Deep red coloring, flavorful seeds, and a distinctive bulb shape. Pomegranates are easy to pick out when browsing the produce section, but are they worth adding to your cart? Interest in this juicy fruit has intensified in recent years as more information about its benefits has come to light. Pomegranates are worth adding to your diet for many reasons.
A Solid Source of Essential Nutrients
Pomegranates provide dieters with a delicious way to get several essential nutrients. A typical four inch pomegranate contains half of the vitamin C an average person needs in a day. It also provides almost half the daily requirement of fiber. Regular consumption of this fruit will therefore lead to a stronger immune system and a healthier digestive tract. Eating a whole pomegranate will provide you with more calories than other fruit, but the nutrients you get in return make it worth it.
It may be tempting to reach for a glass of pomegranate juice instead of the fruit itself. While this juice is delicious, it also lacks many of the nutrients you can get from eating the seeds whole. On the other hand, pomegranate juice has benefits of its own outside of what it can offer nutritionally.
It May Help Reduce Heart Disease
Recent research is starting to show a connection between the consumption of pomegranate juice and the reduction of factors that promote heart disease. Research done on mice has shown that the juice can help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. A limited study performed on people who have high blood pressure showed that pomegranate juice can lower blood pressure.
This research is exciting, but it is also ongoing. Be wary of marketers who sell their brand of juice as a cure for all health problems. Pomegranate juice certainly has its benefits, but more research is needed before anyone can say for sure exactly what it does.
A Way to Improve Your Skin
Eating pomegranates may help clear up acne-prone skin. Digestive problems are a common cause of acne breakouts. Pomegranates can help address these issues through its fiber content. This fruit is also a good source of iron, a nutrient that can help your blood carry more oxygen to skin cells, giving you skin that looks fresh and smooth.
A 2008 study published by the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University shows evidence that pomegranates can help repair skin that has been damaged by exposure to the sun. Pomegranate juice helps to prolong the life of fibroblasts, which are the cells that help keep your skin smooth and elastic. While it cannot erase time, it can help to improve the way your skin looks.
An Easy to Prepare Snack
Eating healthy can often take more time and effort than dieters are willing to give. Pomegranates make a great healthy snack because they can be prepared quickly and eaten over a long period of time.
To prepare a pomegranate for consumption, cut the fruit in four quarters. Hold a quarter in the palm of your hand, fruit side facing down. Put a bowl underneath. Take a wooden spoon and rap it firmly on the top of the fruit. The force of the spoon will cause the seeds to fall out into your hand and the bowl below. Repeat this process for the rest of the quarters. The seeds can be eaten immediately or stored in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to two months.
A Delicious Addition to Many Foods
Pomegranates have many benefits, but the best thing about this fruit is it is absolutely delicious. The seeds are juicy and sweet, with just a hint of tartness to make the taste more interesting. Pomegranate seeds can be easily added to any salad, but they taste especially good in fruit salads. They can also be made into a cranberry-like sauce, making them a perfect complement to holiday meals. Add them to rice, roasted vegetables, and even stuffing for a unique and festive flavor.
Pomegranates are a fruit that deserve their current popularity. As research continues, more of their benefits are becoming apparent. Whether as a healthy snack or a unique addition to a classic dish, pomegranates deserve a place in your regular diet.