Originally from Asia, the pomegranate is a superfood that is a cultivated in the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, East Indies, Africa and the U.S. It is a sweet fruit with a vibrant color and a bevy of seeds that are contained by the fruit's highly nutritious juice.
One-half cup of pomegranate seeds contains 72 calories, 3.5 grams of fiber, 9 milligrams of vitamin C, 14 micrograms of vitamin K, 33 micrograms folate and 205 milligrams potassium.
Pomegranate juice is full of polyphenols and antioxidants. It has antiatherogenic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a positive effect on the heart. Pomegranate juice is able to decrease systolic blood pressure and stop serum ACE activity. Studies have shown that pomegranate juice was able to increase circulation and enhance the expression of nitric oxide, which signals vascular smooth muscles to relax, boosting blood flow through veins and arteries. It is also able to reduce plaque build up.
Pomegranate juice has additionally demonstrated an ability to build the body's defense against prostate cancer by preventing the proliferation of cancer cells. An extract derived from pomegranates has exhibited the ability to fight dental plaque and contribute to overall oral health.
Make the most of pomegranate by eating it in its most natural way. Peel and seed the pomegranate while it is submerged in a bowl of water. The pomegranate seeds will sink while membrane pieces will float. This way you can effectively separate the seeds from the un-edible flesh. Eat the seeds whole or press them to extract juice. Add the seeds to salads, yogurt, cooked grains or oatmeal. You can add the juice to salad dressings or chicken and meat marinades. One medium pomegranate contains about ¾ cups of seeds and ½ cup juice.
Image Credit: ahisgett
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