. It is known to be native to the east and can even date back to 4000 B.C. It's one of the world's most ancient foods. Its name comes from Medieval Latin meaning "seeded apple." They used to be used for many purposes such as using the juice as a tonic to kill parasites, blossom crushed to make a red dye, and the peel was used to dye leather. In ancient Egypt, the pomegranate was considered to be a medicinal plant because of its therapeutic and vermifuge properties.
Now that you have a little bit of a background of pomegranates, let's see why they're so super!
- Scientists say they might help with heart disease, cancer, and problems that are associated with aging
- Very nutritional with antioxidants like polyphenols and other things such as fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron.
- A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries!
- A compound found ONLY in pomegranates called punicalagin is supposed to benefit the heart and blood vessels
- Studies have shown that they are able to sometimes naturally lower blood pressure and reduce platelet aggregation
- Pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that help stimulate seratonin and estrogen receptors which can help people with depression
- Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
As you can see, there are so many wonderful reasons to include pomegranates in your daily diet! I often get the POM wonderful juice and their cups of the actual seeds (because apparently I'm too lazy to get a pomegranate and do those things myself). When I have the seeds I usually end up eating spoonfuls straight out of the cup because it's so good! They are also great to sprinkle over salads,make smoothies with, etc.!