The Incredible Healthy Benefits of Pomegranate
Why Kings in the Bible ate this fruit…
When was the last time you treated yourself to a pomegranate? I remember eating these as a child, breaking them open and digging out the sweet and sour little jewels of goodness. At the time, I had no idea how incredible the healthy benefits of pomegranates were. Besides being delicious, you’ve probably heard that this beautiful fruit is good for you, too. You’d be surprised to find out just how “good for you” they are. Among other things, pomegranates have anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-tumor properties and are a good source of vitamins, including vitamin A, C, E and folic acid. The following are even more reasons to treat yourself to Pomegranates.
by Greg Montoya
As we get older, the body loses its ability to fight the effects of free radicals, resulting in more free radicals, oxidative stress, and damaged cells, which results in degenerative processes. They are antioxidant rich which helps the body cleanse itself of free radicals, which have been linked to accelerated aging and numerous diseases. Pomegranates actually have three times the antioxidants of both green tea and wine.
Boosts the Immune System
Pomegranates are incredible for helping to keep the body disease free, primarily due to the tremendous amount of vitamin C they contain. As high in vitamin C as oranges, they’ll help keep you well during the cold winter months.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Research has shown that eating them can lower cholesterol levels.
Because pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids, an antioxidant, they can help fight cancer. Flavonoids have been proven to effectively counteract cancer-causing free radicals. People that face a high risk of breast or prostate cancer should add pomegranate juice to their diets to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Regularly consuming pomegranates can decrease the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) levels in the body and fight against any existing cancer cells.
Other Health Conditions Pomegranate Can Help With
Additional health conditions consuming pomegranate can help fight include dementia, alzheimer’s, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, hypoglycemia, diabetes, kidney stones, gallstones, earwax buildup, alopecia, mold exposure, calcifications, nodules, autism, epstein-barr virus (EBV), raynaud’s syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), tumors, plantar fasciitis, adenomas, lyme disease and morton’s neuroma.
Weight Loss Aid
If you’re trying to lose weight and are struggling with overeating and excessive hunger, eating pomegranate seeds (arils) before meals acts as an appetite suppressant.
Fitting Pomegranate into Your Life
To get the most out of pomegranates, eat at least a half of one per day. Get creative with the jewel like seeds, sprinkling them on salads, add to a stir fry during the final cooking stages, or make a sweet dessert (see recipe below).
Choosing Your Pomegranate
Go with a pomegranate that’s “weighty” – heavy for its size. Pomegranates vary in color from a dark, crimson red to a reddish yellow. The color or apparent blemishes don’t have an effect on the quality of the seeds protected inside. Pomegranates can last approximately 3 months in the refrigerator or 7 days on the counter.
Cutting the Pomegranate
You’ll need a sharp knife to cut through the pomegranate’s thick outer shell and a good-sized bowl of cold water. Cut off a 1/2 an inch of the crown (top) of the pomegranate, being careful not to cut too far below the top. Be sure to wear an apron when preparing pomegranate because the tart, ruby red juice stains. As a matter of fact, ancient cultures used the juice of pomegranates to stain/color pottery, leather and artwork.
Make a shallow cut in the pomegranate skin (don’t cut too deep), starting at the top to the base. Repeat this step, ending up with 5 equally spaced cuts. Now, hold the pomegranate underwater and pull it apart. Holding the pomegranate under the water minimizes the amount of juice that might squirt on you. Next, using your fingers, carefully push out the seeds which will sink to the bottom. The membrane (aka pith) will float at the top of the water. Remove the pith using your fingers or a spoon.
Pomegranate + Chocolate = Amazing!
While pomegranate seeds are tasty all by themselves, they’re awesome paired with chocolate. Following is a great recipe you’ll definitely want to try. Just imagine how delicious juicy pomegranate seeds would be, combined with a smooth layer of creamy chocolate – YUM! Pomegranate Bark is an indulgence you can feel good about.
10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao or more)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup of honey
2 cups of pomegranate seeds
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the coconut oil and chocolate chips together until the chocolate is melted. Add in the honey, stirring to combine. Spread the melted chocolate combination evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Firmly press the pomegranate seeds into the layer of chocolate. Put it in the freezer, allowing it to set for at about 30 minutes. Break apart and enjoy!