The Powerful Pomegranate

Fun fact. Pomegranates can contain over 600 seeds! Pretty cool, right? Although they can be quite messy to open up and get the delicious seeds out, they are totally worth the effort, and the wait, for all of their glorious benefits. In Canada, we get most of our pomegranates from California and the season for them is around September - December. A little short lived, just like many other fruits but when the iron is hot, we must strike! 


You might not know it when you devour the tart seeds or juice, that basically taste like candy, that you’re fuelling your body with some pretty awesome nutrients. Pomegranates are considered to be a major superfood because they have a variety of beneficial properties. Their nutrition profile is pretty impressive. Containing nutrients like fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, phosphorus and folate. What I love the most about them is that they contain polyphenols, which are plant chemicals (the good kind of chemicals!). Polyphenols are loaded with antioxidants, which we want to consume regularly to fight off disease and to live our most vibrant healthy life! Antioxidants help our bodies to fight free radicals and oxidative stress by reducing inflammation. One of the inflammation fighting antioxidants that pomegranates contain is anthocyanins, which is quite common in fruits and vegetables. If you’re consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables often, then you’re getting your anthocyanins in, as well as other powerful antioxidants. Another fun fact for you, fruits and vegetables that are blue, purple and red contain anthocyanins. This is because plants produce phytonutrients, which are like a defense mechanism to protect themselves from toxins, bugs, the environment, etc. This protection affects the colour of the plant and this protection also produces antioxidants. 


Because of their high antioxidant profile, pomegranates play a role in helping our bodies to prevent dis-ease and to heal. Here are some of those benefits:

 

  • Support heart health by improving cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Assisting with muscle repair post exercise
  • Anti-cancer fighting properties
  • Improving cognition
  • Improved gut health and digestion
  • Helps prevent illness and fight off infections
  • May improve memory strength and delay memory loss

 

Pomegranates are very versatile. There are so many ways you can incorporate them into your diet. Here are some ways that I use them:


  • Eat the seeds as is. Put them in a bowl and dig in with a spoon
  • Drink the juice as is
  • Sprinkle on a salad
  • Add into a fruit salad
  • Add to your chia pudding, oats, yogurt
  • Mix in with grains like rice or quinoa 
  • In a smoothie
  • As a garnish - super pretty on hummus and such a delicious combo
Written by Tina Gravalos