1. Health Benefits of Pomegranates
1. Pomegranates might help you improve your exercising.
Pomegranates are loaded with dietary nitrates.
You may have heard that nitrates are bad. The truth is that they are neutral. You body breaks them down to make nitrites, which it can further break down to make nitric oxide (your body makes this molecule). Nitric oxide helps your cells communicate with each other.
Nitrites can also be made into nitrosamines (which is bad for your body).
Pomegranate extract can help improve your blood flow.
When you have more blood flowing through your veins, you get more oxygen and nutrients to your cells to help them have more energy.
Increased blood flow can help delay fatigue.
In a study, athletes were given pomegranate extract 30 minutes before working out. They were able to exercise for a longer period of time before they started tiring out.
It can also help you exercise more efficiently.
Your muscles can get more work done in a shorter amount of time, building up mass at a faster rate.
Better exercise leads to faster results.
When you get better exercise, you can tone your muscles faster, lose more weight in less time, and develop your stamina.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Using pomegranate before exercising can help you achieve your goals sooner.
2. Disadvantages of Pomegranate
1. Pomegranates have a lot of sugar.
1 cup of pomegranate has 12 grams of sugar.
That's a lot more than other fruits like cherries, apples, or blue berries.
12 grams of sugar is like eating 3 teaspoons of sugar.
Sugar contains no nutrition, only calories. Your body easily converts sugar to fats. Plus, eating sugar has been shown to cause inflammation.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting your sugar intake.
The AHA recommends that women limit their daily intake of all sugars to just six teaspoons a day and men to 9.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Enjoy small portions of pomegranate so that you don't get too much sugar.
3. Top 100 Pomegranate Recipes
4. About Pomegranate
What kind of plant does a pomegranate grow on?
It grows on a short, squat tree or a large bush.
How many cultivars (a plant that is selected for certain traits) of pomegranates are there in the world?
There are more than 500, with new ones being developed every few years.
How many cultivars are there in the United States?
There are 14 different cultivars that grow and are available in the United States.
What type of climate do pomegranates grow in?
These plants prefer hot, dry summers and mild winters, although they can grow in tropical and warm climates as well.
How big do pomegranate trees grow?
The can grow to be 30 feet tall.
Can pomegranate trees survive the cold?
Some varieties can withstand cold down to 10o F, but most prefer much warmer. Pomegranate trees go dormant if the air drops below 60o F.
How long does it take for a tree to start producing fruit?
It usually takes 21/2 – 3 years for most pomegranate trees to start producing fruit, although some start after only a year.
5. Pomegranate vs. Cranberries
Although pomegranates were catapulted to superfruit status when the fruit’s bottled juice hit the market (and the headlines), they’re not the only game in town; good old cranberries (and cranberry juice) are also nutritious and beneficial to your health. Both of these fruits are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and have potent anti-inflammatory properties; they have also been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health by lowering “bad” cholesterol levels. Pomegranates, which are particularly high in potassium, are thought to be helpful in preventing kidney disease and improving heart health, while cranberries help ward off urinary tract infections (UTIs). Both fruits, which share a pleasing tartness, have been found to be effective as juices, so long as you buy the unsweetened, undiluted varieties, and even better when eaten with their beneficial fiber intact.
6. History of Pomegranate
A True Persian Treasure.
Persia was one of the great powers of the ancient world. The heart of this empire stood where Iran is now.
Pomegranates first cultivated in Persia before 2000 BCE.
Excavations of sites dating back to near the beginning of the Bronze Age hold evidence that the pomegranate was one of the first fruits to be cultivated. Scientists believe that these first efforts occurred in what is now Iran.
Pomegranates overtake the Mediterranean.
The practice of growing pomegranates spread throughout the Mediterranean, reaching as far as Asia on the East and Africa on the West.
Heading to Egypt, the pomegranate and King Tut.
The pomegranate was introduced to Egypt during the reign of Hyksos and became part of the fruits that were required by the pharaohs. The Egyptians used the juice to fight off intestinal worms. Paintings of this fruit have been found in tombs, where they represent the afterlife. King Tut was buried with a pomegranate vase to take into the afterlife.
7. Q&A About Pomegranates
Are all pomegranate seeds red?
Not all seeds are red, but can range from white (the sweetest seeds) to deep red (the tartest).
What are pomegranate seeds called?
They are called arils (plural, aril for one).
How long will a pomegranate stay good?
If your pomegranate is fresh and uncut, you can store it a refrigerator for up to two months. Once it is opened, the seeds will stay good for up to five days in the fridge.
What is the best way to store pomegranates?
For longer term storage, freeze the seeds in a single layer for about two hours and them put them into an airtight freezer bag or container, and then place them back in freezer. You can safely store them this way for about a year.
Can I grow pomegranates from a pomegranate I bought at the store?
Yes. Your new tree(s) should be able to produce fruit of their own. In order to plant the seeds, they need to be removed from the sweet, fleshy fruit that surrounds them.
8. Nutritional Information
This is the nutritional information for one small pomegranate (5.5 oz).
|Calories from fat 9g|
|Total Fat 1g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0.1g||<1%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g|
|Trans Fat <0.1g|
|Total Carbs 16.3g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.5g||14%|
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USDA.gov. "Plants Profile for Punica Granatum (pomegranate)." Plants Profile for Punica Granatum (pomegranate). USDA.gov, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016. http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PUGR2.
Wikimedia Foundation. "Cultivar." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultivar.