I make a point of supporting students with a passion for nutrition. From time to time, I’ll feature student guest posts. Lindsay Kastrau, #RD2B and a student at Ryerson University wrote an Instagram post that I expanded to create this blog post.
Anyone else excited for pomegranate season?.
This juicy fruit is definitely worth the work it takes to peel and de-seed to get to those little red jewels inside!
They are super. Super tasty that is.
The pomegranate promoters call it a super food. While there is no real definition of super food (it's a marketing term), they are pretty packed with nutrients including:
All those nutrients add up to one heart healthy fruit! ❤️
The small crunchy white seed inside that juicy red aril is where the fibre is, so don’t spit them out (seriously, does anyone do that?)
Listen up ladies: this is fruit with benefits.
Those ruby red arils also contain anthocyanins (antioxidants that protect your cells from damage). A high anthocyanin intake has been associated with heart health benefits in women. Laboratory studies also suggest they may be anti-inflammatory as well.
Most of the studies are with berries, and show associations only, so it's not possible to recommend a specific amount to eat for a specific benefit, but looks like there is potential in terms of health protection here my friends.
I go for the fruit over juice -- especially for the gut-friendly fibre.
Get them while you can!
In North America, they are mostly in season from about October to January. That's when you get the best prices too. While they are here, I add them to pretty much everything!
They're perfect to eat on their own and they add a unique little juicy crunch to all sorts of dishes.
Five Ways to Enjoy Pomegranate Arils
1. Sprinkle them on top of any leafy green salad. Try them on my Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad too!
2. Ad them to a bowl of warm oatmeal along with chopped pistachios and a drizzle of molasses.
3. Add them to a cooked sweet potato along with a drizzle of olive oil, some creamy feta, chopped green onion and a big squeeze of lime juice.
4. Sprinkle them on creamy vanilla Greek yogurt.
5. Add them to a sparkly holiday bevvy like prosecco. Or go alcohol free and add them to sparkling water with a splash of pomegranate juice and lemon.
Let your imagination run wild...you won’t run out of ways to enjoy this sweet and crunchy fruit!.
Tsuda T. Dietary anthocyanin-rich plants: biochemical basis and recent progress in health benefits studies. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012;56(1):159-170.
Hidalgo M, Martin-Santamaria S, Recio I, et al. Potential anti-inflammatory, anti-adhesive, anti/estrogenic, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitory activities of anthocyanins and their gut metabolites. Genes Nutr. 2012;7(2):295-306.
Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Concentrations of anthocyanins in common foods in the United States and estimation of normal consumption. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(11):4069-4075.
Mink PJ, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM, et al. Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(3):895-909.
Canadian Nutrient File, v 2015.