For the past few years, Pomegranate has been featured as one of the new “super foods” that both tastes good and is good for your helath. In fact, pomegranate is mainly cultivated for its juice.
Pomegranate is a fruit 5-12 cm in diameter with a rounded hexagonal shape, and thick reddish skin with around 600 seeds inside. The seeds and surrounding pulp, ranging in colour from white to deep red, called arils and are edible.
Pomegranates have been shown to be rich in antioxidants, and increased consumption has been correlated with improved cardiovascular health. Claims have also been made that consuming pomegranate can help slow the cartilage loss caused by arthritis while also helping prevent prostate cancer.
Pomegranate is high in the vitamin C and potassium. The juice from the fruit is high in three different types of polyphenols – tannin, anthocyanins and ellagic acid, a potent form of antioxidants. The most abundant polyphenols in pomegranate juice are the hydrolyzable tannins called punicalagins, which have potent free-radical scavenging ability. Antioxidant punicalagins absorb into the human body after consumption of pomegranate extracts and an ex vivo study of human plasma after consumption of a pomegranate extract standardized to punicalagins indicated an average 32% increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.