Pomegranate or Punica granatum, is a type of fruit that has a round shape and is full of juicy, red seeds. Pomegranate is a native fruit of South East Asia, usually grown in countries such as Armenia, Malaysia, Turkey, etc. However, it is popular globally due to its high nutritional value, because of which it is also sometimes known as the ‘super fruit’. The seeds of the pomegranate are either dark red or pale yellow in color and are stacked in the fruit, separated by a thin membrane that is white or yellow in color. The fleshy red part of the pomegranate is the part that is either eaten simply or used to extract juice. The seed portion of pomegranate is bitter in taste as compared to the fleshy part; however, it is known to have numerous medicinal properties. Now a very important question arises: "Can pomegranate seed be eaten?"
Can You Eat Pomegranate Seeds?
Yes, pomegranate seeds can be eaten. You can not only eat the pomegranate seeds but also the bark of the pomegranate. In a pomegranate fruit, the seeds are stacked over each other, the different layers being separated by paper-thin whitish or yellowish colored membranes. These membranes have a bitter taste. The inner membranes and the rind portion of a pomegranate have a high amount of tannic acid. Hence, they are not usually eaten, but they are beneficial for a skin wash.
Free radicals are chemicals that cause damage to the cells of the body, leading to various types of diseases and other complications. Pomegranate seed extract is rich in antioxidants-compounds that help in controlling the damaging free radicals. Antioxidants also help in the maintenance and repair of the damaged cells of the body. Pomegranate seeds are also packed with nutrients including minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium, vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A and folic acid. They are also a rich source of fiber.
Due to the rich nutrient content of pomegranate seeds, pomegranate is considered as a magic fruit which helps in maintaining the health of our heart. Eating pomegranate regularly helps in evading diseases of the heart and also diminishes the risk of occurrence of a stroke. Apart from preventing heart diseases, pomegranate seeds are also known to improve various other diseases such as skin allergies, arthritis, urinary tract infections, osteoporosis, sore throats, digestive disorders, worm infestation, impurities of blood and diabetes mellitus. It is also suggested by modern scientists that pomegranate seeds can help in alleviating cancers such as that of prostate and skin. Pomegranate seeds have also proven effective in removing the fat from the body, especially from the digestive system.
Therefore, as you can see, there are lots of health benefits of eating pomegranate seeds regularly.
How to Eat a Pomegranate
After knowing the answer to can you eat pomegranate seeds, here's how to eat.
Eating a Pomegranate by Removing Its Seeds Out
The steps to eat a pomegranate are explained below:
- Choose a pomegranate with a tough, thin and unbroken skin. Pick a pomegranate that is heavier as it will be juicier in comparison to the lighter ones.
- Cut the crown of the pomegranate using a sharp knife.
- Cut the outer skin of the pomegranate into four quarters using the knife.
- Soak the pomegranate in water for some time. This will help loosen the seeds so they become easier to remove.
- Now while the pomegranate is soaked in water, put gentle pressure on the top of the fruit and pull it into four parts.
- Separate the seeds from the membranes by running your fingers through the fruit.
- Remove the seeds from the water.
- You can store the seeds for up to three days by refrigerating them. You can also store them for up to six months by deep freezing.
Click the link below to see the steps: http://video.about.com/gourmetfood/Pomegranate.htm#vdTrn
Eating a Pomegranate in Other Ways
There are multiple ways to eat a pomegranate.
- Eat the seeds directly with a spoon.
- You can sprinkle the seeds over other foods such as on milkshakes or ice creams.
- You can add the seeds to various soups.
- You can include pomegranate seed to salads.
- You can add the seeds to other drinks such as a smoothie.
- You can also use the seed to spice up your desserts.
How to Juice a Pomegranate
An excellent way to get the benefits of pomegranates is by drinking their fresh juice. The three methods used to juice a pomegranate are described below:
- Juicer Method: The pomegranate has to be cut into two halves, in a similar manner as you cut a grapefruit while juicing it. Use either a hand-press juicer (which is the recommended method) or an electric juicer to take out the juice. While using an electric juicer, care should be taken to not juice the membrane. Take a strainer or sieve lined with cheesecloth and strain the juice through it.
- Blender Method: Take out the seeds of a pomegranate. Put them (approximately 1-2 cups) in a blender and blend until they form a liquid juice. Take a strainer or sieve lined with cheesecloth and strain through it.
- Rolling Method: Put the pomegranate on a hard surface and by applying gentle pressure of the palm of your hand, roll the pomegranate to break all the seeds present inside. When all seeds have broken, the crackling sound will stop. Squeeze out the juice by piercing the rind. You can also put in a straw and press to take out the juice.
How to Store Pomegranates
- Whole Pomegranates: At room temperature and away from sunlight, whole pomegranates keep well for several days. When kept in a plastic bag and refrigerated, they can be stored for up to 3 months.
- Pomegranate Seeds: In a refrigerator they can be stored for up to 3 days. When frozen in airtight containers or in trays as single layers, they can be stored for up to 6 months.
- Pomegranate Juice: In a refrigerator, juice can be stored for up to 3 days. When frozen, it can be stored for up to 6 months.