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Pomegranates—those odd fruits that look like they’re wearing a crown—were once revered. They were given such value in Egypt that they were actually required in a pharaoh’s residence.[i] Somewhere along the way, they fell out of favor, and until the early 2000s, pomegranates were largely just a fruit you’d sometimes see during the holidays. Things began to change after a series of studies were conducted on the health benefits of pomegranates. These obscure little orbs started to take back their regal status—with good reason!
Pomegranates Make a Comeback
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. They offer plenty of health benefits, whether consumed or used in skincare. In fact, pomegranate seed oil has demonstrated anti-carcinogenic activity.[ii] Several studies show the oil offers the potential to guard against some types of skin cancers![iii]
Pomegranate seeds contain a concentrated mix of vitamins, polyphenol and essential fatty acids. These are great for your overall health in addition to nourishing your skin.[iv] The oil promotes skin repair by stimulating natural cell production.[v] We use pomegranate seed oil in Goddess Garden Bright Eyes Firming Eye Cream, Day Undone Sun-Repair Serum and Dream Repair Sun-Repair Night Cream. We also snack on pomegranates pretty often, too!
As a food, pomegranates are high in antioxidants, iron, folic acid and potassium. According to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology, the potassium in pomegranate juice helped dialysis patients suffer fewer infections and less inflammation.[vi]
Another study showed pomegranate juice could potentially prevent prostate cancer cells from spreading to the bones.[vii] Pomegranates also fight plaque—both the dental variety[viii] and the kind that builds up between nerve cells in the brain that have been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.[ix]
Pomegranates Leave Their Mark
Those glittery, jewel-like berries are my all-time favorite fruit, so it’s good to see pomegranates make their mark on the world! Unfortunately, they can leave an actual mark on the world. The blossoms, juice and peel have all been used throughout history to dye fabrics. Their juice can be a real challenge to remove.
Some fruits, like bananas, seem to grow their own easy-open packaging. Pomegranates are the opposite. If you cut them, their juice goes everywhere, making their stain-causing prowess even more of a problem. If instead, you patiently chip away at the peel and remove each seed, you’ve earned yourself a new hobby. Thankfully, there is a fast, easy way to peel a pomegranate that won’t leave your kitchen or your clothing patterned with pink polka dots.
How to Peel a Pomegranate
What you’ll need:
- A large bowl with water
- A smaller bowl
- A knife
- A pomegranate
What to do:
Fill the large bowl with water, and place the pomegranate inside. Carefully cut the pomegranate into quarters while keeping it submerged. The water keeps the juice from splattering and dilutes it so the juice won’t stain your fingers.
Remove three of the pieces and set them aside. Take one quarter at a time, place in the water and push on the outside peel like you’re trying to turn the fruit inside out. This loosens the seeds and lets them fall out, while the water restrains the stains. Gentle peel away any remaining peel or pith.
The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, and everything else will float. Simply skim the top of the bowl and toss it into the compost. You’re left with a bowl of no-mess, freshly washed pomegranate seeds, and all their health benefits. Enjoy!
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[ii] Cleary. “Punicic Acid Is an ω-5 Fatty Acid Capable of Inhibiting Breast Cancer Proliferation.” International Journal of Oncology Int J Oncol 36.2 (2009): n. pag. Web.
[iii] Hora, Justin J., Emily R. Maydew, Ephraim P. Lansky, and Chandradhar Dwivedi. “Chemopreventive Effects of Pomegranate Seed Oil on Skin Tumor Development in CD 1 Mice.” Journal of Medicinal Food 6.3 (2003): 157-61. Web.
[iv] Melgarejo, P., D. M. Salazar, A. Amorós, and F. Artés. “Total Lipids Content and Fatty Acid Composition of Seed Oils from Six Pomegranate Cultivars.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture J. Sci. Food Agric. 69.2 (1995): 253-56. Web.
[v] Aslam, Muhammad Nadeem, Ephraim Philip Lansky, and James Varani. “Pomegranate as a Cosmeceutical Source: Pomegranate Fractions Promote Proliferation and Procollagen Synthesis and Inhibit Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Production in Human Skin Cells.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103.3 (2006): 311-18. Web.