Pomegranate is a fruit that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The inner ruby-colored seeds are the edible part of the fruit which is encased in a hard peel. The seeds are known as arils. Pomegranates are a rich source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, and some of the B vitamins. It also has a lot of minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.
Pomegranates provide many health benefits as well, the compounds punicalagins and punicic acid found in the fruit are beneficial in treating many health issues. It is also packed with anti-oxidants in good amounts, even three times higher than the amount found in green tea. This anti-oxidant property of pomegranates makes it ideal to improve aerobic performance and endurance. It has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps lower blood pressure and enhance blood flow.
Eat Pomegranates with Its Seeds
Most people debate about the right way to eat a pomegranate. Whether the arils should be eaten with the seeds or they should be spat out after extracting the juice from them. The decision can be made by listing the benefits of eating the arils with the seeds.
The white crunchy seeds which are surrounded by the juicy, tart red arils contain a lot of benefits. They also provide a different texture when the arils are added to other dishes or salads. The aril bursts when you bite into it releasing the juice and then you can munch on the seeds, giving multiple textural feelings in the mouth.
The pomegranate seeds are completely safe to eat and swallow. In fact, pomegranates are included in the list of foods that are rich in fiber only because of its seeds. These high fiber seeds are edible and contain high amounts of insoluble fiber.
Consuming insoluble fiber prevents hemorrhoids and constipation as it regulates bowel movement and bulks up the stool. Including foods that are rich in fiber in your daily diet helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and helps lower blood sugar levels. They also contain some saturated and unsaturated oils. A cup of pomegranate arils contains 7 grams of fiber when eaten with the seeds.
The digestion of these seeds depends on how well they have been chewed. The longer you chew them for, the more digestible they become. The seeds are also dried and then crushed, these are then added to various recipes, especially into meat mince.
The seeds are the only part of the pomegranate where you get the fiber content. The juice from the arils does not contain any fiber content, though they are high in other vitamins and minerals. So it is always better to eat the arils with the seeds in it and not spitting them out to reap the full benefits and nutrition from the fruit.
Deseeding a Pomegranate
Many people avoid buying and eating pomegranates because they often find it hard to peel and deseed it. It requires a lot of time if you pick each and every seed by hand. Taking out the seeds from the white honeycomb-like part which hold the arils is often difficult and can be messy as the juice from the arils can spill if they are pressed too firmly.
There is an easy and mess free way of deseeding the arils from pomegranates which is a life saver. It’s a simple 3 step technique. First, cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Then place in upside down on your palm with finger spaced out and place a bowl underneath your hand. Take a wooden spoon and start tapping the outer shell, you’ll see the arils falling off in the bowl. Continue doing so until all the arils fall off leaving the empty casing.