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Health and Fitness

THE NEW WONDER FRUIT

Pomegranates Offer Health Benefits and Flavor
Pomegranate health benefits (HealthCastle.com) from the fashion runway to the produce aisle, pomegranates are all the rage. The deep ruby color of pomegranates has been used to describe everything from lipstick shades to fabric colors.

In the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store, there's an ever-growing display of juices boasting that they're made from pure pomegranate juice, or fortified with it. What's more, a mounded display of pomegranates will likely meet you at the market's front door during autumn. There's an awful lot of fuss over this little red fruit that only makes an appearance October through January.

Pick Pomegranates for Health
What is it about the pomegranate that's stirring up such a buzz? In recent years, numerous research studies have pointed to the antioxidant tannins, polyphenols, and anthocyanins in pomegranate juice to benefit several chronic disease conditions. Recent studies suggest that pomegranate juice can slow the progression of prostate cancer, improve blood flow in patients with heart disease, and prevent the hardening of arteries.

Though juice is the most potent, it isn't the only way to enjoy the health benefits offered by the pomegranate. Since pomegranate season coincides with the time of year when the market is filled with sugary holiday treats, there's no better time to enjoy experimenting with something sweet, but healthy, too.

Pomegranates: Patience Required
Preparing a pomegranate for eating does require patience, but the distinctive, delicious flavor will be your reward. Simply cut the leathery outer skin, and peel it back to reveal hundreds of glistening red seeds, called arils, which are embedded in a creamy white membrane. Pluck out the arils and store in a container in your refrigerator for use in almost anything that you want to dress up with color and a powerful health punch.

    * Toss a handful of seeds into a fruit or green salad. A combination of orange sections sprinkled with pomegranate seeds is festive, and both of these fruits are at their flavor peak during the fall and early winter season.
* Missing your summer berries in your yogurt? Substitute pomegranate seeds instead.
* If you're looking for a flavorful sauce to dress up roasted pork or turkey, try a reduction of pomegranate juice for drizzling, with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds to add flavor and crunch.
* Jazz up your holiday potluck dish with pomegranate seeds, and prepare to surprise and delight your fellow diners.

You will likely be giving a gift of good health to your friends, since many people have never tried a pomegranate.

The Bottom Line
Looking to be in style this season? Pomegranates, packed with antioxidants and flavor, offer an extraordinary (and stylish!) way to add variety to your fruit servings when the cooler weather produce selections begin to get boring.

pomegranate health benefits An entire medium-size pomegranate yields about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of seeds, and supplies about 100 calories. The United States Department of Agriculture's My Pyramid suggests a daily two cup serving of fruit for all men and for women ages 19-30; women 31 and older need one and a half cups of fruit. As the produce selection narrows with the approaching winter season, adding pomegranate seeds to old favorites (think: sliced bananas mixed with pomegranate seeds) will perk up your choices, while helping you meet your daily goal.

 


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