Translated from Latin, granatus means “grainy,” and in Ancient Rome the pomegranate was called a grainy apple. Everything in a pomegranate is useful: every part of it contains substances and micro-elements that are used in cooking and medicine.
- What you need to know
- Calorie content
- Benefit: 8 properties
- How to select and store
- How to clean
- Expert commentary
- Is it possible to eat pomegranate with seeds?
What you need to know about pomegranate
Pomegranate is a heat-loving fruit that grows best in the Middle East, Caucasus, Africa and Asia. The main ripening season is from September to November, but due to their long shelf life, pomegranates can be bought all year round.
Pomegranate ripens in September – November
Once upon a time, pomegranate was valued on a par with honey and cereals, and the ancient Greeks and Romans noted not only the taste, but also the benefits of this fruit. It is difficult to find an equal in the amount of vitamins and minerals in pomegranate: thanks to a number of studies, scientists have found that it reduces the risk of developing various diseases (1).
Pomegranate calories and nutritional value
One serving of pomegranate seeds (approximately 174 g) contains (2):
- Dietary fiber – 7 g (3% DV)
- Protein: 3 g (2.2% DV)
- Vitamin C: 10.2 mg (30% DV)
- Vitamin K: 1.4 mg (36% DV)
- Folic acid: 18 mcg (16% DV)
- Potassium: 236 mg (12% DV)
Also, despite its sweetness, pomegranate is considered a low-calorie product (83 kcal per 100 g), so it can be safely included in diets.
Why pomegranate is useful: 8 properties
Thanks to the antioxidant punicalagin, pomegranate strengthens the immune system and prevents inflammation. The juice helps with hypertension, and the oil made from the seeds helps with type 2 diabetes. Substances contained in pomegranate neutralize pathogens of bacterial and fungal infections. In addition, drinking pomegranate juice daily improves memory and increases physical stamina.
Pomegranate is suitable for dietary nutrition
1. Pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant
Pomegranate contains two substances that effectively protect against harmful influences and toxins, and also prevent premature aging:
- Punicalagin, found in pomegranate juice and peel, has been shown to have greater antioxidant activity than green tea and red wine (3).
- Punic acid is used in the preparation of pomegranate oil, often used for cosmetic purposes.
Both of these components have a beneficial effect on the body, reduce the risk of various diseases and promote cell regeneration.
2. Reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation can cause many serious diseases. Pomegranate has powerful anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of punicalagins. Studies have shown that this component stops inflammatory processes and strengthens the immune system.
3. Lowers blood pressure
Hypertension leads to heart attacks and strokes. A medical experiment showed that people suffering from this disease began to feel better after drinking 150 ml of pomegranate juice daily for two weeks. And their blood pressure dropped to normal levels (4).
4. Helps fight arthritis
The plant compounds in pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effects that may help ease the severity of arthritis. Studies on mice have shown that pomegranate extract improves disease progression and can also block joint damage from osteoarthritis.
Pomegranate contains substances that prevent premature aging
5. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the most common causes of death in the world. Thanks to the Punic acid contained in pomegranate, it helps protect the body from the development of these diseases. The trial found that 51 people with high triglyceride levels (a measure of excess fat in the blood) reduced their triglyceride levels when they consumed 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil daily. Another study found that after drinking pomegranate juice, people with type 2 diabetes had lower levels of “bad” cholesterol in their blood.
6. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections
The substances contained in pomegranate help reduce the number of microorganisms that cause bacterial and fungal infections. Eating the fruit has a positive effect on the oral mucous and prevents the development of gingivitis, periodontists and stomatitis.
7. Improves memory
Research has shown that the healing properties of pomegranate can improve memory. Two grams of this fruit extract contribute to its recovery after surgical anesthesia. Another experiment with 28 older adults found that a glass of pomegranate juice a day improved verbal and visual memory. And with the help of experiments on mice, it was possible to establish that pomegranate can help in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Increases endurance
Pomegranate is rich in dietary nitrates, which improve physical performance. Athletes were given 1 g of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before training. As a result, their blood flow increased significantly, their endurance increased, and the effectiveness of the exercises they performed increased.
Pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure, so hypertensive patients should refrain from drinking it
Harm of pomegranate
Despite the undeniable benefits that pomegranate brings to the body, in case of some diseases you should treat its use with caution. Pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure, so hypertensive patients should refrain from drinking it. Due to its high acidity level, pomegranate juice is also contraindicated for those who suffer from gastritis and peptic ulcers. People prone to constipation should not get carried away with eating pomegranate. In general, it is better to drink pomegranate juice diluted (it can irritate the mucous membranes) and then rinse your mouth to preserve tooth enamel.
How to select and store pomegranate
When purchasing a pomegranate, the first thing you should pay attention to is the color of the peel. It should be bright and deep. The ripeness of the fruit is indicated by a thin shell and a “gnarly” appearance, as if the grains were bulging from the inside. The fruit should be quite weighty: the heavier it is, the higher the likelihood that it will be ripe and juicy. Pomegranate can be tapped in the same way as watermelon. Ripe fruit sounds loud and ringing, while unripe fruits, on the contrary, make a dull sound.
A pomegranate is considered ripe if its peel is thin and the grains seem to be sticking out from the inside.
Under the right conditions, this fruit can be stored for quite a long time, but a lot depends on the temperature and variety. Room temperature (18–24°) is not suitable for long-term storage; the pomegranate can dry out, so in such conditions it should be eaten within a week. It is best to leave the fruit in the refrigerator, where it can remain for up to two months in the absence of high humidity. If the pomegranate is already cut and peeled, then it should be consumed within two to three days.
How to peel a pomegranate
To what extent can pomegranate be replaced, for example, with extract in tablets?
It is difficult to talk about the equivalence of pomegranate and its extract, since the effect, first of all, will depend on…