Happy Seeds of Wisdom Wednesday! The abundance of pomegranates is being shared far and wide!
Pomegranates originated in Iran and Northern India and later spread throughout the whole Mediterranean region, including Asia, Africa and Europe. In 1600 BC pomegranates from Syria were brought to Egypt, where they became a highly valued fruit, especially meant for pharaohs, and were often put in tombs and paintings or embroidered on robes of priests and other important people.
Traditionally, pomegranate juice was used in Egypt to treat intestinal worms. The blossom and peel were often used to create a natural dye and even used to dye leather.
Pomegranates became a popular symbol in many cultures and religions and was often a noteworthy detail in Greek myths. The fruit often symbolized fertility and strength, and eternal life was suggested by the leaves remaining green year-round. Buddhism emphasizes three blessed fruits, with the pomegranate being one of them.
Pomegranates were valued so highly for good reason. They have incredible health benefits, offering innumerable vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They provide calcium, folate, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E and K.
There is a lot of hype around green tea for its rich antioxidant content, but pomegranates can offer three times the amount in green tea. The polyphenols in pomegranates are also quite impressive.
Pomegranates are rich in iron and able to prevent and treat anemia.
The antioxidants in pomegranate contribute to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. This serves as protection for the heart and prevents blood clots in the arteries.
The flavonoids category of antioxidants in pomegranate help fight free radicals that create and spread cancer. In fact, studies are being done to assess pomegranate seed oil as a way to fight off growth of breast cancer cells.
Many studies are being done on the anti-inflammatory quality of pomegranates. It has been shown that extract from the fruit can help inhibit deterioration of cartilage. Pomegranates are also valuable for other connective tissues because they prevent the production of an enzyme that would otherwise break down the tissue.
Pomegranates are known to have antibacterial properties as well, which is why they have traditionally been used to treat acne as well as sore throats.
Their antibacterial properties also provide support for your oral health, reducing plaque formation and preventing disease growth in the mouth. Some natural toothpastes have been taking advantage of these properties and including pomegranate in their toothpaste formulas.
Many parts of the pomegranate plant, including the bark, leaves and peel, have been used to treat digestive and stomach related issues. Making a tea from the leaves of the shrub can support your digestion and relieve distress you’re experiencing post meal. Pomegranate is also shown to relieve diarrhea.
Research has shown that pomegranates can be helpful in treating diabetes. The anthocyanins and tannins in pomegranates can be used to manage type 2 diabetes, while extract from the peel and seed are shown to decrease levels of glucose in the blood.
It’s important to note that, like grapefruits, pomegranates could “interfere with certain medications”
The seeds of pomegranates are often eaten by themselves, tossed on salads or a roasted root vegetable medley, but juices, pastes and syrups are also common products from pomegranate.
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- Global Healing Center - The Health Benefits of Pomegranates by Dr. Edward Group
- FoodReference.com - Pomegranate History & Timeline
- Natural Food Series - 11 Impressive Health Benefits of Pomegranate by Brandi Marcene
- Organic Facts - 7 Amazing Benefits of Pomegranates by Meenakshi Nagdeve