The pomegranate has been cultivated since before America was even a country yet very few Americans have ever eaten one, let alone drink its juice. This amazing exotic fruit is coming to light because of some interesting research into the antioxidant content of its juice. When compared to red wine and green tea, this amazing fruit is almost 3 times as powerful in protecting against free radical damage.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that protect the body against free radicals. These important compounds are getting loads of attention since it has been shown that they reduce the numbers of these free radical molecules in the body. Free radicals are very reactive and in the body tend to ‘oxidize’ other molecules and cause damage. If you leave a piece of unprotected metal outside, the oxidation of weather will cause it to rust. A similar process happens in the body with free radicals. For example, they are thought to oxidize cholesterol into a form that is responsible for speeding up the hardening of arteries. In a study done at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, pomegranate juice has been shown to slow down cholesterol oxidation by almost 50 percent.
The juice of the pomegranate contains polyphenolics, tannins and anthocyanins – compounds that are thought to have a beneficial effect. In addition, the juice has many vitamins and minerals. It is rich in iron and vitamins A, C and E.
Many parts of the middle east and central Asia include this delicious fruit in their local cuisine. When you open a pomegranate you will be surprised to discover hundreds of bright red, juicy seed pods. The process of separating the seed pods from the white pulpy fruit is a chore that both children and young of old will delight in. The seed pods themselves taste a little bit like concentrated watermelon, but slightly sweeter and tangy. After opening one, you will quickly understand why they chose juice in their study and not the fruit itself. The pods easily burst open revealing the red juice. Caution here. The red juice will easily stain a lot of fabric so be careful when handling them.
The Western part of the world has been slow to adopt this wonderful fruit. It is still an exotic fruit that is more of a novelty than a staple like it is in other parts of the world. As more and more people begin consuming the protective juice, that is certain to change. An easy way to get it is in juice format and for fun, try picking up the fruit itself. Adding the seed pods to a salad is a wonderful way to enjoy them. Another way is to warm chopped walnuts in the juice and use the mixture to stuff tomatoes. No matter how you choose to eat pomegranates, try adding some to your diet today.