Are pomegranates good for you?

Can we all take a moment to just appreciate pomegranate? Pomegranate is good for you and most definitely in my top five favorite foods. It is delicious, refreshing, and so versatile! Plus, it is packed with so many nutritional benefits.

  1. Pomegranate contains medicinal properties from two plant compounds. Inside a pomegranate, two plant compounds provide tons of micronutrients for your body. Punicic Acid and Punicalagins are substances loaded with powerful antioxidants essential to your health. The amount found in a pomegranate is up to three times more than the antioxidants found in red wine (which happens to be another top five favorite of mine).
  2. Pomegranate is anti-inflammatory. Arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and obesity are all connected with chronic inflammation. Thanks to the punicalagin mentioned above, pomegranate is proven to help ease the digestive tract and subdue the inflammatory activity occurring there. Adding one serving to your diet can help reduce your symptoms and soothe your body.
  3. The arils (tiny edible seeds) are loaded with vitamins and minerals. The arils, or seeds, of the pomegranate, are definitely the superfood powerhouse of the fruit. With notable amounts of fiber, pomegranate seeds are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates to promote digestion and fullness. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, and Folate are also included in the fruit’s nutrient profile. You can even purchase a cup of arils alone at the grocery store to save the hassle of scooping them out.

If you aren’t regularly incorporating pomegranate into your diet, you should give it a try! Here are three recipes to help you get started.

Pomegranate Margarita

by Eat This Not That

Servings: 1 | Calories: 136 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 1g

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 2 oz fresh pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1 tsp fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1 lime wedge

To make:

  1. Fill a glass 3/4 full with ice.
  2. Add tequila, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and Triple Sec or Cointreau.
  3. Stir to chill, and garnish with lime wedge and seeds.

Enjoy!

Pomegranate Salad with Spinach, Kale, Honey Walnuts & Pomegranate Dressing 

by Eat This Not That

Servings: 8 | Calories: 300 | Carbohydrates: 27g | Fat: 21g | Protein: 5g 

Ingredients:

  • MARINATED KALE:
    • 5 kale stems (big and leafy, sub baby rocket/arugula but skip marinating)
    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • SALAD:
    • 1 pomegranate, big, juicy (or 1 cup pomegranate arils)
    • 8 cups (120g/4.5oz) baby spinach (or arugula)
    • 100g/3.5 oz blue cheese crumbled yourself
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, craisins)
    • 2 blood oranges, normal oranges, yellow peach, nectarine, or grapefruit (optional, for extra color/juicy/interest)
  • HONEY CINNAMON WALNUTS:
    • 1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
    • 1/4 cup honey (runny, so warm if super thick) or maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  • POMEGRANATE DRESSING:
    • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
    • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

To Make

MARINATED KALE:

  1. Remove leaves: Grab the base of the stalk, then run your fist up the stem to remove the leaves.
  2. Slice: bundle the kale leaves on a chopping board, then slice 1/5″ thick.
  3. Scrunch: Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to scrunch to soften leaves and coat everything with the oil. Do this for 20 seconds. Leave for 30 minutes to marinate – leaves will soften. Try it – much tastier than plain raw!

HONEY WALNUTS:

  1. Toss: Place walnuts in a bowl, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Mix, spread on a paper-lined baking tray.
  2. . Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, tossing once halfway. Leave to cool, then use fingers to roughly break walnuts up into slightly smaller pieces.

POMEGRANATE DRESSING:

Place ingredients in a jar and shake very well, ensuring that there are no molasses left on the bottom of the pot. (Shake in a jar is better than whisking to bring this dressing together).

REMOVE POMEGRANATE SEEDS:

  1. Cut the pomegranate in half. Over a bowl, turn the cut face downwards, then use a wooden spoon to (very!) firmly smack the back of the pomegranate. The seeds will fly out through your fingers into the bowl. It’s very satisfying!!!
  2. Keep smacking all over the skin until the seeds are all out. Pick out any white pith that fell out, then use seeds per recipe. You will probably get some juices pooling in the bowl; add this to the dressing.

SLICE FRUIT (IF USING):

  1. Peaches, nectarines: Halve, remove the stone, then cut into 1/6″ slices.
  2. Grapefruit, oranges: Cut off peel and pith, then segment (see this video at 41 sec for demo)

ASSEMBLE:

  1. Dress greens lightly: Place kale and spinach leaves in a giant bowl. Drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of dressing, then toss very well.
  2. Layer half: Pour half kale/spinach into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with 1/3 EACH of walnuts, blue cheese (crumbled), pomegranates, orange segments, and cranberries
  3. Presentation layer: Top with remaining kale & spinach, then remaining walnuts, blue cheese, pomegranates, orange segments, and cranberries. Drizzle over remaining dressing just before serving.
  4. Serving: Best served freshly assembled, but this salad will be much better than most because kale doesn’t go as soggy once dressed. It’s even good the next day!

Pomegranate Mango Salsa

by BlessThisMessPlease

Servings: 6 (about 1/2 cup) | Calories: 107 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fat: 7g | Protein: 2g

Ingredients:

  • 2 yellow mangos or 1 sizeable red mango, diced (about 1 cup diced mango)
  • 1–2 avocados, peel and pit removed and diced
  • 3/4–1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate)
  • 3–4 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • (optional: a bit of minced jalapeño or 1 green onion, thinly sliced)

To Make:

  1. Stir together all ingredients.
  2. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve within a few hours to prevent browning.

Are pomegranates good for you? Yes! Are you going to try one of these recipes? I sure hope so. Want to try new foods but don’t know where to start? Let’s connect and see if you are a good fit for group nutrition! No commitment is required by completing my Nutrition Coaching Interest Form here.

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