My grandfather had a beautiful pomegranate tree in the front of his yard when I was younger. My sister, cousins and I would always be so fascinated by this tree, which bore so much fruit that it would sometimes fill the entire area underneath the tree. I remember looking at the pomegranates on the ground and thinking they were so unique. They had a beautiful, hard exterior with a mystery inside, which almost seemed artificial. I was so intrigued by this as a child. Each time I managed to crack one open, it was like I was hoping to learn something about its unique seeds. Being a child, I often got bored half-way through eating it; but, little did I know that the pomegranate seed provides such essential value.
The pomegranate is a small tree with a light brown bark, red buds, young shoots and small evergreen leaves. This tree blooms large attractive orange-red flowers. The fruit itself is also very large, crowned with a calyx and numerous seeds in juice containing sacs.
The value of the pomegranate can even be traced back to Biblical times. For instance, in the book of Joel, Judah was invaded by a horde of locusts, which eventually destroys everything. The Prophet Joel, in an effort to describe the extent of the devastation, mentions the most valuable trees and crops that were destroyed. Among them were the fields of grains (a staple food in those times) and of course the palm, apple, and pomegranate trees:
“The vine has dried up, and the fig tree has withered; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree— All the trees of the field are withered; surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.”- Joel 1:12 (NKJV)
Nutritional Information and Properties
The juice of the pomegranate is especially rich in potassium, this is while also containing reasonable amounts of magnesium, calcium, folate and other nutrients.
The juice also has some key properties. A study done at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh of volunteers in different working environments concluded that pomegranate juice can help reduce the stress hormone, cortisol and reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Their research shows that 500 ml of pomegranate juice every day can help to combat stress and promote a sense of calm, especially while on the job.
Now finally, while there are many potential benefits associated with the pomegranate fruit, there are also some risks. Some people have an allergic reaction to the fruit and it is also known to interact with some medications. Therefore, be sure to let your doctor know if you are drinking pomegranate juice and also be sure to consult with him/her prior to drinking it on a regular basis.
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