Published on : June 17, 2017 l 11:02 am
The Powerful Pom
Pomegranates have been a presence on the tables and serving platters of ancient Egyptians and Arabs for millennia. They originated in Persia, but from the earliest known references, they were commonly found in the surrounding areas of Georgia, Armenia, and other Mediterranean lands. As the pomegranate grew in popularity and use, it spread to other lands and civilizations.
Interesting Facts about Pomegranates:
• The word pomegranate means apple with many seeds.
• Pomegranates are native to the Middle East.
• Pomegranates belong to the berry family.
• Pomegranates are classified as a super fruit.
• Pomegranates can be stored up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
• Pomegranates do not contain cholesterol or saturated fats.
• Pomegranate trees grow in hot and dry climates.
• Pomegranate trees are grown commercially and domestically (in home gardens).
• Pomegranate trees can live for over 200 years.
• The seeds (called arils) are used in salads, porridge, dips, smoothies and desserts.
• You can refrigerate the seeds in air tight container for up to a week.
• Seeds can also freeze them for up to 6 months.
• Seeds stay good at room temperature for 2 days in air tight jars.
Four Reasons Pomegranate is a Super fruit :
Eating antioxidant rich foods prevents premature aging, damage to cells, and diseases. Pomegranate contains punicalagin, a unique antioxidant that offers positive health effects. The juice of pomegranate has greater antioxidant power than red wine or green tea.
Pomegranates have high levels of polyphenols, which protect nerve cells in the brain and improve brain function. Studies found that pomegranate polyphenols reduce amyloid deposits, a type of protein found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.
Studies show that pomegranates have anti-tumor effects.
Punicic acid, a compound found in its seeds blocks breast cancer growth and cell multiplication. The seeds also contain aromatase inhibitors, which can inhibit the over production of estrogen. Over production of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer. Another study showed that pomegranate juice slows the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Pomegranate’s phytochemicals block the oxidation of LDL and also lower high blood pressure, which is crucial for heart health. Oxidized cholesterol is a contributing factor for heart disease.
Arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. As we age, fatty deposits, cholesterol and cellular waste products settle on the inner walls of arteries. Research shows that pomegranate can actually help clean arteries, helping to keep blood flowing smoothly.
When arteries become clogged, you increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and even death. Hence, it is crucial to take necessary steps to reduce arterial plaque and do what you can to clean your arteries.
Can Pomegranates reverse atherosclerosis?
Promising research conducted on the benefits of pomegranate juice has found that pomegranates can prevent clogged arteries and may even reverse the progression of atherosclerosis. Pomegranates encourage the production of nitric oxide, which is an essential chemical that promotes healthy blood flow and keeps the arteries open.
Additional research has also found that drinking pomegranate juice had a significant effect on arterial plaque. Researchers instructed participants to drink pomegranate juice on a daily basis. Within three months, plaque accumulations were reduced by 13 percent. After one year, arterial plaque was reduced by 30 percent. Plaque accumulation actually increased by nine percent within the group of people who were not drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis.
Other health benefits of pomegranate include reduced fat accumulation around the heart, reduced inflammation within the blood vessels, less oxidative stress and improved ECG results.
Credits: www.reluctantgourmet.com, Authority Nutrition, Danette May