In Season Now. The Pomegranate Edition.

Pomegranate is the highlighted fruit of the month and perfectly in season right now here in Greece. 

This gorgeous ruby colored fruit always fits in so well with the holiday season! 

Firstly, this is one of the healthiest foods on the planet! 

The skin of the pomegranate is thick and inedible, but there are hundreds of edible seeds inside! Each seed is surrounded by a red, juicy and sweet seed covering known as an aril. Pomegranate extract and powder is typically made from the peel, due to its high antioxidant and punicalagin content.

The seeds and arils are the edible parts of the fruit. You may eat them raw or pressed into juice. 

What are Punicalagins?

Two compounds in pomegranates – punicalagins and punicic acid – are responsible for most of the health benefits of pomegranate. Pomegranates also have antioxidant activity that is three times higher than that of red wine and green tea.

Punicalagins are the extremely potent antioxidants found in pomegranate juice and peel. They are amazing and well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that regular intake of pomegranate juice can reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells. 

Nutrition Information: 

Per ½ cup, the arils (seeds) of one medium pomegranate has about 3/4 cup of seeds or 1/2 cup of juice.

  • 72 Calories
  • 1.5 gr Protein
  • 0 gr Saturated fat
  • 16 gr carbohydrate
  • 3.5 gr fibre
  • 9 milligrams Vitamin C
  • 14 micrograms Vitamin K
  • 33 micrograms folate
  • 205 milligrams potassium

Sugar & Dietary Fibres
A 100-gram serving of pomegranate has 14 grams of sugar, which is although balanced with about 4 grams of dietary fibres. 

For Athletes: 

Rich in nitrates, pomegranate may improve performance by increasing blood flow. 

The antioxidant content of pomegranates and pomegranate juice may improve endurance and aerobic performance in athletes. (According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism

Another study also demonstrated that pomegranate extract within 30 minutes of ingestion improved sports performance involving intermittent running.

How to include in your daily diet:

Add pomegranate seeds to fruit salads, sprinkle over oatmeal, toss in green salads, blend in smoothies, stir into yogurt and mix into muffin and pancake batters. Top roasted or steamed vegetables with pomegranate seeds. Use pomegranate seeds to top brown rice, quinoa or other whole grain meals.

Add fresh pomegranate juice to vinaigrette salad dressings or mix with honey to use as a glaze for chicken, turkey or meat. If buying ready-made concentrate from the store, buy one with no sugar added.

How to open a pomegranate

  • First, tap all around the outside of your pomegranate with a wooden spoon.
  • Cut along the ridges in a bowl of water, you will be able to see and feel these ridges.
  • Gently pull the pomegranate apart under water and the seeds should fall right out. The white piths will float up to the surface of the water and the seeds will sink down to the bottom.
  • Skim the top of the water and throw out the white piths along with the skin.
  • Strain out the water and you are left with your nutritious ruby gems

Turmeric Quinoa with Pomegranate

Here is a super easy and nutritious, delicious meal bursting with vitamins and all that you need to fuel your body! 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  •  ½ onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic diced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 big bowl chopped spinach (optional but highly recommended!) 
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste and spices like oregano, salt and fresh pepper 

Instructions 

  • Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil
  • Add spinach and stir. 
  • Add the quinoa, turmeric and herbs. 
  • Once finished, add the lemon juice and pomegranate seeds. 
  • Enjoy hot!

Voula at Margarita Fruit and Vegetable Store helps me shop for the freshest and healthiest fruits and vegetables. Knowing your fruit and vegetable vendors makes a huge difference! 
Margarita: Πριγκιπος Πετρου 34, Voúla

Katy Taveira, MSc

http://www.myathlete.gr

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