By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
Before I tell you why you should eat more pomegranates, I'll assume that, like me, you are time poor and find removing the arils - that's the jewel-like seeds - from the bitter inedible pith, a time-consuming obstacle. Wash the skin.
When I was at school, we used to pick out the individual arils with a pin. That was back in the days when we also rode bikes without crash helmets, but safety aside, it was ridiculously slow and not nearly as satisfying as getting an explosion of a few arils in the mouth at the same time.
The good news is that you can access the seeds in about a minute using this method:
Quick access to pomegranate seeds
Cut in half, horizontally across the fruit.
Spread your fingers open across the cut side, over a bowl, in the sink.
Use your other hand to bash the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon and watch the arils spill into the bowl.
Remove small bits of the pith as it's bitter.
1..Less plastic and price
It may not be quite as quick as lifting the lid on a pack of blueberries, but with a pomegranate, there's no plastic waste and while they are in season, pomegranates cost about a third of the price of a punnet of blueberries.
2. Natural superfood
Like blueberries, pomegranates have the acclaimed status of being a superfood. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and rank close to blueberries on the ORAC scale, a measure of how well antioxidants neutralize damaging free radicals in the body.
3. Healthy immune function and heart
The phytonutrients in pomegranates, namely anthocyanins, flavonols, ellagic acid, ferullic acid, and resveratrol have powerful antioxidant and inflammation reduction qualities. Nutrients include potassium, Vitamin K1, Vitamin C and fibre, and their low sugar content means they won't raise blood sugar levels significantly or contribute to weight gain. Added to this impressive list punicalagin, antioxidants found in the seed oil, which support immune function, cardiovascular health, cognition and support healthy vision.
4. Improved memory and sleep
Antioxidants in pomegranates assist with memory and cognitive function. The antioxidants from pomegranates can also reduce inflammation in the brain, support the production of feel-good neurotransmitters, leading to a positive mood and healthy sleep cycles and protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline.
5. Amazing flavour
The sweet-sour flavour in pomegranate is quite unique and pomegranate works as well with savoury dished meals as it does with sweet desserts. Depending on how many people you are catering for, one fruit can be enough for three meals.
Hot porridge with pomegranate, roasted almonds, and yoghurt.
Muesli with persimmon, and yoghurt.
Fresh ricotta pancakes with pomegranate, chopped pistachio and vanilla yoghurt.
Grilled lamb with rice lentils, cumin seeds, chopped parsley and mint, pomegranate. and chopped almonds.
Grilled salmon with pomegranate, red onions, chilli, and parsley salsa.
Black sesame ice cream with pomegranate.
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