The Pomegranate - the Antioxidant Bomb
The sweet and sour taste of pomegranate has been adored for millennia. Now, new research suggests that it could be even healthier than previously thought.
The pomegranate has accompanied mankind for a long time. It was mentioned in the Bible and the Koran, as well as in ancient mythology.
Pomegranate often played a role in Greek myths. For example, the pomegranate was used to explain the origin of the seasons. Hades, the god of the underworld, kidnapped Persephone because he wanted her for his wife. Her mother, the fertility goddess Demeter, grieved so much that plants would no longer grow. This period of grief became winter. Without food, the people died. Therefore, the other gods pleased with Hades to release Persephone. And so he did. Since Persephone ate a few pomegranate seeds in the underworld, and no one who had tasted the food of the dead could permanently remain in the upper world, Persephone had to spend four months a year in the underworld. So Persephone returns to the underworld during the winter months, then comes back to the upper world afterward, bringing spring.
The pomegranates repeated appearance in Greek mythology is not surprising, as it probably comes from western and central Asia. These areas of the world are practically at the doorstep of Greece. Today the plants grow worldwide in tropical and subtropical climates. They came to South America through Spanish colonization and thrive in the Mediterranean as well.
Pomegranates grow on small trees or shrubs that grow up to five meters high and have a reddish-brown to gray bark.
The fruits themselves are about the size of apples, with an orange-red to red-brown color. Their fruit is not really a berry, but falls into a gray area. Its pulp is neither fleshy nor stalky. The interior of the fruit is crisscrossed with several seed chambers, which have about 400 seeds. These chambers are surrounded by a kind of transparent membrane, which is filled with juice.
Wine is made from this juice that is great for refining game, poultry dishes and fruit salads.
The ingredients in pomegranates are something to be proud of. In addition to many trace elements and minerals, the juice contains many antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols. The number of polyphenols it contains is at an even higher concentration than red wine and blueberries.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of studies have indicated that pomegranates may help with cardiovascular disease, arthritis, inflammation, and even cancer. Although the final confirmation is still pending, in principle, pomegranates are very healthy.
Caution! Pomegranate juice stains leave a lasting impression and can no longer be washed out. So pay attention!
There are several ways to get to the seeds. You can halve the pomegranate, then tap and hold the shell until they fall out. Here, it helps to use slight pressure while rolling them over a flat surface. This helps to loosen the seeds.
You can also detach the seeds directly with a spoon. For this purpose, it is best to get a bowl of water to help. The seeds sink to the bottom, while the shell floats on the surface.
The fastest way is to simply squeeze the fruit. One pomegranate yields about half a glass of juice.
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