I absolutely love everything about pomegranates; the taste, the color, the crunch, even the labor of love to eat one! I think they are such a majestic fruit. Just look at how intricate the seeds are inside when you slice a pomegranate open. It leaves me in awe every time!
There seems to have been a sudden increase in the use of pomegranates in food products as of late, especially with the recent rage over POM. From what I know and have researched, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that pomegranates may prevent any specific ailments. However, the evidence that does exist seems to support the fact that in general, pomegranates have a positive impact on our health.
So what makes them good for us?
- The primary reason pomegranates are said to be good for us is because of their high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing cell damage. Free radicals are chemicals produced by bodily reactions that can potentially damage your cells. Extensive free radical damage may lead to impaired cellular function and might contribute to the development of cancer over time. Eating a pomegranate doesn’t necessarily prevent cancer, but it’s antioxidants can potentially reduce the harmful cellular changes that lead to the formation and growth of tumors.
- Pomegranates are a good source of potassium, which is an important electrolyte that helps maintain the water balance in your body.
- They are also a rich source of vitamin C, which supports immune system function. One pomegranate has close to 50% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake!
- Blood flow to the heart may be improved due to the antioxidant activity that reduces the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Pomegranates are also high in vitamin K, which is essential for binding calcium to bone cells and maintaining bone density. One medium pomegranate fruit has approximately 60% of the DRI (daily recommended intake) of vitamin K, compared to a cup of bottled pomegranate juice which has just half that amount.
It might seem like a lot of work for just some tiny seeds, but it is definitely worth it! (I know you can buy just the arils at some grocery stores, but it is much cheaper to just buy a few pomegranates and “seed” your own!)
Here is the easiest way I find to get the seeds out!
Slice your pomegranate into 4-6 slices and set in a bowl of water for a few minutes. The least messy way to get the seeds out is to do it directly over the bowl of water. Simply bend the pomegranate slice outwards and pick out the seeds. (I’ve also heard that tapping the rind with the back of a spoon helps loosen the seeds enough that they just fall right out!) The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and any little bits of pulp will float on top of the water and are easy to scoop out. Dump the bowl of seeds and water into a strainer and pick out any other little bits of pulp. Store your seeds in a container in the fridge and enjoy!
I won’t lie, this juicy pomegranate was devoured a few minutes after that last picture was taken! Delicious!