Monday, December 27, 2010

Discover the Power of the Pomegranate

Pomegranates are delicious, beautiful and packed with nutrients. Luckily, they are in season from October through January, so now is the perfect time to add this tasty fruit into your life and start reaping its benefits.

Notable nutrients in pomegranates

  • Antioxidants — Vitamin C and polyphenols are antioxidants that are known to help protect the body against free-radicals, which can damage cells and tissues, leading to disease. 
  • Vitamin B5 – Plays an important role in the production and digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • Potassium — Is needed for the function of all living cells. It is very important for brain and nerve function, and for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Fiber — The fiber is in the seeds of the fruit. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, can improve regularity, and makes you feel full faster.

Pomegranate tips

  • The whole fruit — The juice is delicious and good for you, yet eating the fruit surrounding each small seed will provide the most nutrients.
  • Removing the seeds — Cut the top of the pomegranate off. Then, cut the pomegranate into four pieces.  Soak the pieces in a bowl of cold water for five minutes. Hold the pieces under water and separate the seeds from the skin. The seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Storage — Keep the whole fruit in a cool dark place for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to two months. The seeds can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week, or frozen for six months.

Simply enjoy

Sip the sweet and tangy juice with friends over good conversation. Laugh while removing the seeds with your children or spouse. Take a five minute break to eat, enjoy, and smile.

- Carie Boone, dietetic intern, and Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University

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