There’s nothing quite like the sweet satisfaction of cracking open a pomegranate to find an abundance of glistening, ruby-red jewels. This beautiful fruit is often referred to as the “Jewel of Autumn”, and November is World Pomegranate Month! It’s a great time for us to review what makes pomegranates such a great addition to your meals, and also talk about a little history.
The name pomegranate derives from the Middle French “pomme garnete”, which translates to seeded apple. The gems inside are called arils, and they contain all of the good stuff! You can eat the seeds inside the arils if you like, but most people prefer to just eat the sweetness surrounding them. You can also obtain 100% pomegranate juice if you’d prefer someone else did the work. However, there’s no better mindful snack than a pomegranate!
Often referred to as a superfood, pomegranates have exceptional health benefits. The juice is full of potassium, vitamin C, and they’re a great source of fiber. Additionally, pomegranates are very high in antioxidants, which are great to add to your diet because antioxidants fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are linked to many illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
One of the inflammation fighting antioxidants that pomegranates contain is anthocyanins, which are 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 disease 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
Pomegranate Quick Facts:
- They can contain over 600 seeds!
- There are over 760 varieties
- The pomegranate was crushed and used as a dye in ancient Rome
- Trees can live for over 200 years!
- They are native to the Middle East (just like us!)
Some versatile ways to incorporate pomegranate in your diet:
- 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 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
- In a salad dressing, like our Pomegranate Dressing; we’ve already done the hard work for you!
Stay tuned this week for a lovely roasted vegetable salad featuring our Pomegranate Dressing you’re sure to love.