Pomegranates are a round-shaped fruit with reddish yellowish color on the top. Split one open to reveal delicious, juicy and ruby-like red color seeds. These seeds are known as arils, which can be relished raw or in the form of a juice.
It is wonderfully easy to enjoy the luscious jewel of the fruit just by itself or adding it to any of your meals to elevate your recipe to the next level.
Polyphenols, an antioxidant present in the fruit are responsible for that vibrant red colour of pomegranate and many of its functions. Let’s deep dive into each of the functions this beautiful fruit holds!
Nutritional facts of pomegranate:
Tiny seeds of pomegranate are a rich source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron and Vitamin K.
Pomegranate seeds contain two major compounds mostly responsible for their health benefits – punicalagin and punicic acid. Punicalagins are a group of antioxidants commonly present in pomegranate juice and peel, whereas punicic acid, present in seed oil is the main fatty acid.
We will read more about these wonderful ingredients as we proceed further in our article.
Nutritional information of 1 cup of pomegranate:
- Energy: 79 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 17gms
- Dietary Fibre: 1gms
- Protein: 2 gms
- Fat: 2 gms
- Vitamin C: 3 mg
Health benefits of pomegranate:
1. More antioxidant power:
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. The red color of the pomegranate seeds comes from the antioxidant called polyphenols. Pomegranate juice is considered to have more antioxidant power than seeds. In fact, studies have shown that the juice might contain 3 times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. Antioxidants can play a very important role in removing free radicals from your body, reducing inflammation and protecting the skin and cells from oxidative damage.
2. Protects your heart:
Another name for pomegranate would be a hearty fruit. It helps to protect the heart and the arteries. Studies have also shown that pomegranate taken in the form of juice can help improve the blood flow and also protects the arteries. Regular consumption of pomegranate seeds or juice can help control your blood cholesterol and keep your heart up and running.
3. Works like an oxygen cylinder:
Due to its antioxidant activity, pomegranate juice is considered to be a boon for the lungs. When consumed on a regular basis, it can help cleanse the lungs, a much-needed detox for consistent smokers. It may also help to pump oxygen levels in your blood and ultimately all these functions can improve the overall functioning of your lungs which is a much-needed drive in today’s age.
4. Improves immunity:
Last year, we all understood the importance of a strong immune system. Pomegranate, being a great source of Vitamin C, contains two important compounds punicalagin and punicic acid; and also acts as an antioxidant that can help your body fight disease-causing germs.
5. Strengthens bones:
Pomegranate juice contains a high amount of flavonols. Flavonols are antioxidants that can work to reduce inflammation in the body. By controlling inflammation, it can help control the osteoarthritis or cartilage damage. Pomegranate juice is also being studied to have a beneficial impact on joint inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis.
Uses of pomegranate:
Indian kitchens widely use pomegranate seeds in both savoury and sweet dishes. It adds a tangy and sweet taste to the dishes. Few dishes like chaats, Gujarati snacks like khaman or Dabeli are incomplete without the garnish of pomegranate seeds.
It can be either consumed as raw or even in the form of a juice, which helps to improve your antioxidant quotient and thus help your skin glow. Nowadays, you also find pomegranate flavored green tea, you should definitely add this to your bucket list. Green tea combined with pomegranate might have more antioxidant power than regular tea.
How to store pomegranate without affecting its nutritional value?
It is always recommended to enjoy pomegranate arils fresh and not to store them. But, in case you are not able to relish the seeds due to lack of time, storing the seeds may help. Fresh arils can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can also store the whole fruit in a cool, dry place or even in the refrigerator. It will remain fresh for up to 1 month.
Pomegranate is a fruit with powerful antioxidant functions that can help improve your immunity levels, lung functioning and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that can provide ample amounts of benefits to your body. The best way to have pomegranate is in the form of arils, but you can also try consuming the juice or pomegranate tea, depending on your health condition.
Pop those little rubies in your mouth and charge up your antioxidants levels!