Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Pomegranate: An Ancient Fruit Provides Modern Health Benefits

Pomegranate seeds are a delicious and nutritious addition to your daily diet. It is high in fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Learn interesting facts about the history of this ancient fruit, its health benefits and how to take out and use the beautiful ruby-red seeds.


Pomegranate Benefits:

Today’s world is always looking for new and fun foods that serve the double purpose of satisfying the taste buds while improving one’s health.  Pomegranates have been cultivated and eaten for thousands of years so while they are not “new” in the literal sense, they are still a novelty to many people in the Western countries.  Filled with vitamins and other anti-oxidants, they may have even more health benefits than green tea or cranberry juice.  Haven’t tried one yet?  It’s never too late to get started!

People throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe have enjoyed the sweet tartness of the beautiful ruby-red seeds of the pomegranate for over 3,000 years.  The pomegranate was featured in Egyptian mythology and art representing health, fertility and rebirth.  Ancient Egyptians were buried with pomegranates in hopes of having a second life.  In the Old Testament, Moses tells the Israelite's that they are going to the land of pomegranates.  The fruit is also said to have been a favorite of the prophet Muhammad.

There are claims that pomegranates are effective against heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers, including prostate cancer.  More studies are needed before such claims can be substantiated.  However, what we do know is that the fruit is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, iron and other anti-oxidants.  Pomegranates have always been an important part of the Middle Eastern diet and for good reason.

Don’t be deterred from making pomegranate seeds a part of your daily diet because you think they are too hard to extract.  Simply cut the fruit into four sections and using your fingers take out the seeds, being careful to separate them from the white membranes.  The seeds stain so use an apron or clothing you don’t care much about and work over a bowl close to the sink.  Wash off the remaining membranes as they are bitter and you don’t want to eat them.  When you are finished put them in a bowl and they will keep in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.  Sprinkle them over cereal and salads, add them to yogurt, or just eat them plain.  You will soon be addicted to using them in your daily diet and it won’t even seem like work to prepare them.

Pomegranates are in season between September and February.  The uncut fruit can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two months, or in a cool, dark place for up to a month.  They are low in calories and high in nutrition so what can you possible lose by trying them!

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