Pomegranates might not enjoy the label of king of fruits or the fruits with known health benefits. However, ancient literature across the globe mentions pomegranate as a valued Himalayan fruit with unique medicinal properties. Truly a wonder fruit, pomegranates possess wide array of health promoting nutrients and disease fighting antioxidants.
– Clinical studies show that regular consumption of pomegranate helps in bringing down the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) level whilst improving the good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
– Touted to be a blood thinner, pomegranates aid in reducing the heart clogging plaque and promoting the flow of blood through the arteries.
– Being rich in vitamin C, A and E, pomegranate juice alleviates wrinkles, acne and signs of premature ageing. Several beauty formulations use pomegranate seed oil or juice extracts to bestow glowing skin and a blemish free complexion.
– Pomegranates contain much more antioxidant properties (due to abundance of poly phenols such as isoflavones, tannins and anthocyanins) than green tea or red wine and are being studied extensively for their role in fighting breast, skin and prostate cancer.
– A glass of pomegranate juice provides almost half of an adult’s recommended daily dietary allowance of vitamin A and C and 100% RDA of folic.
– Yet another reason to eat pomegranates is its high iron and fiber content which qualifies it as a remedy for anemia and digestive problems.
– Owing to its high natural sugar content, pomegranate juice tends to be high in calories and makes for a refreshing energy drink, especially for children and athletes. Diabetics and weight loss seekers may also choose pomegranates as a part of an otherwise low sugar diet.
While one may enjoy the delicious juicy pomegranate seeds as a healthy snack or dessert, preparing fresh juice is also quite easy. Break open the pomegranate, separate the seeds from the peel and the inner white membranes and grind the seeds to extract fresh juice. Alternatively, one can cut the fruit into two halves and squeeze out the juice in a hand held citrus juicer. The juice can subsequently be strained using a muslin cloth or strainer. Pomegranate juice usually has a blend of sweet and tart taste and makes for an excellent salad dressing, cocktail mixer, jellies and flavored ice candies. Pomegranate seeds can be paired with split bananas and nuts to make a delicious salad or added to yoghurts and soups. Dried seeds (anar daana) are often made into chutneys or powdered and used for gravies.