My favourite fall season is here!
Autumn is not just known for that crisp fall air, beautiful fall foliage, and snuggles in your favourite comfy sweaters and warm fuzzy socks, but it also means yet another wonderful season with new seasonal fruits to try and experiment with.
The best part of eating fruits with the seasons is that you will always find the freshest and best tasting fruit during the time of the year it is at its peak ripeness.
The fruit not only tastes better but gives you an opportunity to change up your regular routine fruit choices from the previous seasons past.
Keep on reading to find out some key health benefits from eating pomegranates, how to quickly deseed a pomegranate and a simple and delicious pomegranate smoothie recipe.
Nutrition profile of pomegranates
All fruit is packed with beneficial fibre, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.
Pomegranates are definitely not shy of those nutrients. Keep reading on for a breakdown of the health benefits of incorporating these 3 nutrients in your everyday life:
My favourite nutrient of all time has to be fibre. Pomegranate have 7 g of fibre per 1 cup of pomegranate arils (1). Women need 25 g and men need 38 g of fibre per day.
Fibre has a plethora of health benefits including, but not limited to: lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugars and energy levels, improves healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, and increases the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
With that beautiful bright red colour, you can betcha there are a lot of antioxidants in pomegranates. Antioxidants in general are anti-inflammatory and known to be beneficial for decreasing inflammation in the body.
In one meta-analysis and systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trial studies, they found that the regular consumption of pomegranate juice showed a decrease in certain inflammatory markers (2).
Vitamins and Minerals
Pomegranates have a variety of vitamins and minerals per just 1 cup portion. Some notable ones include the following (1):
Vitamin C: 17.8 mg, 30% of daily needs
Prevents free radical damage of cells as an antioxidant and helps support the synthesis of collagen and neurotransmitters in the body (3).
Vitamin K: 28.6 mcg, 36% of daily needs
Important for blood clotting and bone health (4).
Folate: 66.2 mcg, 16% of daily needs
Important for synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA) and metabolism of amino acids, plus prevention of neural tube defects during pregnancy (5).
Potassium: 410 mg, 12% of daily needs
Important for many body functions, including proper heart, kidney and muscle function (6).
Copper: 0.2 mg, 14% of daily needs
Important for immune function and for proper function of various processes in the body (7).
Manganese: 0.2 mg, 10% of daily needs
Important for energy metabolism and protecting cells from damage (8).
Benefits for Blood Pressure
Pomegranates have also shown to help decrease blood pressure, which is well-known to be a silent but significant contributor to the development and furthering of heart disease.
In one meta-analysis and systematic review of 8 randomized controlled trial studies, they found that both systolic and diastolic pressure decreased with the regular consumption of pomegranate juice (9).
How to Easily Deseed a Pomegranate
How can I easily transfer those beautiful tiny arils into a bowl without standing there foreeeever picking out the seeds one by one?! Try these steps below.
Just a disclaimer before you begin, make sure you are wearing an old shirt or sweater, as this deseeding process although quick, may cause some splatters.
Here are the steps: Tools needed:
1 large wooden spoon
1 large bowl
Wash hands and then wash pomegranate well.
Thinly and horizontally slice a few centimetres off the top of the pomegranate.
Pomegranates naturally are split into individual sections of arils by ridges. Make shallow vertical cuts on the peel along the ridges of the pomegranate all around the fruit from the very top until close to the bottom stem. Do not cut all the way until the stem. Be careful not to cut into the sides too deep, in order to prevent cutting through the arils.
Hold your hand out, palm facing up with fingers spread apart. Place the pomegranate seeds facing down on top of the palm of the hand. Hold hand over and close to large bowl.
Take large wooden spoon and start hitting the back of the pomegranate peel rotating between the individually separated ridges of the pomegranate until all or the majority of seeds are transferred to the bowl. Be careful not to hit your thumb! There may be a small amount of seeds remaining at the end. Simply remove with fingers.
Add water to the bowl of arils until the white skins float to the top. Remove white skins.
Drain water and enjoy!
Pomegranate Smoothie Recipe
Ingredients 1 cup of pomegranate arils
1 cup of milk (cow's or plant-based milk like soy)
Protein: 3/4 cup of plain greek yogurt or 1/4 cup unsalted nuts or 1/2-3/4 cup silken/soft tofu
2 tbsp chia seeds
Yield: 1 serving
Add all ingredients into blender and blend away until smooth in consistency.
Pour in cup and enjoy as a snack or part of a meal.
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