When searching the internet for the health benefits of pomegranates, you will find a whole load of articles praising this miracle fruit (yes, that is what it is often called). “Wrinkle-free with pomegranate“, “Pomegranate gives flatter stomach“, “Keep your heart healthy with pomegranate“, are some of the headlines you will read.
And it is true that it is a real super fruit, bursting with antioxidants and health-giving vitamins. Several researches worldwide indicate that the pomegranate can do wonders for your health.
According to researchers at the William Harvey Research Institute in London pomegranate is at the top when it comes to the content of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant also found in red wine, cranberries and green tea, which is considered to give protection to the heart and blood vessels. The amount of flavonoids in a glass of pomegranate juice could be equated to two glasses of red wine, four glasses of cranberry juice or ten cups of green tea, according to the researchers.
A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh shows that pomegranates can also reduce abdominal fat. If you drink a bottle of pomegranate juice a day you are less inclined to develop fat cells around the abdomen.
The pomegranate is originally from Asia and was early on brought to the eastern Mediterranean, which includes Cyprus. The dry vegetation on the island is perfect for the fruit, which is harvested late in the year. It grows like an orange and has a hard shell of dark red hue. The inside of the fruit is filled with small seeds, each surrounded by juicy flesh with a sweet-sour taste. In Cyprus you can also find yellow pomegranates, these are sweeter in taste.
The pomegranate is also well-known in religious context and is mentioned in both the Old Testament and the Koran. In Christian art the baby Jesus is sometimes seen with a pomegranate in his hand and in ancient Greece the fruit was a symbol of the female deities Aphrodite and Athena.
Pomegranate keeps for quite a long time after it has been picked and can be used for juice, as ingredient to liven up a salad or eaten as is. Many consider it difficult to break up the hard shell and peel out the juicy seeds from the pomegranate’s leathery partitions. However, there are some tricks that can help;
– Roll the pomegranate on a flat surface. Divide it in two. Hold one half over a bowl and beat hard with a wooden spoon on the shell. The partition walls remain and the juicy kernels fall out.
– Divide the pomegranate and place it in a bowl of water, then gently remove the kernels. The leathery partitions will then float to the surface while the kernels sink to the bottom. Strain the water away.