Pomegranates were first cultivated in ancient times, in areas in the modern day Persia, Turkey and Greece. In Latin, pomegranate means “seed apple” and inside the fruits, we could find various sturdy seedlings that can be spread around the empire. In fact, Grenada in Spain is believed to be named after the fruit. Pomegrenate is known for its strong antioxidants and the round–shaped red fruit has a strong historic significance. It is a part of many allegorical tales and poetry. Frescoes and paintings also depict gods and legendary heroes feasting on pomegranates. It is also important nutritionally, pomegranates contain plenty of nutrients compared to other fruits. Per 100-gram serving, pomegranate contains only 80 calories, it is low in sugar and contains no fat; yet they offer Vitamin C, comparable to 15 percent of the daily recommended allowance.
When consuming pomegranate juice, we should choose the pure juice, instead of the one that has been mixed with water and sugar. The fruit has a unique garnet hue and it is due to the high level of phytochemicals. Cellular damages in our body can be counteracted with the rich antioxidant content. Antioxidants are also known for their ability to prevent damages caused by cancer. There are many diseases that can be cured with only by adding more antioxidants in our diet.
We could find many foods with high antioxidant content, but pomegranates have specific unique compounds, such as punicalagins. The name is derived from the scientific name of pomegranate plant, Punica granatum. Punicalagins also work like antioxidants and it could efficiently neutralize free radicals in our body. They seek out free radicals actively in our body. Various diseases, such as breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer can be prevented by incorporating a higher quantity of pomegranates in our diet. Compared to other types of antioxidants, punicalagins have bigger buffering effects when dealing with free radicals.
Pomegranates offer higher dose of healthy vitamin C. It also contains zinc, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin B9 and vitamin B5. Pomegranate juice also contains pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 and it is essential to healthy nerve function and skin. The name could sound familiar for people who use a lot of hair-care products. It is often used in different products to ensure healthier hair. Folate acid or vitamin B9 takes on bigger significance and it is believed that vitamin B9 deficiency is associated with neural tube defects in newborns. Adults also use folic acide to create healthy blood cells and repair DNA.
Pomegranate is a good source of vitamin K and it is useful for people who want to prevent the development of osteoporosis. It is usually found in various leafy vegetables. Some people have pomegranate allergy, but this condition is quite rare. After handling pomegranate, some people could have burning and itching sensation on their skin. In some cases, pomegranate juice could exacerbate symptoms of heartburn or GERD. However, we could counteract this effect by consuming alkaline food and no other acidic foods; before we consume pomegranate.