Pomegranates - Something Old, Something New
~ April 2009 No.225 ~
The grocery store shelves are constantly being filled by new and different food products. Each year hundreds of new foods appear and disappear as food manufacturers try to offer the consumer a wider variety of food items. The trend to provide healthy foods adds to the number of new foods. Lately, pomegranate products have become more popular and visible, both on its own - as a juice - and as an ingredient in many other drink and foods.
The pomegranate with the Latin name Punica Granatum has a long history. It is a plant that is native from Iran to the Himalayas and Northern India and today is cultivated in Middle East, southern Europe and California. Biblical scholars have suggested that it wasn’t with an apple that Eve tempted Adam, but was probably with a pomegranate. Perhaps, Eve was worried about Adam’s health.
So why are pomegranate products good to consume? Besides being relatively high in potassium, calcium, folate and vitamin K, pomegranate juice is also considered a good source of vitamin C. The vitamin C, plus other compounds found in pomegranate, are anti-oxidants. Together they give pomegranate antioxidant power that may be higher than blueberries, cranberries and red wine.
There is a great deal of interest in antioxidants, and consumers are being encouraged to include more sources of antioxidants in their diets. Research on the antioxidant properties of pomegranate and their potential effects on health is just beginning, but there are already encouraging findings that indicate the consumption of pomegranante juice may be useful to prevent LDL (so called "bad") cholesterol from oxidizing, to improve the amount of oxygen getting to the heart muscle of patients with coronary heart disease, and to delay the development of certain tumours.
Foods that are good for health is a fast growing market sector and new products with new ingredients are appearing every day. Pomegranate joins this growing list; either alone or as an ingredient pomegranate juice will become more prominent in the grocery store shelves.
|Vitamin C:||10 mg|
|Vitamin K:||16.4 µg|
|Source: USDA, Nutrient Data Laboratory|