Pomegranate fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruit with unique flavor, taste, and heath promoting characteristics. Together with sub-arctic pigmented berries and some tropical exotics such as mango, it too has unique qualities of functional foods, often called as “super fruits.”
Pomegranate tree grows to about five and eight meters tall. It cultivated at a commercial scale in vast regions across Indian sub-continent, Iran, Caucuses, and Mediterranean regions for its fruits. A completely established tree bears many round, bright red, purple, or orange-yellow colored fruits depending on the cultivar types. On an average, each fruit measures about 6-10 cm in diameter and weighs about 200 gm. Its tough outer skin (rind) features leathery texture.
• The word pomegranate means apple with many seeds.
• Pomegranates are native to the Middle East.
• Pomegranates belong to the berry family.
• Pomegranates are classified as a super fruit.
• Pomegranates can be stored up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
• Pomegranates grown in the United States are typically in season from September to December.
• Pomegranates do not contain cholesterol or saturated fats.
• Pomegranate trees grow in hot and dry climates.
• Pomegranate trees are grown commercially and domestically (in home gardens).
• Pomegranate trees can live for over 200 years.
Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Pomegranate peel, bark, and leaves are used to calm disorders of the stomach or diarrhea caused by any kind of digestive problems. Drinking tea made from the leaves of this fruit also helps in curing your digestive problems. Pomegranate juice is also used for handling problems like dysentery and cholera.
Regular intake of pomegranate juice can maintain the good flow of the blood in the body. Because of this property, it subsequently decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The antioxidant components that are contained in this fruit help to keep the bad cholesterol from gaining any significant presence and thus keeps the arteries clear of any clots. The clots are clear because pomegranates have the ability to make the blood thinner.
Pomegranates contain high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids. These flavonoids are known to be effective in counteracting various cancer radials. People that face the high risk of prostate and breast cancer should start drinking the juice of this fruit, as it will help them to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Regular consumption of pomegranates can reduce the PSA levels in the body and aid in the fight against existing cancer cells in the body.
One of the best benefits of pomegranates is that their juice, along with its antibacterial and antiviral properties, helps to reduce the effects of dental plaque and protects against various oral diseases.
Pomegranates help reduce illnesses of many forms, including atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. The damages that are caused due to the thickening and hardening of the arterial walls and in the cartilage and joints can be cured by eating this fruit. Also, pomegranates are capable of preventing the creation of enzymes that are responsible for breaking down connective tissues within the body.
Healthy blood flow can be maintained in the body by consuming this fruit in any form. Pomegranate supplies iron to the blood, thus helping to reduce symptoms of anemia, including exhaustion, dizziness, weakness, and hearing loss.
For diabetic patients, drinking pomegranate juice can reduce the risk of various coronary diseases. Along with this, there is a reduction in the hardening of the arteries, which can inhibit the development of various heart diseases.
Selection and Storage
A pomegranate fruit judged ripe when it develops distinctive color and impart metallic sound when tapped by the fingertip. It must be picked up at the right time before turning over mature; otherwise, its seeds become harder, inedible, and the whole fruit tends to burst open and spoiled.
In the markets, choose well-developed, firm, bright crimson red fruits. Avoid spotted, over mature fruits as they can be bitter and inedible. Furthermore, avoid those with surface cracks, mold, bruised, shriveled as they are inferior in flavor. At home, store them in cool dark place at room temperature for 5-8 days or more. In general, pomegranates possess long shelf life. You can also put them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.