Should i eat pomegranate seeds or not? It’s a question that’s been floating around for a while, but the internet is divided. Will pomegranate seeds help cure impotence? Is it healthy to eat pomegranate seeds or are there better ways to improve your health? These are just some of the questions that this post will answer so you can make an educated decision. I took a deep dive into all the research that is available on eating pomegranate seeds so you don’t have to.
What Is a Pomegranate?
Before getting to the can you eat pomegranate seeds? question, let’s clarify exactly what a pomegranate is. A pomegranate is a fruit that comes from a tree that can grow up to 10 meters (33 feet) but is usually trained to remain shorter. A pomegranate is a reddish, round fruit, with what looks like a crown on the end that is opposite the stalk. The skin is quite hard, but can be cut. When it is cut in half, the pomegranate reveals many seeds.
The name pomegranate in fact comes from the Greek word meaning ‘many seeded’ and there can be up to 600 seeds in one fruit. The seeds can be up to one-third of the fruit’s weight! No wonder people start wondering about eating pomegranate seeds…
Pomegranates have been grown in the Mediterranean area for centuries and are now also grown in other places in the world.
Can You Eat Pomegranate Seeds?
Not only is eating pomegranate seeds completely fine, but they are actually also the most often eaten part of the pomegranate fruit.
A pomegranate is made up of the skin, pith, and seeds, which have a kind of jelly-like, juicy flesh around them. The skin is fibrous and not very tasty, and the pith is bitter. The seeds, however, are tasty thanks to this juicy flesh, and are also good for you!
How to consume pomegranate seeds
In North America, people are most likely to find pomegranates in late summer to early winter, when the fruits are in season. However, some grocers import pomegranates from the Southern Hemisphere, offering them throughout the year.
Heating pomegranate seeds can eliminate some of their flavor, so it is best to eat them fresh and raw or as a garnish.
Picking the right fruit
Choosing pomegranates is relatively easy, and many in grocery stores will be ripe already. The fruit should be heavy, and the skin should be firm. Small scratches on the surface don’t affect the fruit inside, so don’t judge a pomegranate by its scarred skin.
Start by cutting the fruit in half. Then, spoon out the tiny red seeds into a bowl. Add the seeds to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, desserts, and more.
Have too many pomegranates to eat in one sitting? Save the seeds by spreading them on a baking sheet and freezing them for two hours. Then transfer them to freezer bags and put them back in the freezer. This will make them last for up to one year.
Juicing pomegranates can save the expense of buying it in a bottle. However, many commercial pomegranate juices contain other ingredients, including added sugar and sodium.
Use a juicer or simply squeeze the fruit, separating the fibers with a strainer.
Purchase pomegranate seeds and obtain their many antioxidant benefits without scooping and storing them. From there, use them in a range of cooked and cold dishes as a garnish.
How to add pomegranate seeds to the diet
Pomegranate seeds are unlike many other fruits in the supermarket. Their small size makes them easy to mix into everything from yogurt cups to ice cream. But the sweet-tart flavor makes them a welcome addition to any number of recipes.
Enjoy pomegranate seeds in these ways:
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie bowls.
- Toss seeds into green salads or savory grain bowls.
- Stir seeds into fruit salads or parfaits.
- Blend seeds into smoothies, or extract juice from the seeds for a juice.
- Eat them by the spoonful.
- Eat with whipped cream for a simple and nearly effortless dessert.
- Serve atop cheesecakes, ice cream, and puddings.
- Combine with cilantro, peppers, and onion for a quick fruit salsa.
- Stir into cocktails, margaritas, and other drinks.
Easy ways to open and seed a pomegranate
There are two simple ways to remove pomegranate seeds — with a spoon or knife.
With a spoon
One popular and easy method for removing pomegranate seeds involves using a wooden spoon.
First, cut the fruit in half around the middle. Then, hold it over a bowl with the seed side facing down.
Firmly hit the pomegranate skin with the back of a wooden spoon until all the seeds have fallen out.
You can fill the bowl halfway with water, so the seeds to sink to the bottom while pieces of the pith float to the top. This makes it easier to separate the seeds.
Rinse and strain the seeds to remove any unwanted pith remnants. Now, the arils are ready to enjoy.
Scoring with a knife
Another equally popular and effective method of retrieving pomegranate seeds is to use a knife to score the fruit.
First, using a paring knife, remove the little stem at the top of the fruit, which is known as the flower.
Then, score the sides by cutting the skin between the ridges from top to bottom. If you can’t feel the ridges, simply make about six evenly spaced cuts around the fruit.
To prevent the juices from escaping, don’t make the cuts too deep.
Next, grip the fruit and place your thumbs at the top where the flower was. Gently pull apart the fruit to separate the sections.
It may be helpful to do this over a bowl so all the loose seeds are caught.
To continue, peel off the white membrane that surrounds each section of seeds.
Lastly, working over a bowl or clean surface, pull the edges of each section back towards you to push the seeds out and into the bowl.
Depending on the ripeness of the fruit and how easily the seeds come out, you may have to gently rub some of the seeds to detach them.
Now, they’re ready to enjoy.
Can you eat pomegranate seeds?
Pomegranate seeds are safe to eat and are a good source of many vitamins and nutrients.
People primarily eat the seeds of pomegranate fruit, known as arils. The white flesh surrounding these seeds is technically edible but is bitter, and most people avoid it. The skin of pomegranate fruit is again technically edible, but people typically only use it as an extract.
In this article, we cover the health benefits of pomegranate seeds and ways to incorporate them into the diet.
What are the health benefits?
Pomegranate seeds can play an important role in a balanced, healthful diet.
Pomegranates are rich in many vitamins and other nutrients. Half a cup, around 87 grams (g), of pomegranate seeds contains:
- 8.87 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 205 mg of potassium
- 10.4 mg of magnesium
Pomegranate seeds are also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against inflammation and free radical damage. Antioxidant content varies between pomegranate varieties, but all contain high levels of these healthful bioactive components.
The peel also contains antioxidants, though few people eat pomegranate peels. These antioxidants include tannins, flavonoids, and anthocyanin.
Half a cup of pomegranate seeds contains 3.48 g of fiber.
Fruit fiber can help promote the proper working of a person’s digestive system and maintain good gastrointestinal health.
In addition to promoting good gut health, eating adequate amounts of fiber and whole fruits can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and assist in long-term weight management.
With 83 calories per 100g, pomegranate seeds can add flavor to dishes with few additional calories or be a low calorie snack option themselves.
Pomegranate Blueberry Banana Smoothie
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup yoghurt
- One banana, chopped
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup spinach
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- You may use any yoghurt you want and whatever milk you like (coconut milk, regular milk, soy milk, etc.).
- You can also add protein powder if you wish to use this as your pre-workout drink.
- In a blender, combine all of the ingredients in the order stated. Blend until completely smooth.
- Serve the smoothies cold, so add in a few ice cubes during or after blending.
Coconut and Pomegranate Acai Bowl
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
- One banana, chopped
- One packet of acai puree
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 2 tbsp grated coconut
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- Hit the acai puree on the countertop to help it break apart before putting it in the blender.
- In a high-powered blender, blend the banana, acai package, and milk until smooth. Feel free to use any milk of your choice.
- Fill a bowl halfway with the mixture and top with the remaining ingredients. Get creative with the topping placements to jazz it up.
Mango Pomegranate Salsa
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup mango, diced
- 1-2 avocados, diced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 tbsp cilantro, minced
- One lime, juice and zest
- Salt, to taste,
- Pepper, to taste
- One jalapeno, minced
- One green onion, thinly sliced
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- To avoid browning, serve within a few hours.
Pomegranate Pistachio Granola
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
- 3 ½ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup puffed rice
- 1 cup pistachios, raw
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
Is Eating Pomegranate Seeds Bad for You?
Arils — the fancy name for pomegranate seeds — are not bad for you at all. In fact, the seeds are loaded with key vitamins and minerals that are good for you and might even stave off certain health problems. You can pop a handful of the seeds plain, but they also jazz up the flavor of many foods, from main courses to side dishes to desserts.
Benefits from Fiber
A 1/2-cup serving of pomegranate seeds contains 4 grams of fiber. That’s 14 percent of the 25 grams of fiber women should include in their daily diet and 9 percent of the 38 grams men need each day. Making fiber part of your regular diet is an effective way to reduce your risk of becoming constipated. Fiber promotes efficient digestion, which helps keep your bowels healthy and working properly. A diet rich in fiber might also help lower your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Pomegranate seeds supply 205 milligrams of potassium in every 1/2-cup serving. That translates to 4 percent of the 4,700 milligrams you need each day to keep your heart and muscles working properly. You’ll also get small amounts of iron from pomegranate seeds. Iron helps protect your immune system and ensures that you have plenty of oxygen circulating through your body. Pomegranate seeds also deliver trace amounts of calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Are Pomegranates a Good Food for Weight Loss?
Significantly increasing your intake of pomegranates doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll slim down overnight. There hasn’t been much research showing that pomegranates contribute to weight loss, and the studies that hint there could be a link were very small or not significant enough to draw conclusions from.
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That said, pomegranates are part of a healthy diet and may aid in weight loss efforts because they contain fiber, which contributes to feelings of fullness. You may end up eating less as a result and could therefore lose weight. They could be especially beneficial for weight loss when eaten instead of candy or dessert.