The pomegranate tree is thought to have originated in the Persia and Sub-Himalayan foothills of Northern India. It grows to about five and eight meters tall with a fruit about the size of a large orange, obscurely six-sided, with a smooth, thick skin that ranges in color from brownish yellow to deep red. The inside of a pomegranate is divided into chambers, separated by cream-colored membranes, of hundreds of arils, which are the seed pods inside a pomegranate. These arils consist of juicy, brilliant-red fruit surrounding tiny, crisp, edible seeds.
Pomegranates are low in fat and high in both soluble and insoluble fibers. They contain notable amounts of potassium, which plays a role in nerve conduction, muscle control and blood pressure regulation and vitamins C and K, which are essential for the immune system and blood clotting. Vital B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine, calcium, copper and manganese are also present in moderate amounts. In addition, they have impressive levels of antioxidants, specifically punicalagins, and the fatty acid punicic acid.
Health benefits may include:
- Enhanced exercise performance
- Improved memory
- Decreased inflammation
- Anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
- Lowered risk of heart disease
- Less joint pain
- Blood pressure management
- Cancer prevention