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My mother have a pomegranate plant in the balcony but I did not know that pomegranate contains many health benefits till recently.
The pomegranate fruit have enjoyed much admiration throughout history for its mystical shape, multitude of seeds and its medicinal properties. Pomegranate is known to represent the sign of fertility and its leaves are believed to thwart off bad luck in the eastern culture..
The pomegranate is a round hexagonal fruit. Inside the thick reddish skin contains the pulp of 600 seeds called arils. Pomegranate can be eaten on its own, made in to juices or as a flavour enhancer in cooking.
The many health benefits of pomegranate have surfaced in the recent years. One of the main health properties in pomegranate is the abundance of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals and inhibits the profileration of aggressive growth of prostate and breast cancer cells in the human body.
Catechins which are in the polyphenols of the fruit prevent oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL). Pomegranate juice regulates blood flow and maintain blood vessel health thereby help reduced atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
A daily intake of pomegranate juice will provide 10% to 20 % of an adults daily vitamin C intake. It has a good source of vitamin B5. Pantothenic acid, a vital component in vitamin B5 is required for the synthesis of coenzyme A which is essential for metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
Pomegranate juice is also linked with bone and cartilages build up. The pomegranate extract inhibit the stimulation of certain enzymes that cause osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis. As part of skincare program, the fruit peel extract of the pomegranate is used to stimulate skin collagen and slow down skin degeneration.
Pomegranate is the main ingredient in grenadine syrup which can be used to flavor stews and make chutney. The acidity of the pomegranate is a natural tenderizer for meat and would also make a good marinade. Sprinkle pomegranate fruit in salads or when added to salsa and relish to compliment roast meats. Adding pomegranate into meringues, ice cream and cakes will add more zing to the dessert.
The acidic and citrus flavor in pomegranate is a natural tenderizer for meat and would also make a good marinade. Make your own grenadine syrup and use the syrup in your stews and chutneys.
Sprinkle pomegranate fruit in salad dishes or make pomegranate salsa and relish dishes to compliment roast meats. Add pomegranate in meringue, ice cream and cakes will give an added zing to the dessert.
Pomegranate juice on its own is a cool and refreshing drink. It is a healthy substitute to high sugar, carbonated drinks. The natural fruit sugar provides a high glycemic index for the body.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to grow pomegranate here as it requires sub tropical climate. I wonder if it will grow in a conservatory?
I love fruit and especially fruits that are from hotter countries, they tend to be a lot sweeter. One of my favourites is the pomegranate; this has recently become really popular in the U.K after people discovered that it has very good health properties. I have been eating them for years, to me, they taste best when you pick them freshly yourself but seeing as I can't yet afford to emigrate I'm putting up with just buying them from Tesco's for 99p each. I know that might sound like a lot for one fruit but it's worth it. The only problem is that they are normally only available to buy from August until November because that's when they are ripe.
They grow in the Mediterranean region as well as California, India and Malaysia. They like mild heat, not too hot and not too cold, the U.K is, sadly to cold. The also don't like to much humidity so those hot sticky countries are no good.
What does it look like? Well it is a similar shape to an apple and often a similar size, although in good conditions I've seen them reach the size of about 15cms in diameter. It is red with some yellow bits on the outside.
They're quite simple to eat although they are sometimes known as the spitting fruit. Simple cut it in half and then into quarters and eights. Bite into a slice and suck all of the fleshy liquid off but spit the seeds back out. Some people like to eat the pips but, although it is rude, I prefer to spit them out as I don't like them very much.
It has a very pleasant sweet taste. It's very refreshing as it's so juicy. Some pomegranates are a very sour taste but that depends on where they were grown and what type they are. Most of them will be a pleasant mixture of the two.
A lot of people now eat pomegranates or at least buy their juice to drink because of the health benefits that they offer. They are a powerful antioxidant which will help to prevent heart disease plus they are very high in vitamin C.
Some people like to Add these to fruit salads but to be honest I think that they are best o their own, one of my all time favourite fruits.
When I was a child my mum always used to treat us to a pomegranate during the winter months, we would cut them open and use a pin to extract the seeds! This was messy, but fun and we looked forward to this time of year when we knew pomegranates would be in the greengrocers. I refer to the fruit insides as seeds but these are really sacs of juice, with only a tiny hard seed in them, you can eat all of this seed sac.
As I have grown up I still enjoy pomegranates but nowadays I prefer to cut them open and extract the seeds by tearing off the skin. I could not believe it when a friend of mine, the same age as myself, had never eaten a pomegranate, so when I saw this review category I decided to share this delicious fruit with you all.
The pomegranate grows in dry areas as it is drought resistant and is common in Central Asia, India and parts of the Med. In the northern hemisphere the season for pomegranates is from September to January, they are grown on trees which can be anything from 12 feet to as high as 30 feet. The fruit is similar in size to an orange or grapefruit, but it gets its name from the Latin for seeded apple pomum means apple, granatus means seeds.
It is said that Granada in Spain was renamed after this fruit during the Moorish invasion, and also that the hand grenade is called after it, due to its similarity in shape and size.
The skin of the pomegranate is a reddish orange colour and has a leathery texture, so you need a knife to cut off the top before you can begin to peel the skin off. Inside the seeds are closely packed and enclosed in a membrane, you can easily pull this back and remove the seeds with your fingers. The seed sacs are a deep red, fading to a paler shade of pinky white and are full of juice and the tiny seed. Whether or not you eat the actual hard seed is up to you, but it does have a lot of health benefits. Be warned that the skin has a bitter taste, so make sure you extract only the seed sacs as it is those which taste good.
The juice of a pomegranate contains 40% of an adults daily Vitamin C requirement, and is also full of folic acid and antioxidants. Trials have shown it can help reduce the risk of heart problems, prostate cancer and osteoarthritis. The juice can also be used as an antiseptic for cuts.
Grenadine syrup is made from thickened and sweetened pomegranate juice and the juice itself is widely used in Indian cooking.
The seeds can be eaten just as they they are delicious, quite sweet and very juicy or they can be used in cooking. Sprinkle some on a salad or cereal, or use as a topping for cheesecakes, pancakes and waffles.
One word of caution the juice stains and if it gets onto clothing then wash out immediately, otherwise only bleach will remove the stain! As pomegranate juice is sometimes used as a dye for natural fabrics, you can understand why this happens.
So go on, get yourself off to the greengrocers and treat yourself to a pomegranate. They really are delicious!