Monday, October 18, 2010

Fruit of the Week: Pomergranate

Pomegranates are grown in California and throughout Asia and the Mediterranean countries.

Selection and Storage
Select fruit that is heavy for its size with bright, fresh color and blemish-free skin. You can refrigerate whole pomegranates for up to 2 months or store them in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Pomegranate seeds packed in an airtight container and stored in the freezer will keep for up to 3 months.

Uses & Preparation
Pomegranates are a versatile fruit and can be used as a garnish on sweet and savory dishes or pressed to extract the juice.

Nutritional Facts of Pomegranate:
Pomegranates are rich in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium, along with other nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin E. This fruit is referred to as a super fruit. This fruit contains antioxidants that help to reduce harmful effects of free radicals or oxidants as well as repair the damaged cells. 100 grams of raw pomegranate contains 68 calories. Nearly 8oz of its juice contains about 130 – 150 calories. It does not contain fat or cholesterol but contains 32 grams of sugar.

Following are the health benefits of pomegranate:
- Pomegranate juice can be directly applied on the skin for curing sun burns and also to have the healthy skin.
- This fruit is also used in preparing several creams, exfoliating scrubs, lotions and many cosmetic products.
- Pomegranate juice extracted from certain fruit strains may be used as the eye-drops. It slows down the development of cataracts.
- These fruits are used in the treatment of common conditions such as skin disorders, digestive disorders, urinary infections, coughs, sore throats and also to expel tapeworms.
- This also protects neonatal brains from the damages due to injuries. This is one of the major health benefits of pomegranate fruit during pregnancy. This fruit is a good source of folic acid, vitamin E and potassium.
- The bark of pomegranate tree can be used for the treatment of intestinal parasites, diarrhea and dysentery.
- It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, while the antioxidant property prevents skin cancer.
- Pomegranate seeds help the digestive system to get rid of the fats and the juice is a tonic for throat and heart.
- Juice of pomegranate increases the oxygen and blood supply to heart, reduces cholesterol levels, normalization of blood pressure, strengthens joints and bones, prevents plaque on teeth. It also prevents and slows down Alzheimer’s disease and fights against anemia.
- The most important health benefit of pomegranate is that it prevents heart attacks, heart disease and strokes. It also increases blood flow to heart, reduces blood pressure, reduces plaque in arteries as well as bad cholesterol while developing good cholesterol.
- It is also proved that pomegranate is useful in the treatment of certain serious diseases such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, skin cancer and prostate cancer. Extracts of this fruit slow down deterioration of the cartilage in osteoarthritis.


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