Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds

We all know that the edible part of a pomegranate is the fleshy arils with inner seeds. Both the arils as well as the dried inner seeds are commonly referred to as pomegranate seeds. Read on...
Pomegranate is considered one of the healthiest fruits. This fruit is believed to be widely used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Even today, it is very much valued for its health benefits. In the United States, the fruit is often referred to as 'jewel of winter'. These fruits are associated with numerous legends and folk stories. It is believed to be useful for boosting fertility and longevity. According to the traditional Indian medical system, 'Ayurveda', almost all parts of pomegranate plants have certain health benefits. The edible part of the fruit is its seed casings (called arils), but, even the inedible shell of the fruit is said to possess health benefits and is used as a remedy for various ailments.

Can You Eat Pomegranate Seeds

We all know that the seed casings are the edible part of pomegranates. However, this edible part or the arils, are often referred to as seeds only. These seeds are arranged in the inner chambers that are covered and separated with thin white membranes. These membranes and the rind have a slightly bitter taste. In fact, the arils or the fleshy covering of the inner seeds are consumed and the harder seeds inside them are often discarded. Pomegranate fruit is widely used to extract juice from the arils that have a sweet and tart flavor. Some people chew these arils, ingest the juice of the casings and spit out the inner hard seeds, while others ingest them in whole. Some others do not eat this fruit, as they find it cumbersome to remove the arils and extract the juice.

It is safe to eat the inner seeds along with the fleshy covering. These seeds are rich in fiber and are said to be very healthy. In fact, health experts recommend consumption of arils, along with the hard seeds. But, again, it is a personal choice and if you are averse to the seeds, discard them. In India and some of the neighboring countries, the hard, inner seeds are dried and powdered, and are used as a spice in various food recipes. Even the juice and arils of the fruit are used for culinary purposes. While pomegranate seeds (arils) are perfect for salads, smoothies and desserts, you can also prepare jelly from them. In order to prepare jelly, take four cups of pomegranate juice, ΒΌ cup lemon juice, 5 cups of white cane sugar and one packet of powdered pectin. Add the fruit juice, lemon juice and pectin to a large pan and place the pan over heat. Once the ingredients reach a full boil, add the sugar and stir for another two minutes. After two minutes, remove the pan from heat and skim off the foam. If you want the jelly to be stored unrefrigerated, you have to opt for canning. Otherwise, fill the jars and refrigerate them.

Pomegranate Seed Nutrition

As mentioned above, pomegranate is one of those fruits that is popular for its health benefits. This fruit is rich in nutrients too. Half cup (around 90 grams) of arils amounts to 70 calories. It contains 12 grams sugar, 3 grams dietary fiber, 16 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fat and 1 gram protein. The fruit has no cholesterol and trans fat. The same amount of arils can provide you with 9 mg vitamin C, 14 mcg vitamin K, 33 mcg folate, 205 mg potassium, 31 mg phosphorous, 10 mg magnesium and 9 mg calcium.
  • Pomegranate is highly valued for its antioxidant content, that is said to be much higher than that of blueberries and oranges. The level of antioxidants in this fruit is said to be three times higher than that of red wine or green tea. These antioxidants are believed to be beneficial in preventing a wide range of ailments, including cancer and heart diseases.
  • Apart from reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases, the fruit is also said to be useful for countering osteoarthritis and for lowering blood pressure. Intake of this fruit is said to be useful for preventing recurrence of prostate cancer.
  • Pomegranate seeds are also believed to have properties that lower cholesterol, prevent viral infections and also fight dental plaque. Oil extracted from the inner, hard seeds of the arils is also claimed to possess health benefits.
  • In some regions, this fruit is used as a remedy for certain digestive complains and urinary conditions. It is also considered good for getting rid of tapeworms. Apart from getting rid of internal parasites, the fruit is also used for relief from dysentery and diarrhea.
However, there is only very limited evidence to prove these health benefits. So, moderate consumption is always preferable.

In short, pomegranate seeds are believed to be healthy and nutritious. It is always better to have fresh fruits rather than ready-made juices. Take some efforts to extract the seeds and enjoy them, and at the same time reap its health benefits. If you are interested, you may try growing a pomegranate plant in your garden.
Pomegranate In Spoon