The gorgeous red color of a pomegranate seems to shout health and beauty. Nutritionally pomegranates have decent amount of vitamin C and fiber, but its the uber payload of antioxidants that have given them a rock star status. Lots of foods have antioxidants, but pomegranates have lots of differen types of antioxidants. Each day we are assaulted by free radicals from a range of sources including pollution, alcohol, stress, sunlight, smoking and junk food. Different types of free radicals need different anti-oxidants and pomegrantes antioxidnts include catichins, anthrocyaninins, tannins, polyphenols,flavinoids and ellagic acid. This is a serious list of free radical fighters and there is an equally serious list of potential hea lth benefits.
A Pomegrante for Your Heart
Reseach has suggested that pomegrantes can lower bood pressure, reduce cholesterol, improve blood flow, reduce plaque build-up in the arties and slow prostate cancer. However experts seem to be torn in two differet directions when it comes to the role of pomegrantes in health care. On the one hand, they do not want to specifically recommend adding pomegrantes juice to a daily regimen, citing lack of sufficent clinical study. On the other hand, beause pomegranates has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure and change the way a body reacts to medication, current recommendations are to ask your physician if its safe for you to use pomegrantes. ????
Bottom line– pomegranates are a great source of powerful antioxidants and a healthy delicious addition to your diet– just not an everyday item.
Different Forms of Pomegranates
Available from October to eary January, fresh pomegranates packed with juciy red seeds called arils are eaten raw or squeezed for juice. Pomegranates are also available as a bottled juice or concentrated syrup. The seeds are a bit crunchy but are used in salads, sauces and stews. I’m not a big fan of the crunchy bits, but I love to add a splash of pomegrante juice to iced tea, salad dressings, sauces and sautes.
One of my very favorite dishes is the classic Iranian chicken with walnuts and pomegrantes called Fesenjoon. With the linoleic acid and vitamin E from the walnuts and the boatload of antioxidants from the pomegranates, Fesenjoon is the poster child for a heart healthy dinner. Keep in mind that a healthy circulation is the foundation of a smooth rosy complexion.
Iranian Chicken with Walnuts and Pomegranates
Ingredients: 3 pounds of chicken thigs and legs, 1 cup finely ground walnuts, 2 tabs olive oil, 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon fresly grated black pepper, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 large onion, 2 teaspoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of butter
Directions: Separate legs from thighs, wash and dry. Saute in olive oli until brown, about 10 minutes on each side. While chicken is browning, saute the onions in butter until light brown.Add ground walnuts, tomato paste, pomegrante juice, chicken stock, cinnamon, ground pepper and lemon juice. Simmer covered until chicken is browned. Pour sauce over chicken, cover and cook another 20-30 minutes, or until sauce is thick and rich.
For more information about pomegrantes check out the Pomegranate Council.