What is a Pomegranate Anyway?Pomegranates come from small fruit tress that originally came from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. These trees have been cultivated all around the world for thousands of years. You can even find pomegranate trees in California.
Health Claims of PomegranatesThe pomegranate fruit contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals. All these nutritional components lead to claims of boosting the immune system, helping the heart and even fighting cancer.
Are the Health Claims About Pomegranates True?Well, sort of. Notice how health claims on exotic anti aging products don’t ever give a percentage of benefit? The products simply say “cancer fighting” not “reduces prostate cancer risk by 20%.” The reason for this is that these claims are usually made by marketers in principle, meaning that because we know that vitamin C is generally good for the immune system and pomegranates contain a lot of vitamin C, they also likely boost the immune system. It's not to say that pomegranates don't help out -- it's just that other fruits, supplements and foods do, too.
Should I Eat More Pomegranates?Probably. It is a good idea to eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Adding in some occasional pomegranate juice will give your body some nutrients it wouldn’t be getting from other sources. But you don’t have to go pomegranate crazy. Just work some into your weekly diet.
Ways to Get Your PomegranateThe easiest (and most expensive) way to work pomegranate into your diet is to buy pomegranate juice. These juices contain high concentrations of pomegranate and have a strong, almost bitter taste. I have to cut my pomegranate juice with water or club soda.
A more fun way to get pomegranates in your diet is a sweet syrup made from pomegranates called grenadine. This syrup can be used to add exotic flavors to cooking or cocktails. If you are very good in the kitchen, you can even buy whole pomegranates and work with the fruit yourself. There are some tricks to cutting and working with pomegranate fruit.
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Source(s): Morton, J. 1987. Pomegranate. p. 352–355. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL. accessed from the Center for New Crops & Plant Products, at Purdue University.
Morton, J. 1987. Pomegranate. p. 352–355. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL. accessed from the Center for New Crops & Plant Products, at Purdue University.