The pomegranate is a small fruit-bearing tree that originated in distant Persia and Afghanistan. This shrub has been cultivated since ancient times and can now be found in many parts of the world. The tough exterior peel of this fruit hides ruby red seeds (called arils) that have intense flavour and can be used in savory and sweet dishes alike.
The benefits of pomegranate are just beginning to be explored. The pomegranate juice is rich in vitamins A and E and contains more tannins, antioxidants and polyphenols than green tea and red wine. These enzymes are known to reduce the effects of ultraviolet light-induced skin damage and detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body.
Recent scientific studies indicate that the pomegranate is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been shown to protect against atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases, as it increases the quantity of nitrogen oxide on the walls of the arteries, thereby limiting the risk of myocardial infarction.
It also plays an important role in the health of breast tissues and prostate glands.
The pomegranate fruit is available in the fall and early winter in your local markets or grocery stores. For maximum flavor, look for fruits that have a vibrant red color and are heavy, as they will hold more juice.
To store pomegranates, keep them whole in the refrigerator for up to three months. The arils, when stored in an airtight container in the freezer, can also be kept for three months.
Here is a simple and healthy Pomegranate Smoothie Recipe. Hope you enjoy it!