The pomegranate dates back to the days of the Old Testament in the Bible and is referenced in ancient Greek mythology as well. The pomegranate comes from a tree that is native to Iran and northern India. The pomegranate fruit is considered one of the most nutritious fruits available due to its massive content of antioxidants.
Pomegranate is enjoyed as toppings to yogurts and cereals as well as a popular addition to healthy smoothies and juices. It is available in dried form through a process known as IQF. This method of preservation increases the storage life of the pomegranate without reducing any of the nutritional value and health benefits of the fruit; making it a great option for food storage; available in forms of freeze-dried, puree and concentrate.
The pomegranate fruit is purplish red and the edible seeds grow in clusters within the hard outer shell. Each pomegranate can contain anywhere from 200 to 1400 edible, tart tasting seeds. It wasn’t until the mid-1700s that America was introduced to the pomegranate when Jesuit missionaries brought it to the country.
In addition to the joyful flavors of the pomegranate, the tiny seeds pack a punch when it comes to health benefits. Here are a few of the primary benefits of the pomegranate.
- Reduces the Risk of Atherosclerotic Plaque: When toxins build up and oxidative stress continuously damages cells in the body, the arterial walls begin to harden due to plaque buildup. This condition severely reduces blood flow and can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. The phytochemicals present in pomegranate help reverse cell damage due to oxidation as well as lower blood pressure.
- Enhances Memory and Healthy Brain Function: In recent studies, pomegranate was given to patients following heart surgery as well as individuals who had complained of memory loss. The heart patients did not suffer symptoms of postoperative memory loss and those suffering from occasional memory loss were given MRI tests, before and after the pomegranate and afterward, the brain activity measured higher than before.
The nutrient-rich, ruby red seeds provide multiple nutritional benefits.
Being a part of historical history in various parts of the world since 5000BC, it is mentioned in biblical stories, referenced in Romeo and Juliet, and remnants of the fruit have been found along the West Bank of Jericho dating back to the early Bronze Age, it is hard to know exactly when the pomegranate was first tasted. Regardless of its longstanding history, people all around the world in one form or another enjoy the fruit.
The seeds of the pomegranate are frequently used in Pakistani dishes and dried seeds are readily available at markets in South Asia. The seeds, whether fresh, dried or otherwise are naturally sweet and tart at the same time.
In addition to being a food source, the pomegranate seeds are routinely used in Ayurveda medicinal preparations to address a variety of ailments. And, through the ages, it is still regarded as a symbol of fertility and abundance among the Greeks.