Pomegranate symbolizes hope and abundance in many cultures. Referred to as jewels of the winter, they were incorporated into Persian wedding ceremonies to bring a joyous future to the couple. 5 of its known health benefits are:
- It is a good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, providing about 4 g per 100 g, which aid in smooth digestion and bowel movements.
- The fruit is suggested by nutritionists in the diet for weight reduction and cholesterol controlling programs. Regular inclusion of fruits in the diets boosts immunity, improves circulation, and offers protection from cancers.
- Studies suggest that punicalagin and tannins found in pomegranate are effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging harmful free radicals from the human body.
- The fruit is an also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 17% per 100 g of daily requirement. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents by boosting immunity.
- Regular consumption of pomegranate has also been found to be effective against prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), diabetes, and lymphoma.
It is strongly suggested to consume the fruit in its whole form instead. Not only will this give you added fiber (which is found in the edible seeds), but it will ensure that you’re not overdoing it on fructose, which is found in high levels in all types of fruit juice.
Arils are the “jewels” of the pomegranate, and they’re the part you’ll want to enjoy. Many people enjoy pomegranates alone as a snack, but you can also sprinkle the arils over salads or cooked dishes. Inside each aril is a crunchy fiber-rich seed.
While some people spit them out, you can eat them whole, seed and all. So how do you get out the arils?
Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections
Place the section in a bowl of water, then roll out the arils with your fingers
Strain out the water, then enjoy the arils whole, seeds and all.
You can eat them as a snack,
Pomegranate & Arugula Salad
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups lightly packed arugula, leafy hydroponic – if available
- 1 pomegranate, seeds only
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 shallot, sliced
To prepare vinaigrette, mix molasses, lemon juice, honey and vinegar in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix all together. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while you whisk to emulsify.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Photo credit: food network