Istanbul my eyes drifted to a popular food vendor rapidly pressing fresh pomegranates
and extracting dark red streams of liquid for lines of eager patrons.
Since I was thirsty too, I decided to try a cup.
It was really delicious–to my delight!
This rich, red elixir quenched my thirst and satisfied my sweet tooth as well.
That was my first cup of fresh pomegranate juice and I have been hooked on this
fruit ever since.
Fortunately, pomegranate juice is more than just a sweet treat.
Lauded as the most powerful antioxidant of all fruits, the pomegranate is
considered one of the most nutrient dense foods for overall good health.
Pomegranate seeds provide 12% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C and
16% DV for vitamin K per 100 g serving.
They also contain polyphenols, such as ellagitannins and flavonoids.
Pomegranate seeds are excellent sources of dietary fiber (which is entirely contained
in the edible seeds).
Health Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds
-Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
-Lowers blood pressure
-Supports cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health
-Inhibits the aggregation of abnormal platelets that could cause heart attacks or strokes
-Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
-Promotes reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
-May help relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
Pomegranate seeds, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy – 346 kJ (83 kcal)
Carbohydrates – 18.7 g
– Sugars 13.67 g
– Dietary fiber 4 g
Fat 1.17 g
Protein 1.67 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) – 0.067 mg (6%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) – 0.053 mg (4%)
Niacin (vit. B3) – 0.293 mg (2%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) – 0.377 mg (8%)
Vitamin B6 – 0.075 mg (6%)
Folate (vit. B9) – 38 µg (10%)
Choline – 7.6 mg (2%)
Vitamin C – 10.2 mg (12%)
Vitamin E – 0.6 mg (4%)
Vitamin K – 16.4 µg (16%)
Calcium – 10 mg (1%)
Iron – 0.3 mg (2%)
Magnesium – 12 mg (3%)
Manganese – 0.119 mg (6%)
Phosphorus – 36 mg (5%)
Potassium – 236 mg (5%)
Sodium – 3 mg (0%)
Zinc – 0.35 mg (4%)
Source: Nutritional Data
What a nutritional powerhouse!
So, when I returned home I searched for pomegranates in my local shops and markets.
Once I learned how to open and deseed a pomegranate, I began to explore
ways to benefit from these powerful, health-supportive seeds like this quick and
easy Antioxidant-Rich Pomegranate Smoothie.
Here’s my basic recipe.
Of course, you can vary the fruits and vegetables you add–just make sure to include
the pomegranate seeds.
They are the stars of this drink!
Antioxidant Rich Pomegranate Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
1 cup organic pomegranate seeds
1 cup fresh, organic pineapple peeled and cut up into chunks
3 cups organic baby spinach
3 cups organic kale
1 cup filtered water or coconut water
Optional smoothie add-ins:
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground
Add the ingredients in the order above.
Blend all of the ingredients together.
Drink this nutritious meal in a glass immediately or refrigerate
half in a mason jar for later.
Photo credit: By Josep Renalias (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
What are your favorite ways to enjoy pomegranate seeds?
Share your suggestions.