Pomegranate: health benefits and 3 amazing recipes

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pomegranate

Pomegranate is considered one of the healthiest fruits. Pomegranates contain a number of beneficial plant compounds, unmatched by other foods.

About the pomegranate tree

The pomegranate, whose scientific name is Punica granatum is a tree that grows in height up to 5–8 m. In fact, the pomegranate is the fruit, and the pomegranate plant is called pomegranate or pomegranate. Rodier is native to the Himalayas and northern India. Pomegranate is widely grown in Iran, India, the drylands of Southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies, and tropical Africa.

Pomegranate leaves are arranged opposite or alternately, are glossy, narrow-elongated, entire, 3–7 cm long and 2 cm wide. The flowers are light red, 3 cm in diameter, with four or five petals. The pomegranate fruit is larger than orange and smaller than a grapefruit, about 7–12 cm. Pomegranate has a thick red shell and about 600 seeds. The pomegranate seeds and the pulp that surrounds them, called fake fruit, are edible and highly prized.

The health benefits of pomegranate

Rich in antioxidants – pomegranates are an extremely rich source of antioxidants, the most important of which are polyphenols, of which tannins, ellagic acid and anthocyanins are found in the largest quantities. The presence of antioxidants in the body prevents or delays the process of cellular aging. At the same time, antioxidants also help to alleviate chronic inflammation in the body.

High potassium content – the high potassium content in pomegranates protects the body from kidney problems, but also has other beneficial effects, including lowering the death rate.

Remedies of digestive problems – fruit, peel and pomegranate leaves have beneficial effects on digestion, relieving stomach pain and eliminating diarrhea. You can consume pomegranate as such, or you can consume tea made from pomegranate leaves to enjoy the positive effects it has on digestion.

Prevention of heart disease – consumption of pomegranate maintains blood pressure in normal parameters, preventing myocardial infarction and other heart problems. Pomegranate antioxidants also lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol), preventing blood clots from forming in the arteries.

Beneficial for anemia – pomegranate has a high iron content, which reduces the unpleasant symptoms of anemia such as exhaustion, dizziness and lack of energy or hearing problems.

Positive effects on oral health – the antibacterial and antiviral properties of pomegranates protect the teeth and gums from problems that may occur in the oral cavity.

Cancer prevention – pomegranate consumption prevents the development of cancer cells in the body, due to the high content of flavonoids, antioxidants with a strong anticancer effect.

Reducing inflammation in the body – inflammation is what triggers serious diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease or obesity. Pomegranate consumption has anti-inflammatory properties due to the rich antioxidant content of this fruit.

Reducing the pain caused by arthritisgonarthrosis, but also other joint pain, can be alleviated by consuming pomegranate. Because pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties, its consumption will reduce joint inflammation, relieving the pain caused by arthritis. Moreover, studies have shown that pomegranate extract blocks enzymes that attack the joints of people with osteoarthritis.

Elimination of fungal and bacteriological infections – pomegranate juice has proven effective in fighting bacteriological infections, but also fungal ones. It has been shown to help eliminate Candida albicans fungus, but also problems in the oral cavity such as gingivitis.

In order to benefit from the positive effects that pomegranate has on your health, you can consume this fruit as such, in fruit salads, in the form of juice or, on the doctor’s recommendation, in the form of extract or food supplements.

3 delicious pomegranate recipes

  1. Baked feta with pomegranate and tomatoes- ready in 40 minutes!

Ingredients

  • pomegranate molasses 3 tbsp
  • lemon 1, juiced
  • soft brown sugar 1 tsp
  • ground coriander 2 tsp
  • cumin seeds 2 tsp
  • chilli flakes ½ tsp
  • mixed red tomatoes 400g, the rest roughly diced
  • pomegranate seeds 75g
  • feta 2 x 200g blocks
  • olive oil
  • flat-leaf parsley to serve
  • warm flatbreads or greens to serve

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, sugar, ground coriander, half the cumin seeds, chilli flakes, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds in a bowl with some seasoning and toss together. Tip into a baking dish and cook for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes start to burst and give up their juice.

Halve the feta blocks, mix the remaining 1 tsp of cumin seeds with 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over the feta. Put the feta into the baking dish, drizzle a little oil over, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the feta is browning and the sauce is bubbling. Serve while still hot, scattered with chopped parsley, with plenty of warm bread and a green salad or vegetables.

  1. Pomegranate Roasted Chicken- ready in 50 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 3-pound whole chicken
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

Heat pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside. Meanwhile, let the chicken come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Brush chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper. Tie legs and transfer to a large ovenproof skillet.

Roast chicken, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and brush with reduced pomegranate juice; let stand 10 minutes. Deglaze skillet over medium heat with stock, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced by half. Strain fat. Add thyme and pomegranate seeds. Serve with chicken.

  1. Pomegranate Smoothie- only 5 ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils plus more for serving

Instructions:

Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend for 60-120 seconds until you get a smooth and creamy texture.

Taste the smoothie, adding more milk if it is too thick or adding more sweetener if it’s not sweet enough for you. Pour into a cup or mason jar. Enjoy immediately, or store in fridge for up to 24 hours.

 

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