Pomegranate contains distinctive ruby-red Jewel-like seeds, which have been recognised for thousands of years as having medicinal purposes. As a healthy addition to your diet they have the following amazing properties:
Lowers blood pressure
Anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
Powerful antioxidant and reduces oxidative stress in the blood
Prevents and reverses atherosclerosis
Improves blood flow through the heart and promotes a healthy blood pressure
Good source of fibre
Contains vitamins A, C and E, iron
When buying pomegranates look for unblemished, shiny skins. Those that feel heavy for their size are the juiciest. Avoid any with soft patches. Store in a perforated bag in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
To prepare pomegranate cut open across its middle then, holding a half over a bowl, cut-side down, bash the skin with a rolling pin. The seeds should pop out. To extract the juice, put the seeds in a sieve and press out the juice with the back of a spoon. Avoid crushing the sac membranes too much as they can taste bitter. Be careful when preparing pomegranates, as the juice stains. Research has shown some heart health benefits from as little as two ounces of pomegranate juice a day.
Pomegranate can also be eaten as a snack straight from the shell using a toothpick. Scatter the juicy sacs over salads or fresh-cut fruit, use in marinades or rice dishes. Use to decorate duck, fish, chicken or pork.