Pomegranates are a popular fruit showing up in stores in both whole fruit form, as juice or as a supplement. This fruit is round in shape and grows on a tree-like bush and can be found in a variety of colors but best known the bright red to dark purple variety. When opened, the fruit reveals hundreds of juicy pulp covered seeds that can be eaten or made into juice. This fruit is grows all over the world and is associated with many health benefits.
Nutritional Value of Pomegranates
1 Cup Serving of Seeds and Pulp
- Calories: 144
- Fat: 2g or 4% of DV
- Protein: 2g
- Fiber: 6g/ 28% of DV
- Vitamin C: 18g/ 30% of DV
- Vitamin K: 28mcg/ 36% of DV
- Vitamin E: 1mg/ 6% of DV
- Folate: 66mcg/ 16% of DV
1 Cup Serving of Juice
- Calories: 134
- Fat: 1g or 2% of DV
- Protein: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Vitamin C: 0g
- Vitamin K: 26mcg/ 32% of DV
- Vitamin E: .9mg/ 5% of DV
- Folate: 60mcg/ 15% of DV
Health Benefits of Pomegranates
- Contains over 100 phytonutrients which are associated with antioxidant benefits and reducing inflammation. The high concentrations of these found in pomegranates are what makes it a "superfood."
- Contains vitamin E and other antioxidants that are associated with lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, and lower cholesterol. These antioxidants work to fight cell damage caused by free radicals. There is even some evidence that they can even reverse damage already done.
- The pulpy seeds contain vitamin C which is also provides antioxidant benefits.
- Consuming pomegranates is also associated with weight management because the seeds provide almost 1/3 of all the fiber you need in one serving, which slows digestion and helps you feel fuller longer.
Ideas For Using Pomegranates
- Buy many when affordable in-season and freeze the seeds. Later you can use the seeds for a dessert topping, salad topping or an addition to your breakfast porridge or yogurt.
- Add to salsas, relishes or chutneys or yogurt sauces for a new take on your favorite recipes.
- Smash fruits and add to your favorite homemade dressings based with oil and vinegar.
- The pulpy seeds go great with goat cheese, nuts and olives. Add to your sampler plate for a fruity contrast.
- In addition to adding to your frozen desserts, you can bake with pomegranate seeds. Try pomegranate ginger muffins, or red velvet cake with pomegranate filling or topping.
- Make a quick dessert of baked pears in pomegranate juice with seeds. This can reduce the need to add sugar and gives added flavor to your softened pears.
- Add to your sangria or make a pomegranate based-margarita using the seeds and juice.
Emily DeLacey MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and currently working in Jamaica as a HIV/ AIDS Prevention Specialist. She attended Central Washington University for her Bachelor's Degree in Science and Dietetics and continued on after her internship to Kent State University for her Master's Degree in Science and Nutrition, with a focus on public health and advocacy. She served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi 2012-2014 working as a Community Health Advisor in a rural village, immersing in the joys of life without electricity or running water. She has been to 20+ countries and 47 of the 50 states in the US. Traveling, adventuring and experiencing new cultures has made her a passionate advocate for the equality of nutrition and wellness for all people.