In this blog post you will learn:
- What pomegranate is
- When pomegranate is in season
- What is the difference between pomegranate arils and pomegranate seeds
- Why it can be hard to get nutrients from pomegranate fruit
- Why do you get more nutrients by drinking pomegranate juice vs eating pomegranate arils
- Why it is potentially dangerous to eat pomegranate arils
- What are the health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice
- What a pomegranate press is
- What you should pay attention to when choosing a pomegranate press
- What is my personal favourite pomegranate juice recipe
- Which high quality pomegranate press you can order
Watch 1 Minute Educational Video on Pomegranate Juice:
Why is pomegranate juice so healthy for you?
Unveil the extraordinary health benefits of pomegranate juice with this blog post! Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, pomegranate juice stands out as a powerhouse of goodness for your well-being. Explore the science-backed reasons behind its heart-healthy properties, potential cancer-fighting abilities, and how it may contribute to improved memory and cognitive function.
Dive into the nutritional richness of pomegranate juice, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, immune system support, and digestion-friendly fibre content. Learn why this vibrant elixir is hailed for promoting optimal cardiovascular health, reducing oxidative stress, and enhancing overall vitality.
Whether you’re a health enthusiast or simply curious about the secrets hidden within this ruby-red nectar, our blog post is your guide to understanding why pomegranate juice deserves a prominent place in your daily nutrition. Elevate your well-being and sip your way to a healthier, more vibrant you!
Ready to uncover the wonders of pomegranate juice? Read our latest blog post now for a deep dive into the science of why it’s so incredibly healthy for you!
What is pomegranate?
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree that belongs to the family Lythraceae. Native to the region from Iran to northern India, the pomegranate is now cultivated in many parts of the world with suitable climates for this plant. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and holds cultural and symbolic significance in various societies.
Here are key features of pomegranates:
- Fruit Structure
The pomegranate fruit is typically round, about the size of a large orange, with a thick, leathery rind or peel. The interior of the fruit contains numerous edible red arils.
The arils are the seed-like structures within the pomegranate. Each aril is a small, juicy sac containing a seed. The arils are the edible part of the fruit and are known for their sweet-tart flavour.
Pomegranate arils have a unique taste, combining sweetness with a hint of tartness. The juice extracted from these arils is also used for various culinary purposes.
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols and anthocyanins. They also contain vitamins such as vitamin C and various minerals.
- Culinary Uses
Pomegranate arils can be consumed fresh, added to salads, used as a topping for desserts, or processed into juice. Pomegranate juice is a popular beverage known for its vibrant color and health benefits.
The pomegranate holds cultural and symbolic significance in various traditions. It is often associated with fertility, abundance, and prosperity.
- Medicinal Uses
Traditional medicine has used pomegranate for its potential health benefits, including its antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects.
Pomegranates are not only enjoyed for their delicious taste but are also appreciated for their potential health-promoting properties. Whether consumed fresh or as juice, pomegranates continue to be a popular and versatile fruit in culinary and wellness contexts.
When is pomegranate in season?
The exact timing of the pomegranate season can vary depending on the region and climate. In general, pomegranates are a fall fruit, and their peak season typically spans from September to November in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the specific months can vary based on factors such as the variety of pomegranate, the location of cultivation, and the local climate.
Here’s a rough guide to the pomegranate season:
- Pomegranate season in the northern hemisphere
Late Summer to Fall (September to November): This is the prime season for most varieties of pomegranates in regions like the United States, Europe, and Asia.
- Pomegranate season in the southern hemisphere
Spring to Early Summer (March to May): In countries in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Australia and parts of South America, pomegranates are typically in season during these months.
It’s important to note that these are general timeframes, and the availability of pomegranates in your local area may vary. Pomegranates are often harvested when they have reached their peak ripeness, and the fruit’s colour has turned from green to a deep red or reddish-purple, depending on the variety.
Image by: Zeynep Aciktepe @ Unsplash
What is the difference between pomegranate arils and pomegranate seeds?
Are pomegranate arils and pomegranate seeds the same part of the pomegranate fruit?
The answer is undisputedly: NO!
Pomegranate arils and pomegranate seeds are NOT the same part of pomegranate fruit.
To make the confusion worse, many people are not aware of the difference, and thus they ignorantly use these two terms interchangeably. Which is incorrect.
Let’s clarify the difference between pomegranate arils and pomegranate seeds.
Aril: The tiny red parts you see inside a pomegranate fruit. The outer layer of each aril is composed of mostly cellulose, while the centre part if filled with juice, and contains a seed.
Seed: Even smaller than an aril, hard white structure found within each aril. It is often referred to as the kernel or pip. That tiny white seed inside the pomegranate aril, is the seed of the pomegranate tree (Ah… doesn’t nature just amazes us?!).
Why it can be hard to get nutrients from pomegranate arils?
The human body has difficulty accessing nutrients locked within the cellulose walls of plant cells, including those found in pomegranate arils, due to the human digestive system’s limited ability to break down and digest certain plant cell structures.
Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate and a major component of plant cell walls. While it provides structural support to plant cells, it is indigestible by human enzymes. Humans lack the specific enzyme, cellulase, required to break down cellulose into its constituent glucose molecules. As a result, the cellulose structure remains largely intact as it passes through the human digestive system.
In the case of pomegranate arils:
- Cellulose in Plant Cells
The cellulose walls surround the plant cells, including the arils of pomegranates. These walls provide structure and protection to the cells.
- Limited Nutrient Access
Nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, are often found within the cellular structure of plant tissues, including the arils. Since humans cannot break down cellulose efficiently, accessing these nutrients requires breaking down the cell walls.
- Release of Nutrients
Effective extraction of nutrients from cellulose plant cells involves disrupting the cellulose structure to release the nutritional content. This process often requires mechanical processing of, in this case, pomegranate arils.
For pomegranate arils, consuming them whole without any mechanical processing may limit the availability of certain nutrients. However, when pomegranate is consumed in the form of juice, that ensures the breakdown of cellulose walls, and thus enhances the release of nutrients, making them more accessible for absorption in the digestive tract.
In summary, while the cellulose walls of plant cells can limit direct nutrient access, various processing methods can aid in breaking down these structures and improving nutrient bioavailability for the human body. In the case of pomegranate fruit, the conclusion reads:
Drinking pomegranate juice provides more nutrients than eating pomegranate arils. But this is not the end of story… eating pomegranate arils can be DANGEROUS! Keep reading!
Image by: Faris Mohammed @ Unsplash
Why is it better for you to drink pomegranate juice than to eat pomegranate arils?
If you are wondering is it better for you to eat pomegranate seeds (that is arils), or drink pomegranate juice, than in this section you will get the answer you are looking for!
I am all about whole plant foods. From my understanding of nutrition, whole plant foods are the most superior foods for overall health and wellbeing.
Also, drinking sweet fruit juices, might have an averse effect on the blood sugar level due to the lack of fibre, especially if there is significant fat content in the blood stream that impairs the work of insulin and blocks the insulin receptors on the cells.
- Insulin is like a key for the insulin receptors on the cells.
- Insulin receptors on the cells are like doors through which the glucose leaves your bloodstream and enter the cells where it is burnt into energy called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Having said all this, from what I understand, the story is a bit different with pomegranate arils.
It is better, safer and more nutritious to drink pomegranate juice than to eat pomegranate arils.
Here is why:
- First of all, pomegranate fruit is not high is sugar, so drinking pomegranate juice typically does not cause a blood sugar spike.
- And most importantly, nutrients are locked in the cellulose walls of each pomegranate aril.
The outer layer of pomegranate arils is composed mostly of cellulose insoluble fibre which we cannot digest, and it often happens that most people do not chew every aril well enough.
All this results in pomegranate arils just passing through the digestive track … in the best case scenario.
Yes… you read it right!
The worse case scenario is the horror intestinal blockage from pomegranate arils.
As tiny as they are, pomegranate arils are a nutrient powerhouse, but at the same time dangerous if they cluster together inside the intestines.
Image by: Kiley Lawson @ Unsplash
Pomegranate aril intestinal blockage horror story
This article in the National Library od Medicine is portraying an example of a horror pomegranate aril intestinal blockage. Please note that the term seeds was used in this article, probably referring to arils. Here is an excerpt:
For the past few weeks prior to presentation, the patient had been on a special diet for the purpose of weight loss and improving her diabetes. This diet constituted of daily pomegranate seeds and clear liquids. Digital rectal examination revealed fecal impaction with hard, sharp seeds. Manual disimpaction was attempted, and these seeds turned out to be pomegranate seeds. The patient was discharged home but returned the next day after being unable to defecate. Digital disimpaction failed due to the huge amount of impacted seeds. Sigmoidoscopy revealed impacted pomegranate seeds that could not be mobilized with water jets or forceps (Figures 1A–D). The patient was referred for surgical management. She underwent examination under anesthesia with the removal of impacted seeds that had reached the sigmoid colon. She was discharged home postoperatively.
Image by: National Library of Medicine
What are the health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice?
Drinking pomegranate juice can offer a range of health benefits due to the rich nutritional profile of this vibrant fruit. Here are some potential advantages:
Pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants, including polyphenols and anthocyanins. These compounds help neutralise free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Heart Health
Studies suggest that pomegranate juice may have a positive impact on heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving overall cardiovascular function. The antioxidants in pomegranate juice contribute to maintaining healthy arteries.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Pomegranate juice contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help alleviate inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with various health conditions, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.
- Cancer Prevention
Some research indicates that pomegranate juice may have anti-cancer properties, particularly in slowing down the growth of certain cancer cells. However, more studies are needed to establish conclusive evidence.
- Improved Memory
There is evidence to suggest that the antioxidants in pomegranate juice may have a positive impact on memory and cognitive function. It may help protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Joint Health
Pomegranate juice may have anti-inflammatory effects that benefit joint health. It could potentially help alleviate symptoms of arthritis and reduce joint pain.
- Digestive Health
Pomegranate juice contains dietary fibre, which is beneficial for digestive health. It can aid in preventing constipation and promoting a healthy digestive system.
- Immune System Support
The vitamin C content in pomegranate juice can contribute to a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and helps the body fight off infections.
- Sports Performance
Some studies suggest that the natural nitrates in pomegranate juice may enhance exercise performance by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles, potentially reducing muscle soreness.
Important note: Here I am talking exclusively about freshly juiced pomegranate without additives, sugar and other added ingredients that are commonly present in commercial juices.
What is a pomegranate press?
A pomegranate press, also known as a pomegranate juicer or extractor, is a specialised kitchen tool designed to extract the juice from pomegranates. These presses are designed to efficiently separate the juice from the pomegranate arils, providing a convenient way to enjoy fresh pomegranate juice.
Typically, a pomegranate press consists of a hand-operated or electric mechanism that applies pressure to the pomegranate, releasing the juice while leaving the seeds and pulp behind. Some common features of pomegranate presses may include:
- Lever or Hand-Crank
Manual pomegranate presses often have a lever or hand-crank mechanism that allows users to apply pressure to the fruit.
- Bowl for Pressing
An open pomegranate or any citrus half is usually placed in a bowl for juicing pomegranate and citruses.
- Strainer or Sieve
Many pomegranate presses come with a built-in strainer or sieve to separate the juice from the seeds and pulp, ensuring a smooth and seed-free liquid.
- Motorised Extraction
Some modern pomegranate presses are electric and have a motorised mechanism to simplify the juice extraction process. These may have additional features like variable speeds or different settings for optimal juice extraction.
Using a pomegranate press can be a convenient way to obtain fresh pomegranate juice without the hassle of manually deseeding and squeezing the fruit. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific press to ensure efficient and safe operation.
What you should pay attention to when choosing a pomegranate press?
When choosing a pomegranate press, consider factors such as:
- how heavy a pomegranate press is (it is GOOD when it is heavy, because it typically means it is strong and can break tough pomegranate fruits)
- ease of use
- cleaning requirements
- whether it meets your specific preferences for juice extraction
My personal experience with a pomegranate press
I am absolutely in LOVE with my own pomegranate press. I have been having it since 2021 and I love how ease it is to make pomegranate and citrus juices with this kitchen device.
I especially love making my holiday drink that is ensures my wine glass is filled to the brim without any health compromise!
Order your pomegranate press
If you like pomegranate fruit and would like to enjoy all the nutritious and delicious benefits of drinking pomegranate juice as well as citrus juices, every year, than I truly believe that you will love having and using a pomegranate press.
I highly recommend that you invest in a high quality pomegranate press. At least this is what I did when I was buying my pomegranate press and I can honestly tell you that it was well worth it!
I heard stories of cheap pomegranate presses easily break.
My pomegranate press has shown high level of strength and durability even when dealing with some of the toughest pomegranate fruits! This is exactly the press you will love using as well.
Enjoy nutritious & delicious pomegranate juice
Do you like pomegranates and pomegranate juice?
Pomegranates… there is so much to say about this unique fruit, right? Ever had fun opening a pomegranate? I know, I know… it is not eve funny…
Tell me, do you like pomegranates? How do you prefer to consume this fruit: eating pomegranate arils or drinking pomegranate juice?
Please let me know through the comments below. I love to hear from you!
Marina from Health Glows
As a certified raw vegan diet and healthy lifestyle coach, Marina helps her clients and followers to transition to a raw vegan diet in a proven and sustainable way, along with incorporating an exercise program for staying fit long term, in order to get rid of health problems and build a high level of health.