Pomegranates are in season right now. They can be a little messy and harder to eat than other fruits, but don't skip out on this gorgeous fruit because you'll be missing out on loads of benefits. Here are the top 5 reasons to eat pomegranates right now:
1. Pomegranate seeds are loaded with fiber, which can help satiate you, making you feel full longer and less likely to grab something unhealthy later.
2. Pomegranate seeds are high in antioxidants, which can help fight cell-damaging free radicals.
3. Pomegranates may enhance cardiovascular health. In one study, atherosclerotic patients with disease of the carotid arteries that drank approximately 1.7 fl. oz of pomegranate juice every day for one year had a 12% decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 30% reduction in arterial wall lining thickness (i).
4. Pomegranates may prevent breast, liver, and colon cancer, and potentially suppress cancer growth (ii).
5. Pomegranates may help in reducing joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis (iii).
Not only can nutrient-packed pomegranate seeds help keep your hunger at bay and boost your health, they are delicious! When you eat foods that taste good, you are more likely to be satisfied and stop when you are full. My favorite way to eat pomegranate seeds is to throw them in salads. Here is my favorite pomegranate recipe right now, adapted from Oh She Glows.
Kale Pomegranate Salad with Balsamic Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2. 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3. 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4. 2 tsp Dijon mustard
5. 1 shallot
6. 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
7. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. 2 bunches Lacinato kale, shredded and destemmed
2. 1 Asian pear, sliced thinly and chopped
3. 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
4. 1/4 cup raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds
5. 4 tbsp large coconut flakes
6. 2 tbsp hemp seeds
7. 2 tsp black sesame seeds
1. Blend all dressing ingredients in blender.
2. Remove kale stems and chop kale into shredded pieces. Rinse and dry kale, and place in a separate bowl.
3. Toss kale in dressing and marinate for 1 hour.
4. Add the remaining ingredients to marinated kale and toss.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Serves 3-4 (small bowls).
(i) Aviram, M., Rosenblat, M., Gaitini, D., Nitecki, S., Hoffman, A., Dornfeld, L., . . . Hayek, T. (2004). Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr, 23(3), 423-433.
(ii) Turrini, E., Ferruzzi, L., Fimognari, C. (2015). Potential Effects of Pomegranate Polyphenols in Cancer Prevention and Therapy. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2015, Article ID 938475, 1-19.
(iii) Balbir-Gurman, A., Fuhrman, B., Braun-Moscovici, Y., Markovits, D., & Aviram, M. (2011). Consumption of pomegranate decreases serum oxidative stress and reduces disease activity in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study. Isr Med Assoc J, 13(8), 474-479.