One of the earliest fruit trees cultivated by humans, the pomegranate is full of unexpected nutritional benefits. Beneath its thick bark are many seeds surrounded by red, juicy and aromatic flesh that is tasty in the mouth and good for health. This seasonal meal—October through February—is perfect for keeping fit and balancing your menu, as explained by Dr. William Berreby, a gastroenterologist and author of the acclaimed Thank You Doctor! and the book Microbiotic Medicine, Your New Recipe for Good Health, published by Marabou.
Why is it interesting to eat pomegranate regularly?
Dr. WILLIAM BERREBY. I recommend including pomegranate in your diet for several reasons. First of all, because it contains fiber (2.3 g per 100 g), which improves transit, reduces the absorption of fat consumed during meals, and strengthens the intestinal microbiota, the guardian of our health. Only 14% of the French consume enough dietary fiber – the famous prebiotics: vegetables, fruits, whole grains … – i.e. 30 g per day. Sprinkling pomegranate seeds on salads, soups, and cottage cheese makes this easier. Pomegranate is also rich in antioxidants, in particular ellagic tannins and anthocyanins, compounds that slow down premature aging of the body and help prevent cardiovascular disease. Its antioxidant power is three to four times that of red wine or green tea! This fruit also contains a significant amount of vitamin B6 and vitamin C (9 mg/100 g), which reduce fatigue and strengthen the immune system.
What about the pomegranate juice trend?
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Pomegranate juice – not to be confused with grenadine syrup, which contains little or no pomegranate – is made by squeezing the entire fruit, not just its edible pulp. Therefore, it contains no fiber, but much more antioxidants than fresh pomegranate seeds, since most of its antioxidants are found in its skin. So to reap the benefits, I recommend drinking a glass of pomegranate juice twice a week in addition to 100g of pomegranate seeds a week. It is best to do it yourself by squeezing washed and halved fruits, but not peeled. However, be careful: since pomegranate juice is quite sweet (more than 130 kcal per glass), it is not recommended for diabetics and overweight people.
How to choose and save it correctly?
Once picked, a pomegranate no longer ripens. Therefore, it is better to buy it ripe, that is, a little heavy and with a very colored skin, from orange-brown to red, shiny and without brown spots. At home, it will keep for about three weeks at room temperature.