The ruby red seeds of a pomegranate are a tasty delight. For centuries they have been associated with fertility and abundance because of their many, many seeds. Research has shown that pomegranates can help with a number of health concerns such as heart health, high blood pressure, cancer, memory issues and is even an aphrodisiac.
7 Health Benefits of Pomegranate
- Helps Keep a Heart Healthy
Patients who drank pomegranate juice regularly found the plaque in their carotid artery reduced by 30 percent and their blood pressure lowered by over 12 percent according to research. Those in the control study who didn’t drink pomegranate juice actually had their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.
- Is an Aphrodisiac
Pomegranate juice has in recent years been celebrated for its viagra effect. It was found that pomegranate juice raised testosterone levels by an average of 24 percent and also had a positive effect on blood pressure, in a study from Edinburgh.
- Fights Breast Cancer
It was found that pomegranate extract hinders the growth of breast cancer cells, according to the Cancer Research Center, University at Albany.
Pomegranate fruit peel extract was found in a study to reduce breast cancer cell production.
Also, pomegranate seed oil has been shown to deter breast cancer.
- Reduces Loss of Memory
The pomegranate polyphenols were found to reduce the loss of memory resulting from heart surgery in one study. Also, it was found that when seniors with memory problems drank eight ounces of pomegranate juice for four weeks, they had much better verbal and visual memory, according to this study.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Pomegranate juice has been found to lower blood pressure in hypertensive people after only two weeks in one study.
Also, another study found that pomegranate juice is beneficial for high blood pressure.
- Good for Exercise Performance
Blood flow was greatly improved for 19 athletes running on a treadmill when they consumed 1 gram of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before exercise in this study.
- Helps Fight Viruses
Pomegranates have anti-viral properties and have even been found to inhibit the HIV-1 virus in research at Kimball Research Institute in New York.
Please Note: Pomegranates can be part of a healthy diet and considered safe. Some blood pressure medications can be affected by pomegranates as they can lower blood pressure. Check with your doctor before consuming pomegranates if you’re about to have surgery. Also, pomegranate juice may cause dangerous side effects when it interacts with certain prescription medications.
- A popular wedding present in China is a picture of a ripe, open pomegranate with this sentiment: “May you have as many children as there are seeds.”
- Pomegranates are a Hindu symbol of prosperity and fertility.
- The first pomegranate tree planted in England was by King Henry VIII.
- Pomegranate juice is the source of grenadine syrup used in the classic non-alcoholic drink known as the ‘Shirley Temple’.
How to Select
Choose a pomegranate that is red to reddish-brown and make sure it has a deep color. Also, make sure it feels heavy and has a thick firm skin without soft spots. They are typically in season between September and January.
How to Store
Whole unopened, pomegranates can be stored at room temperature for a week, or stored in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to two months. You can store fresh pomegranate seeds in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze them. Freeze the seeds on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to an airtight container. They will keep in the freezer for up to six months.
Creamy Pomegranate Smoothie
Time to eat pomegranates! You can simply eat them fresh right out of the fruit which I do or you can add them to a fruit salad.
Here are three very yummy recipes for you to get started.