Is it more popular as a fruit, rather super food than as a spice? Pomegranate name is derived from Latin words pomum meaning apple and granatum meaning seed. So loosely translating pomegranate is “seeded apple”. The pomegranate is a lovely red fruit holding numerous beautifully arranged vibrant seeds. Recent studies have shown numerous health benefits of pomegranates….
Pomegranates are native to the Middle East. It is originated and cultivated between Iran and Northern India and remains a distinguishing factor of their cuisine.
Pomegranate is very popular in India as an Ayurvedic medicine since the whole tree including root, bark, leaves, flower, fruits and even the rind of the fruits are filled with therapeutic properties. The fruit is loaded with vitamins A, C and E. It contains folic acid. It has anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. The seeds contain lot of dietary fiber. It contains many antioxidants including phenolics, flavonoids, ellagitannins, and proantho-cyanidin compounds and minerals, mostly potassium.
The rich sweet and sour flavor of the seeds (also known as arils) is divine. If its too boring for you to peel through the rind, follow the video and learn an easy technique to do so. Once the beautiful ruby-red seeds are out, you can use them as you like. Either eat the seeds or add them to smoothie bowls, cereal or oatmeal bowls. You can make juices, sauces or add the arils to salad dressings or use as a food garnish.
Pomegranate as spice
We will also consider Indian use in dry form or powdered form as spice and named as “Anardana”. It is used to flavor vegetables and legumes. The dried pomegranate arils can be used in desserts and salad toppings.
You can make your own “Anardana” spice by drying pomegranate seeds. Then roast and grind them into a powder that can be added to the dishes for unique sweet and tangy flavor and of course for the exceptional health benefits.
1. Pomegranate is best for heart health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. It remains the leading cause of death in the United States, considering 1 out of 4 Americans die due to heart problem. It is more common in men than women.
Heart disease is term describing numerous heart conditions, related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries. The arteries narrow due to accumulation of the plaque, restricting blood flow causing heart attack or stroke.
There are several studies suggesting pomegranate helps in heart health by preventing damage to arterial walls, helping healthy blood pressure levels, improving blood flow to the heart, and preventing or even reversing arterial plaque.
2. Pomegranate may benefit dental health
Pomegranate has long history of antibacterial use since biblical times. Even Egyptians and ayurvedic practitioners used pomegranates for treating infections. Because of its antibacterial properties, pomegranate is super effective against dental plaque. Thus, eating pomegranates regularly may protect from tooth decay and gum disease. Its rind is used for making mouthwash and powder prepared from its rind is used as tooth powder.
3. Pomegranate helps post-sports recovery
According to the research in Medicine & science in Sports & exercise conducted at the University of Texas exercisers who took pomegranate extract recovered faster after a difficult weight lifting routine than exercisers who didn’t take it. Clearly, consuming pomegranate arils or freshly made juice is excellent energizer to recover from strenuous physical activity such as field sports.
1. Dry pomegranate rinds and grind to make powder. Add turmeric, pink salt and mustard oil to it. Store in an airtight container. Use it to massage on teeth and gums for all kinds of dental issues.
2. Get fresh pomegranate tree leaves, add to water and boil till it reduces in half. Drink before sleep for better sound sleep and for insomnia.
3. To treat earache – squeeze fresh pomegranate leaves juice, boil it with mustard oil or sesame oil and add to ear to cure ear issues.
4. To treat bleeding piles: Add 1 cup pomegranate rind powder to 4 cups water and boil the mixture. Allow it to cool. Drink one cup twice a day.
5. To treat diarrhea and dysentery: Add the dry pomegranate rinds to the water and reduce in half. Drink this couple of times a day till symptoms improves.
6. For younger, healthier skin and for treating wrinkles: Get fresh pomegranate leaves and extract juice or buy pomegranate extract. Add half quantity of sesame oil to it and boil on low flame for 10 mins. Store in air tight container. Massage regularly for muscles that needs tightening.
7. For clear, vibrant skin – Grind pomegranate rind, add sandal powder and clove oil. Apply this paste on face and neck.
8. To get rid of bad taste in mouth or for stimulating appetite: Make a mouthwash with pomegranate juice, a pinch of rock salt and a teaspoon of honey. Hold this mouth wash in mouth for few mins and then gargle.
9. To get rid of cough(especially for kids): Add pinch of dry ginger powder and pinch of black pepper to ½ c of pomegranate juice.
10. To treat burning eye: squeeze few drops of fresh pomegranate juice into each eye at bedtime.