Pomegranates have received a great deal of recent press because of their starring role in the movie, The Secret. Supposedly this little berry is a rich source of antioxidants and good dietary fiber. Let’s take a look at what pomegranate nutrition really is and where it comes from before we move on to more specific details about eating this juicy, soft fruit.
First off, what is pomegranate nutrition? Basically, it consists of a number of beneficial polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that have been linked with preventing cancer and heart disease. They can also help you lose weight and fight off free radicals that can cause premature aging, diseases like Alzheimer’s, and several other age-related problems. Researchers have shown that eating loads of fruits and vegetables full of polyphenols can extend your life expectancy by up to fifteen years!
Scientists have also linked the superfood status of pomegranate seeds to increased longevity. Pomegranate seeds are packed full of antioxidants, which are known to fend off free radicals that build up as we age. These free radicals can also lead to cancer, so eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit salads, juices, and other foods is really a must if you want to keep your body healthy. Adding pomegranate seeds to your daily salad can be a real boost to your nutrition goals.
There is a lot of debate regarding the benefits of pomegranate nutrition. Some people argue that the polyphenols in pomegranates are too small to provide any benefit at all. Others swear by the health benefits of eating these little fruits. While there may be some truth to these beliefs, no scientific evidence has been produced to prove the claims of pomegranate nutrition.
Pomegranate Nutrition Benefits
Scientists have determined that pomegranate benefits are primarily related to the polyphenols found in the seeds. These antioxidants are powerful free radicals that gobble up free fatty acids and other toxins in our bodies. Once these toxins are gobbled up, they start to break down and become less effective. This means that the amount of calories and fat in our diets increases while we do not receive any new nutrients from the fruits themselves. But when the antioxidants in the seeds of this superfood are fed to our bodies, the amount of calories and fat decreases… yet the antioxidant levels in our bodies are still incredibly high!
This nutritional discovery has led scientists to believe that the reason that pomegranate nutrition is so beneficial is because of the high level of antioxidants in the fruits themselves. These antioxidants work to repair the damage caused by free radical molecules, thereby reducing the amount of calories and fat consumed by our bodies. Studies have shown that eating several servings of fruits and vegetables per day can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. It is important to note that this is ONLY true if you consume these foods in their raw state; raw fruits and vegetables contain virtually no nutrients, and any nutrition they did possess was lost during the cooking process.
The best way to ingest these superfoods is direct as a juice, cooked or in combination with nuts, grains, and seeds. Pomegranate juice is often combined with fresh, cut clementines, pearls, vanilla, honey, and lemon for a delicious and nutritious breakfast smoothie. You can also combine chopped apricots, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and strawberries for a delicious dessert. For an energy boost, try munching on the same fruits or consuming the seeds and pulp separately.
When cooking with pomegranates, try keeping seed quantities at a minimum, and focus more on how the fruit can enhance your dishes. Try steeping the pomegranates overnight instead of boiling or steamrolling them. While many people have trouble digesting seeds and pomegranate pulp, it is one of nature’s sweetest gifts, so don’t let anything stop you from enjoying the natural goodness of this extraordinary fruit!