Intriguing Facts About Pomegranates.
Pomegranates originate from Iran and are also grown in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India. India is now the world’s largest producer of this fruit. Every October, there is a pomegranate festival held in Goychay, Azerbaijan.
They belong to the berry family and their trees can live for over 200 years. These trees only bear their fruit in hot and dry climates.
There are over 760 varieties of pomegranates.
The English word for this fruit is derived from the Latin words for apple, ‘pomum’ and seeded, ‘granatus.’
The Spanish city of Granada is named after the pomegranate and this fruit features on this city’s heraldic device. In fact, centuries ago in England, it was called, ‘Apple of Granada.’
In Greek mythology, this fruit was known as the ‘Fruit of the Dead.’ And, the Goddess Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, the King of the Underworld. She was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds and apparently, whoever eats food or drink in the Underworld had to stay there. She spent part of the year with Hades during winter.
In religious contexts, pomegranates are mentioned frequently in the Bible and they are named as the fruits that will grow in the gardens of paradise, in the Qur’an.
They symbolise prosperity and fertility in Hinduism and Judaism teaches this fruit is a symbol of righteousness because its 613 seeds correspond with the 613 commandments of the Torah. (The number of seeds varies in pomegranates.)
The Romans used this fruit as a dye.
Traditionally in Greece, a pomegranate is placed under or near the home altar of the house as a housewarming gift to bring good luck, fertility and abundance.
According to the Ebers Papyrus, medical writings dating from around 1500 BCE, the Ancient Egyptians used pomegranates to treat tapeworm and other infections.
This fruit doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fats.
In 2017, the world’s heaviest pomegranate weighed 2.60kg in China.
7 Wonderful Reasons Why Pomegranates Are So Good For You.
These fabulous fruits contain extremely strong antioxidants known as ‘punicalagins’, which have 3 times more antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea.
Even though more research is needed, pomegranates may:-
1. Help with cancer. Test-tube studies have shown they can reduce inflammatory activity in breast and colon cancer cells. They could help fight prostate cancer. Some studies suggest that pomegranate extract may slow cancer cell reproduction and even induce cell death in cancer cells.
2. Lower your blood pressure. Studies have shown that the blood pressure of people with hypertension is considerably lowered after drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis.
3. Help you to fight arthritis and joint pain. There have been studies that show this fruit could block enzymes that are recognised to damage joints in people with osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, the subjects in these studies were mice.
4. Lower your risk of heart disease. A 4-week study of 51 people with raised triglyceride (fat lipids) levels revealed that taking 800mg of pomegranate seed oil per day significantly reduced them. Also, in another study, the cholesterol levels of people with high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes were extensively reduced by drinking pomegranate juice.
5. Help you to fight bacterial and fungal infections. In particular, gingivitis and periodontitis.
6. Help to improve your memory as you age. A study of 28 older adults found that their markers of verbal and visual memory significantly improved when they drank pomegranate juice every day.
7. Improve your exercise performance. A study of 19 athletes indicated that when they took 1g of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before they ran on a treadmill, their blood flow was enhanced which delayed the onset of fatigue and increased their exercise efficiency.
They’re not a fruit I eat much of but I sometimes sprinkle them on my porridge and cereals. I also sprinkle them on a shakshuka dish, (poached eggs in a stew) which works surprisingly well.
If you eat pomegranates, how do you have them? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments box.
Sources: thatisfruit.com, seriousfacts.com, justfunfacts.com, foodprint.org, amazingfacts4u.com, tonsoffacts.com, healthline.com, medicalnewstoday.com, bbcgoodfood.com, webmd.com, eatingwell.com, everydayhealth.com, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, sciencedirect.com