By Theresa DeLay for DietsInReview.com
Hard to believe it’s already snowing in Denver! Winter is certainly on its way, and with that weíre faced with a new lot of produce to enjoy. Among the many to choose from is the pomegranate.
Although the health benefits of pomegranates are impressive, the Federal Trade Commission has had to step in recently to remind us that the fruit isnít a cure-all or quick fix, as many are over-selling those benefits. Consuming pomegranates offers a lot to your body nutritionally, but they certainly wonít provide any miracle cures.
Pomegranate seeds and juice provide ample amounts of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
- Variety of polyphenols
We need more scientific studies to confirm the following list of benefits, but until then, add pomegranate or its juice to any wintry day for a healthy treat!
Heart Health: Pomegranate lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It also prevents plaque build-up and dangerous clots in the arteries.
Menís Health: When consumed daily for at least three months, pomegranate juice may combat erectile dysfunction.
Dental Health: Just as pomegranate prevents plaque in the circulatory system, it prevents dental plaque, too.
Joint Health: Inflammation is reduced by compounds found in pomegranate. Although this isnít a cure for arthritis, it can help to alleviate the symptoms. Certain enzymes present in pomegranate may also prevent the deterioration of cartilage.
Cancer Treatment: Scientists suspect that regular consumption of pomegranate could not only prevent cancer, but it could also increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment. Breast, prostate, skin and lung cancer were among the types studied.
Other Long-Term Health: Alzheimerís may be prevented (or at the very least, slowed down) by pomegranate. When consumed by an expectant-mother, pomegranate may also protect the neonatal brain from damage in the case of injury.
With all of the fly-by-night pomegranate products available now, especially those touting miraculous weight loss results, it’s important to remember to stick to the purest forms – choose the fresh fruit or the fresh juice. That’s why we’ve put together a few dos and doníts for enjoying pomegranates:
Donít eat the whole pomegranate. Remove the tiny arils (seeds) and eat them whole (like popcorn), juiced, or added to recipes.
Donít forget that pomegranates are in season from September to February.
Donít buy pomegranate juice unless itís 100 percent pomegranate with no added sugar.
Do use pomegranate in your holiday punches and other beverages, like this Pomegranate Martini, for fresh, exotic flare.
Do expand your pomegranate consumption to other cultural regions. Across the Middle East and Mediterranean, pomegranate is used in savory dishes and desserts, like these recipes for Persian Olive, Walnut, and Pomegranate Tapenade or Fruit Kebabs with Pomegranate Glaze.