Pomegranate Powerhouse

You may have heard about pomegranates referred to as a “superfruit” and “high in antioxidants”…so now you know it’s good for you, but you’re not exactly sure why or what these words mean, right? Well, I’m here to tell you!! This sweet, tart fruit is delicious and consists of an amazing variety of antioxidants (prevents oxidation), known as polyphenols. Oxidation contributes to the natural aging process as well as diseases and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and cancer. Polyphenols help fight against “free radicals” in your body, which can cause damage to cells and lead to cardiovascular disease and contribute to many cancers. Pomegranates contain ~60% more polyphenols than purple grape juice, black tea or red wine.

Last weekend I was up at Madera Ranch, which is located directly in the center of California. It was beautiful and the climate is perfect for growing pomegranates! They flourish in this dry heat. I was able to get my hands on a jug of fresh squeezed pomegranate juice with NO sugar and NOTHING else added from El Peco Ranch, which stands for The Pope Estate Company. It was unbelievably good and partially frozen, which was extremely refreshing as temperatures were bordering triple digits.

El Peco Ranch grows natural almonds (Blue Diamond Almonds– which can also be made into almond butter- hmmm my fav!!), plums (which become Sunsweet dried plums aka prunes) and pomegranates. The fresh pomegranates are sold to Stellar (distributing company) and then are packed and and sold to stores like Costco and even exported to Europe! The pomegranate juice is sold to Steibs which is then sold to Ocean Spray. The cranberry/pomegranate juice is delicious! I usually do not recommend juice to my clients due to the high sugar content combined with little to no fiber, however this 100% fresh squeezed pomegranate juice is another story! I’d drink it every morning if I could!

Pomegranates are a nutritional powerhouse–high in ascorbic acid, Vitamin K, potassium, iron and fiber. Therefore, the name “superfruit” applies!

Ascorbic acid: also known as Vitamin C which is usually known for its ability to combat the common cold. Vitamin C facilitates and helps to sustain muscle tissue and blood vessels and aids in the development of collagen, which helps your body take in iron.

Vitamin K: Fat soluble vitamin, which is necessary for proper blood coagulation.

Potassium: this electrolyte assists and manages blood pressure and aids in building strong bones. It also aids in proper hydration, which is extremely important in the summer months when the heat is high.

Iron: Required by the body for the manufacturing of hemoglobin (the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues).

Fiber: allows for healthy and regular digestion and can help to lower harmful LDL (bad cholesterol) which reduces your chance of cardiovascular disease and other heart related conditions.

Cool down with a fresh cut pomegranate, pomegranate juice over ice or frozen pomegranate seeds (if you’re worried about it going bad and enjoy a crunchy taste) during these hot summer months! I was so inspired that I bought Burt’s Bees replenishing lip balm with pomegranate oil today!!

To learn more about healthy eating and ways to include antioxidants or polyphenols is your diet, schedule a nutrition consultation with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of Nutrition For Body And Mind.

Note: Photos by Graur Codrin can be found on FreeDigitialPhotos.net.