Skip to main content

Now's the time – late fall through early winter – you'll find vibrant red pomegranates in produce and grocery stores. While it takes a bit of work to eat a pomegranate, it's a fruit worth adding to your diet.

Valued for its medicinal properties since ancient times, pomegranates have only recently come to be regarded by North Americans as a so-called superfood. Pomegranate seeds owe their superfood status to polyphenols, powerful antioxidants thought to offer heart health and anti-cancer benefits. In fact, pomegranate seeds have more antioxidant power than cranberry juice or green tea.

Research has shown that drinking pomegranate juice (made from the fruit's seeds) improved blood flow, lowered blood pressure and delayed the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in patients with coronary heart disease. (LDL cholesterol becomes even more damaging once it's oxidized.) Scientists suspect pomegranate's polyphenols may also help prevent plaque buildup in healthy people.

Story continues below advertisement

Preliminary research also suggests drinking pomegranate juice (one cup a day) may slow the progression of prostate cancer.

While these studies are small and not definitive, pomegranate is certainly a nutritious food to add to your diet. In addition to antioxidants, pomegranates are a source of fibre, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. One pomegranate supplies one-quarter of a day's worth of folate (a B vitamin needed to synthesize and repair DNA) and one-third of your daily vitamin C.

Add pomegranate seeds to fruit salads, sprinkle over oatmeal, toss in green salads, blend in smoothies, stir into yogurt and mix into muffin and pancake batters. Top roasted carrots or Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds. Use pomegranate seeds to garnish brown rice, quinoa or other whole grain pilafs.

Add fresh pomegranate juice to vinaigrette salad dressings or mix with honey to use as a glaze for chicken, turkey or meat. If using commercial pomegranate juice, buy one with no sugar added.

Pomegranate nutrition

Per ½ cup arils (seeds)

(One medium pomegranate yields about 3/4 cup of seeds or 1/2 cup of juice.)

Story continues below advertisement

72 calories

1.5 grams protein

0 grams saturated fat

16 grams carbohydrate

3.5 grams fibre

9 milligrams vitamin C

Story continues below advertisement

14 micrograms vitamin K

33 micrograms folate

205 milligrams potassium

Excellent source of polyphenols

Leslie Beck, a Registered Dietitian, is based at the Medisys clinic in Toronto. She can be seen every Thursday at noon on CTV News Channel's Direct. lesliebeck.com

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter