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.
Pomegranate seeds can play an important role in a balanced, healthful diet.
The peel also contains antioxidants, though few people eat pomegranate peels. These antioxidants include tannins, flavonoids, and anthocyanin.
Fruit fiber can
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.
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.
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.
Pomegranates contain both health benefits and history. Despite beliefs to the contrary, the seeds within are both flavorful and have many health benefits.