Pomegranate Benefits, De-Seeding Tips & Creative Ways to Enjoy

Elizabeth Vennefron

by | Updated: December 8th, 2022 | Read time: 4 minutes

On the outside, pomegranates don’t look like much. But crack one open, and you’ll find bright, ruby red seeds that surely will catch your eye. This ancient fruit has been around for thousands of years, but it only became available in the U.S. a few hundred years ago. Today, pomegranates are embraced for their taste, health benefits and their culinary diversity.

Torso View of Woman Enjoying Pomegranate Benefits Holding Juice and Cut-Open Fruit in Kitchen

What are some notable pomegranate benefits?

Nutrition breakdown

Pomegranate seeds, also known as arils, are naturally low in calories and fat. They’re a good source of dietary fiber, packed full of key nutrients and rich in polyphenols. Pomegranate juice differs slightly in that it has little to no fiber and vitamin C, but it still contains other vitamins, minerals and polyphenols.

Flavnoids, a subgroup of polyphenols, are plant-based chemicals that can be broken down further into anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that give pomegranates their vibrant red color. In general, the deeper or more vibrant the color of fruits and vegetables, the more phytonutrients they contain.

Consuming all parts (both the seeds and the juice) of pomegranates will ensure you reap all health benefits.

Health benefits

Studies show that drinking pomegranate juice may improve heart health and help lower blood pressure. Additionally, regular consumption of pomegranate juice may decrease markers of inflammation, which is a common precursor to chronic diseases.

There is limited data from clinical trials, but some lab studies have investigated pomegranate’s role in suppressing the growth and spread of cells with certain types of cancer.

More research is needed, but some studies show pomegranates may improve kidney health, by reducing the formation of kidney stones. Polyphenols, the plant-based chemicals found in pomegranates, may help regulate oxalates and other compounds found in the blood that play a role in kidney stone formation.

Ingestion of polyphenol compounds, found in pomegranate extract, prior to physical activity may enhance blood flow and increase exercise endurance. While the results from studies are promising, more research is needed to determine further health benefits of pomegranates.

How to select and store pomegranates

When selecting a pomegranate, choose one that is plump, round and heavy for its size. If you won’t be enjoying it right away, whole pomegranates can be stored in a cool dry area for about a month (or up to two months in the refrigerator).

If seeds have been removed but not eaten or used, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

How to de-seed a pomegranate

Cracking open a pomegranate to get to the edible seeds may seem intimidating, but don’t let that keep you from trying! Getting to the sweet, juicy seeds is relatively simple with these steps.

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top stem to reveal the segments of seeds.
  2. Score the outside by running the knife about a quarter inch deep towards the core along the segment lines from top to bottom. Do this to all segments.
  3. Using your palms, pull apart the pomegranate.

If you’re short on time or would rather avoid dirtying a knife and cutting board – no worries! Most grocery stores have pomegranate seeds available in ready-to-eat form or pomegranate juice. You may not find it in a grocery store, but pomegranate oil or extract, made by pressing the seeds, can be used topically or in hair.

Creative pomegranate uses and ways to enjoy

Snack on the seeds by themselves

Blend up a smoothie and top with pomegranate seeds
Try this Raspberry Pomegranate Oat Smoothie

Make homemade pomegranate jam
Try this Pomegranate Chia Seed Jam

Cook up a sweet sauce or marinade
Try this Pomegranate Glazed Turkey or 30-Minute Baked Salmon with Pomegranate Glaze

Add a pop of color to a salad or appetizer
Try this Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini

Mix into a salsa or dip for a touch of sweetness
Try this Vegetarian Olive and Pomegranate Dip

Quench your thirst with 100% pomegranate juice

Add a layer of flavor to a yogurt parfait or morning oatmeal

Spruce of your cocktail with muddled pomegranate seeds or juice
Try this Sparkling Pomegranate Mojito or this Minty Chia Pomegranate Mocktail

Whether it’s in sprinkled onto a salad, muddled in a cocktail or incorporated as the star ingredient in your turkey glaze, pomegranates are the perfect addition to your cuisine this holiday season. Now’s the time to try them if you haven’t already – they’re in season from September until January.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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