Pomegranate – The Apple Of Paradise
The pomegranate ( Punica granatum ) is considered a symbol of fertility in many cultures because of its numerous juicy seeds and its particular position in religions. The pomegranate is also called the paradise apple – and you feel like you are in Paradise when you eat the delicious pomegranate.
This Is How The Pomegranate Tastes
Under the pomegranate’s leathery, yellowish to red skin, individual chambers are separated by white coats. The edible red seeds are in the rooms. A single pomegranate can contain several hundred seeds. They taste tart and sweet, are friendly and crunchy and give many dishes an exotic note.
The Pomegranate Is A Berry
The pomegranate gets its name from Latin. Because granum means core (or also grain) and granatus, therefore, means seed-rich. The mineral stones from the group of garnets got their name from the pomegranate, as they often have a similar deep red colour to the pomegranate kernels.
Although the pomegranate resembles an apple in terms of its shape and colour, from a botanical point of view, the two have nothing to do with each other. The pomegranate belongs to the loosestrife family, so it is related to the familiar purple loosestrife, a pink flowering swamp plant that you may know if you have a garden pond.
Other types of loosestrife are the marsh whale and the water nut. The latter is also a popular pond plant. From a botanical point of view, the pomegranate is not even a fruit (like the apple), but a berry, just like the pumpkin, the cucumber and the banana.
Plant Pomegranate Tree
Pomegranate trees grow in West and Central Asia and around the Mediterranean. The deciduous trees are usually between 3 and a maximum of 5 meters high and are highly drought-resistant. They can live to be over 100 years old. The leaflets are bright red when they shoot in spring – just like the large funnel-shaped flowers a little later.
Pomegranate trees can also be planted in pots. You need a fully sunny, sheltered location, preferably on a house wall or winter garden. However, it shouldn’t get colder than -5 degrees Celsius in winter because the pomegranate tree is only partially frost-hardy. In summer, the pomegranate tree needs enough warmth and sun. Otherwise, it will not bear any fruit.
The fruits are harvested from September to October. The pomegranate tree survives dry periods without any problems, but it sheds its leaves at some point. It should therefore be watered regularly during more extended periods of heat.
The Nutritional Values, Vitamins And Minerals Of The Pomegranate
With the peel, a pomegranate weighs between 200 and 600 grams, depending on its size, and once the peel has been removed, about half of the weight remains. A large pomegranate with many seeds can absorb relevant amounts of vitamin B5, potassium, iron and vitamin C. 100 g pomegranate seeds have around 80 kcal.
Pomegranate – Diverse Healing Effects
The juice pressed from the pulp of the pomegranate has been trendy for centuries. Science is also increasingly interested in the pomegranate. It is considered one of the most potent antioxidant foods that nature offers and is therefore anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and preventive against cardiovascular diseases.
Pomegranates are rich in bioactive substances: the polyphenols, in particular, give the pomegranate its powerful antioxidant effects. Most of the polyphenols are contained in the leathery skin and in the white coats, both of which are inedible or taste highly bitter in the case of skins. But studies have also found antioxidant effects for the seeds and the juice (albeit around ten times weaker than for the peel and skins).
Suppose you want to benefit from the antioxidants from the peel and the skins. In that case, you can use pomegranate extract, mainly made from these parts of the plant (you can find more information on this in the section “Products made from pomegranate – purchase, consumption and dosage”).
Pomegranates Help With Type 2 Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
A clinical study showed that pomegranate juice might be recommended for type 2 diabetes patients with high blood pressure. After six weeks, during which the test subjects (type 2 diabetics with high blood pressure) had drunk 200 ml pomegranate juice daily, their systolic blood pressure had dropped by an average of 1.2 mmHg and that of diastolic by an average of 0.5 mmHg.
The test subjects’ cholesterol levels had also improved: The “bad” LDL cholesterol had dropped from 148 to 134 mg/dl and the total cholesterol value from 236 to 215 mg/dl. The “good” HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, remained constant at around 46 mg/dl. In healthy people, the average values for LDL cholesterol are below 100, HDL cholesterol above 40 and total cholesterol below 200 mg/dl.
Even the pomegranate seed oil could be a good idea for type 2 diabetics. After eight weeks of taking 1 g of pomegranate seed oil three times a day (with meals), the fasting blood sugar level had dropped significantly from an average of 161 to 143 mg/dl – according to a study from 2020. Nothing like this had happened in the placebo group. (In healthy individuals, the fasting blood sugar level is usually between 70 and 100 mg / dL) .
Pomegranate Juice Improves Memory Performance
Even the memory benefits from regular consumption of the delicious pomegranate juice. If people with mild age-related memory problems were given 200 ml of pomegranate juice daily for four weeks, this improved memory performance significantly, which was not the case in the placebo group. The researchers attributed this positive result to the antioxidants – especially the ellagitannins – in pomegranate juice.
Pomegranate Juice And Pomegranate Extract For Cancer
The antioxidants in pomegranate also make it a potent agent that could accompany cancer therapy. The polyphenols, e.g. B., inhibit the growth of tumour cells and the formation of metastases in some cancers.
The effects on hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, as the polyphenols regulate the hormonal balance, have been studied best. Both pomegranate extracts and pomegranate juice were tested in the corresponding studies.
For example, in the case of prostate cancer, an extract with 600 mg of polyphenols (mainly ellagitannins such as punicalagin) was used for six months. This increased the PSA doubling time from 11.9 to 18.5 months. PSA stands for “prostate-specific antigen” and is the most critical value for prostate cancer progression. The slower the value rises after therapy, the longer the life expectancy. So taking pomegranate extract caused the weight to increase much more slowly.
After three weeks, pomegranate juice (240 ml per day) lowered the estrogen level in healthy test subjects. Since the hormone estrogen can promote cancer growth in existing breast cancer, it is hoped that estrogen-lowering measures will have a cancer-inhibiting effect. Under the following link, we report on how the pomegranate works in breast cancer exactly.
Pomegranate – More Than A Symbol Of Fertility
Pomegranates are a symbol of love in many cultures and are said to increase fertility. Rightly so, as animal experiments at least show: pomegranate juice increases testosterone levels, sperm quality and sperm mobility. Studies on humans are still rare: In one study, taking 1000 mg of pomegranate extract, divided into one capsule four times a day, increased the number of motile sperm by 62 per cent for three months.
However, this cannot be attributed to the pomegranate ingestion alone because the test subjects also consumed around 760 mg of Thai ginger powder daily, which, according to the researchers, also had a positive effect. Thai ginger, also known as galanga or great galangal, is related to ginger and is mainly used as a spice in Southeast Asia. It should also contain antioxidant substances and have a positive effect on sperm quality.
The Side Effects Of The Pomegranate
The pomegranate has been valued for its health benefits for centuries. It is considered safe, well-tolerated and essentially free of side effects. Only in studies did some people experience diarrhoea when taking pomegranate extract in daily doses of 1 to 3 g. In principle, however, allergic reactions and individual intolerances can, of course, never be ruled out.
Also Read: ABOUT PEPPER – THE KING OF SPICES