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POMEGRANATE – Magical Elixir For Optimum Health

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
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Till now the pomegranate was an unappreciated fruit the world over, but now is finding its rightful voice in fresh fruit markets in India to New York's supermarket aisles; as freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, or simply scooped out seeds from the shell.

A pomegranate. has always fallen into the realm of being a magical elixir or life giving potion and why not? Loaded with nutrients this fruit can easily be pushed into the `super foods' category.. In India pomegranates or `Anaar' as they are popularly called are primarily native to the Himalayas and Iran, and one can expect to see the ripe, sweeter varieties from March to June. Look for the ones which are plump and round, with a rich, bright red color, and free of cuts. They are not like bananas that will ripen once picked, so go for the ones that are red and ripe.

In the Western hemisphere, it is more commonly sold as POM juice, as well as in fruit cocktails in the specialty food store shelves.

The whole fruit can be stored for two to three weeks in a refrigerator. The seeds can be stored in a frozen state in an airtight bag till upto a year. Fresh juice, even if refrigerated should be used within a couple of days. Did you know that the juice has been used as a natural dye by many cultures? So, remember to wear an apron while peeling the fruit.

A look inside

Though they are great to have at room temperature, pomegranates are good also as chilled juice.

One pomegranate that is 3-3/8" in diameter has 105 calories and about 26 grams of sugar. But, the glycemic load being just 10, this fruit is very diabetic-friendly! One fruit (which yields about ½ cup of seeds) fulfills 16% of Vitamin C & 3% of Iron requirements of a healthy adult. Besides these, this fruit is packed with anti-oxidants like tannins, ellagic acids and anthocyanins.

`Small' yet powerful warriors!

The seeds which yield the juice are filled with anti-aging, skin-protecting, cancer-fighting nutrients.

  • Help support normal cardiovascular health - Pom juice has been shown to reduce the retention of LDL cholesterol. As part of a balanced diet, the fruit can help to stop the hardening of arteries.
  • Help your skin stay young - Vitamins A and E in it not only help prevent the formation of unwanted lines, but can also help smooth existing wrinkles and make them less noticeable.
  • Help maintain healthy joint function - Pom juice acts as an enzyme inhibitor to protect against cartilage damage, when applied directly. Research is in progress.
  • Help boost your fertility - According to the University of California scientists, a daily glass of Pom juice can act like Viagra in men as the antioxidants increase blood supply to the genitals.
  • Anti-cancer properties - Pom juice has been shown to reduce incidence of both breast and skin cancer, and slow the growth of prostate cancer in some experimental groups.

Since the fruit is high in potassium, those suffering from kidney disorders should consult their nutritionist before consuming this fruit.

All the others....go ahead & enjoy them - full of juice and flavor.

Good Morning Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed pomegranate juice
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soymilk or plain, low-fat milk + ¼ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 large banana, peeled and broken into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Method

  1. In a blender combine the pomegranate juice with milk, some ice cubes, banana, raisins, and honey. Cover and blend on high speed for 25-30 seconds.
  2. Pour into tall glasses and serve chilled.
  3. Serves two.

Nutritional Information per Serving

  • Calories: 200
  • Proteins: 4.7 g
  • Fats: 2.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.7 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 50 mg
  • Potassium: 621.5 mg
  • Calcium: 33.5 mg
  • Iron: 1.2 mg
  • Vitamin C: 10.7 mg
  • Folate: 35 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
By, The Dietetic Team @ NutritionVista.com

 

NutritionVista

User Comments

28 November, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar A £2million study according to researchers at the private ProbelteBio laboratory in Murcia, Spain, found that a daily dose of Pomegranate extract could slow the ageing process of DNA.
An extract of the whole fruit – including pith, peel and seeds – was given to 60 volunteers every day for a month in the form of a capsule.
Researchers monitored the activity of chemicals in their bodies compared with those who took a placebo.
They found a significant decrease in a marker associated with cell damage, which can cause impaired brain, muscle, liver and kidney function as well as ageing effects on the skin.This was attributed to the action of slowing down the oxidation, or ‘rusting’, of the DNA in cells which naturally occurs over time. (Though small quantities are in the juice they are found mainly in the inedible rind, husk and white pith which has been harnessed into a pill and a drink)

29 October, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Pomegranate juice shows potent antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic activity, this is attributed to the poly phenols present in them, they are punicalagin, ellagitannin and ellagic acid. Poly phenols helps to improve our immune system, keep a tab on our lipids, glucose and weight.

In general, include at least 2-3 fruits a day. One of them should definitely be anti-oxidant dense like pomegranate, orange, papaya, musk melon or guava. These fruits that are commonly available in the local market can work wonders on our health.

05 June, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Pomegranate seeds can make up good snack too. Why not have a small bowl of pomegranate seeds during snack time instead of munching regular namkeens or chips!

regards,
Kanika Jain
NutritionVista

01 June, 2010 | Shweta | Reply

Shweta my kids just loved this good morning smoothie..nice way to make them eat pomegranate..

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