We all want to have the correct weight for our height and age and eating a balanced diet to lose weight should of course include lots of fresh vegetables as well as some fresh fruit too.
Pomegranates are a wonderful example of a healthy, nutritious fruit that has antioxidant properties and will even help prevent cancer. In recent studies, researchers believe that including pomegranates in a healthy, balanced diet has the power to reduce that all too common fat stored round the stomach.
Where do pomegranates grow?
They are mainly grown in India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, South East Asia, Malaysia, tropical Africa and the East Indies as well as Arizona and California in the USA.
Some of the great things about pomegranates
The pomegranate has high nutritional values and numerous health benefits but it bears a striking resemblance to the female ovary and interestingly, provides the same estrogens – estradiol, estrone and estriol. Including pomegranates in your diet may mean relief from depressive moods and a lower risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer and heart disease in menopausal women. Drink the juice or eat the seeds to reap the benefits of this menopause miracle.
But there are many other health benefits too
- Rich in antioxidants, pomegranates can helping to keep bad cholesterol from oxidizing and preventing atherosclerosis. They are also associated with lowering blood pressure levels.
- They enhance oral health.
- Pomegranate juice can slow down platelet aggregation and thin the blood, preventing clotting.
- They can be highly beneficial for people suffering from heart disorders, even going as far as preventing heart attacks and strokes. Studies show that drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily for three months increased oxygen flow to the heart muscle in coronary patients while several other studies have found that cardiovascular health improves with the use of pomegranate juice since it reduces plaque, increases nitric oxide and may prevent plaque from building in the arteries in some patients.
- Studies have shown that pomegranate compounds can eliminate prostate cancer in males while reducing breast cancer risks in females.
- Helpful in small quantities for those suffering from diarrhea, but excess consumption may cause constipation.
- Pomegranate consumption can prevent and even slow down Alzheimer’s disease.
- It is believed that pomegranate prevents cartilage deterioration and keeps osteoarthritis at bay.
- Researchers have proved that maternal intake of pomegranate juice can protect the neonatal brain from damage after an injury.
Some help with how to prepare pomegranates
I have found fresh pomegranates at our local Farmers Market and brought some home to try. When you cut them open, red juice squirts all over the kitchen - very messy.
On my next visit, the owner of the fruit and veggie stall showed me how to prepare and serve them.
- You score with a sharp knife quite deeply from top to bottom all round the fruit as if you were marking off segments.
- Then slice off across the top and again at the bottom before breaking off the segments and eating the seeds and the flesh.
- Another method is to cut one end off the pomegranate and place in a bowl of water for a few minutes before carrying on with your preparation.
When I ate my first pomegranate, I noticed an astringency and tingling feeling in the mouth and thought that perhaps I was allergic to the fruit. However, I now understand this to be part of the cleansing process where the sensation is technically caused by shrinking and disinfecting your mucus membranes.
For a comprehensive look at the science behind the health claims for pomegranates, take a look at this article and if you are lucky enough to be able to taste and enjoy pomegranates, embrace the opportunity.