The pomegranate is the fruit of the pomegranate tree (Punica granatum L.), a tree of the Puniceae family.
Native to Iran, Afghanistan and the Mediterranean area, this fruit is one of the oldest cultivated fruits. It boasts many health benefits for the body, and certain medicinal properties have been know since early historical times.
Health benefits of pomegranate
- With very high vitamin C and polyphenol levels, together with vitamin B6 and B9, pomegranate is clearly the perfect example of an antioxidant fruit. Definitely a worthy addition to any diet! Its positive impact on cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and certain cancers is renowned.
- Pomegranate flowers are astringent. They’re recommended to treat leukorrhea and stop hemorrhage.
- Infusions prepared from pomegranate flowers (1 oz (30 g) for 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water) is effective against diarrhea, with a dose of one cup every hour.
- Gargling pomegranate juice is effective to soothe cough thanks to its relaxing properties.
- A fiber-rich fruit that is slightly diuretic, pomegranate is used in detox courses to cleanse the body and speed weight loss.
- Pomegranate may also demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral activity which would alleviate rheumatism.
- Pomegranate tree bark has an effective de-worming effect against ascaris.
- Be careful, alkaloids contained in the pomegranate tree’s bark are poisonous. Medicinal use of the plant itself is thus not recommended, and it’s outright prohibited for children and pregnant and nursing women.
Growing pomegranate for its health benefits
- To thrive, pomegranate requires a lot of sun and heat. The soil must be very rich, deep, chalky and must never dry out.
- Pomegranate fruits will only reach full maturity in areas with very mild climates.
- If you’re opting for growing pomegranate in pots, select the ‘Nana’ variety that boasts cadmium red double flowers. Note, however, that this variety doesn’t bear any fruit.
Use pomegranate in your cooking for its health benefits
- Most often, raw pomegranate is snacked on as is or added to mixed salads or fruit salads. You can also boil it down to a syrup or prepare jam, although the heat will vent some of the delicate taste out.
- Pomegranate juice delivers a powerful energy boost which makes it perfect for breakfast.
- Why not trying adding fresh pomegranate kernels to a fruit salad, or as a side dish in a mixed salad with arugula or corn salad?
Nutritional content of pomegranate
70 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). Pomegranate has high levels of iron, potassium and vitamins B and C.
Images: 123RF: Olga Kriger; Pixabay: Jayaprabin, Карина Панченко, Rita
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