This bright red fruit had its own little cameo in “Romeo and Juliet,” (Act 3, Scene 5, in case you were wondering), and unlike some of its cast mates, it has lived a long and fruitful life. In fact, pomegranates are now a staple in grocery carts all over the country.
Once you break through its hardy shell, the seeds (or arils) spill over with powerful antioxidants, such as flavonoids and tannins, and your friendly array of vitamins, such as E, B6 and K. According to Jill Taufer, a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian nutritionist, these plant chemicals (also called phytochemicals) act as antioxidants, which can decrease oxidation in the body and protect cells from free radical damage. The antioxidants in pomegranates may also reduce inflammation and have anti-aging effects.
Pomegranate season generally runs from October through February, but if you crave the sweet arils all year long, you will be happy to know that you can freeze the seeds easily to get their health benefits anytime.
So, how do you break into this bountiful fruit? (From our friends at IFAS)
- Slice off a piece of skin at the stem to create a flat surface.
- Ring the blossom end to remove a “cap” on the skin to expose the interior of the fruit.
- Score the skin along the side of the segments, and then pull the fruit apart to expose the seeds.
- Tap the back with a wooden spoon or use your fingertips to remove the seeds.
Source: Crec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/pomegranates /health .shtml