Pomegranate Health Benefits & Its Many Uses
Pomegranate is one of the most amazing fruits with high nutritional value and many health benefits. It is used as traditional medicine in the Middle Eastern countries for centuries and is now popular elsewhere in the world. It has the most powerful antioxidants that benefit the skin for a smooth complexion. Now, who doesn't want that?
Let's explore the wonders of pomegranate fruit and what health benefits it brings you.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
Rich in Vitamins
Research and laboratory testing confirmed that pomegranate has many beneficial nutrients. It is rich in Vitamin C, B5, Beta Carotene, and Antioxidants. In fact, pomegranate has the most powerful antioxidants of all fruits. It has more of these antioxidants compared to green tea, red wine, and tomatoes. It is also rich in polyphenols, which is critical for a healthy cardiovascular system.
10 reasons to eat Pomegranate
Besides the benefits that were mentioned earlier, the other health benefits of pomegranate that you may want to take note are:
- Since it is rich in antioxidants (which are known to control lipoprotein or "bad" cholesterol from oxidizing) it will help prevent the hardening of the arteries, which is good for your heart. This reduces the chances of a heart disease. Antioxidants will also reduce damage to your cells caused by oxidation as a result of free radicals. This is good for the skin!
- Studies have shown that pomegranate can prevent and slows Alzheimer's disease.
- Eating pomegranate seeds and drinking the juice will increase the oxygen intake to our heart.
- Pomegranate seeds will also help prevent blood platelets from developing threatening blood clots, hence reducing the chances of getting strokes.
- If taken on a regular basis, pomegranate may aid in the prevention of erectile dysfunction.
- It will also reduce the inflammation of arthritis, making it less painful for the arthritic sufferer.
- It is also known to lower the risk of prostate and breast cancer
- If you enjoy eating, then you may want to take pomegranate as it will help reduce your cholesterol level (combined with exercises, this will be a great combination to combat your cholesterol)
- Helps in weight management
- If you have diarrhea, take pomegranate. It is supposed to help.
More on Health Benefits Of Pomegranate
Pomegranate can be made into juice, molasses as well as vinegar. Vinegar is probably one of the most potent forms and is now popular outside the Middle Eastern market. Contrary to most beliefs, consuming vinegar will not make your body acidic. It, in fact, makes it more alkaline. An alkaline body is a healthier body.
Read more on the health benefits of Pomegranate Vinegar here.
Many Uses of Pomegranate
Pomegranate is so versatile and besides eating them raw, it is also used in cooking. The Greek uses them in salads and as dips. Pomegranate syrup is a main ingredient in Persian and Turkish cooking. In Turkey and Syria, pomegranate molasses are used in the hot pepper dip, muhummara. The seeds are used as spices in Indian and Pakistani cooking. Pomegranate wines are produced in countries such as Israel and Armenia.
Replace any vinegar used in your cooking or recipe with Pomegranate Vinegar, to get those extra benefits!
Have you tried pomegranate in your salsa?
Fresh pomegranate seeds can be added to almost all salads and salsa.
In muffin recipes, you can replace cranberries or blueberries with pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranate syrup can be used in drinks, pancakes, or even smoothies.
For variety, you can add the seeds to a lettuce or tortilla wrap appetizer.
Pomegranate can be juiced for a revitalizing drink.
Pomegranate can also be made into jelly, jam, soup, chutney and even liqueurs.
There are many ways to turn pomegranates into delicious foods and you will find many of these recipes on the internet. See below for some of these recipes.
Tips on How to peel a Pomegranate:
The best way to peel or seed a pomegranate is to work under water. In a large bowl of water, slice off the crown and score the fruit in half or quarters. Then, break it apart and gently separate the seed from the skin and white pith.
Rinse and pat dry the seed
How to make Pomegranate Syrup
Recipe for pomegranate syrup is quite simple and you can easily do it at home. You just need four pomegranates and 1/4 cup honey.
To prepare, first, slice each pomegranate in half, and remove the seeds. Then, place it into a blender and blend. The paste is then mixed with honey and simmers over low heat for three minutes. Stir continuously while over the fire. Then strain to remove the seeds.
This will give you about two cups of fresh and delicious pomegranate syrup!
This nutritious syrup can be used on waffles, pancake, in most cocktails as well as in drinks. I mix one tablespoon of the concentrate to a glass of water and add ice cubes to it. It's really nice and nutritious!
How to make Pomegranate Juice
To do Pomegranate Juice, you will need two large pomegranate fruits to yield about one cup of juice. Choose a fruit that is blemish free and is heavier for its size.
Cut the fruit in half and remove the seeds. (See my tips on how to seed a pomegranate, above)
Then, placed it inside a food processor and pulse gently and briefly. Strain the liquid.
Pour into a tall glass, add ice cubes and you are ready to enjoy your homemade pomegranate juice.
P.S. Don't throw the seeds as it can be eaten and is rich in fiber.
Pomegranate in Your Cooking
Other Uses of Pomegranate
You will find many pomegranate products available in the market.
As mentioned earlier there's the pomegranate juice, pomegranate syrup, pomegranate concentrate, pomegranate vinegar, pomegranate extract, pomegranate supplements, pomegranate sauce, pomegranate seeds oil, pomegranate tea and pomegranate wine.
You will also find pomegranate used in various beauty products for skin care.
This is the most convenient way to enjoy the benefits of pomegranate. You can take it with you on your travel, keep it in your office and is probably cheaper than buying the fresh fruits!
Pomegranate in Skin Care
Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants, a component that helps the skin retain moisture and hydration as well as in the brightening of the skin tone.
It also helps in the rapid cell regeneration which gives a potent anti-aging effect. The production of elastin and collagen will also slow down the aging wrinkles and marks.
With all these beneficial properties, pomegranate is now used in several skin care products.
Pomegranate is so versatile that it is also used in industries.
It contains tannin in various forms and is used in the tanning of animal hides. Bet you didn't know that!
How Do You Know if Pomegranate is Ripe?
You will know if pomegranate is ripe by observing and doing the following tests:
- Petals on the Crown: If the petals are turned inside, then the pomegranate is ripe
- Skin: An unripe pomegranate skin is usually hard and not easily scratched. A ripe pomegranate, however, is soft and shiny and can be easily scratched with your fingernail.
- Check the Weight: Ripe pomegranate is heavier than the unripe fruit as the seeds are larger and they have more juice
- Listen to the Sound: When tapped, a ripe pomegranate will give a 'metallic' sound as it has more juice. An unripe pomegranate, however, will give a hollow sound while an overripe fruit will give a muted sound.
How to Grow Pomegranate Tree
With the many health benefits of pomegranate, you may want to grow a pomegranate tree in your own garden.
Pomegranate trees are hardy and will flower in almost any climate. It, however, need direct sunlight in order to bear fruits. The tree is quite small and makes an ideal decorative tree as well.
The best time to plant a pomegranate tree is in spring and early fall.
Make sure the location for the plant has enough rooms for the tree to branch out. As the branches tend to sag when fruiting, do not plant anything underneath the tree.
It is also recommended to stalk the tree down when you first plant the tree, to ensure a steady growth whilst the roots start to grow.
How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree
- To prepare the ground for planting, dig a hole about a foot wider and deeper than the root ball.
- Use a rich humus soil and if preferred, add some compost to the soil
- Ensure the soil is well drained to allow an easy and rapid root growth
- You may also add some mulch around the base, to help retain moisture
- The tree needs to be watered regularly, but do not over water
Pomegranate tree does not really require that much pruning, but if you do want to prune the tree, then start in early spring (this is before they start to blossom).
Other Articles on Healthy Fruits
You may want to read my other articles on healthy fruits. Follow the link below:
- Mayo Clinic : Pomegranate Juice : Can Pomegranate juice lower cholesterol?
- Best Natural Health Supplements : Pomegranate : Pomegranate Benefits Your Heart
- Psychology Today : Antioxidants : Flavonoids: Antioxidants Help the Mind
- Wikipedia : Pomegranate : Information on Pomegranate
- Global Healing Center : Health Benefits of Pomegranate : The Health Benefits of Pomegranates
- US National Library of Medicine : Pomegranate juice consumption
- US National Library of Medicine: The effects of pomegranate juice consumption on blood pressure and cardiovascular health
- US National Library of Medicine : The bioactivity of pomegranate: impact on health and disease.
This article on 'Pomegranate Health Benefits - Its Many Uses' serves as a guide and for educational purposes only. If you have existing medical problems or suspect of having one, please consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment. Ask your doctor if taking alternative remedies such as taking Pomegranate, is OK and will not create a problem with your existing medication, etc.
© 2012 Mazlan