I wanted to get this post up before the pomegranate season was completely over. I have loved pomegranates since I was a child, we had several trees in our backyard in Central Phoenix. I loved to just pull them off the stem, crack them open and eat them outside. Now we have had pomegranates in our yard in Mesa since we moved in, but this is the first year that I really paid attention to watering them accurately. In the weeks before I went to Mexico City this fall, I was patiently waiting for my pomegranates to be ready.
When I arrived back from the Distrito Federal, (D.F. as many call the Capitol of Mexico) my pomegranates were ripe and waiting for me! Hurray! I was so excited (it’s the little things in life)!
Pomegranates have become extremely popular in the last decade or so, but they are truly an ancient fruit, originating in the Near East – Persia and India. They eventually made their way to the U.S. with the Spanish explorers who called them granadas, and now they are in my backyard, lol!!
The pomegranate is actually a shrub rather than a tree as is generally thought. It grows well in arid areas, which makes it nice for those of us whose live in the 115+ degree summer weather! Given the proper amount of water and in the proper way, these shrubs/bushes will flourish even in the desert!
This summer I noticed that while some of my pomegranates were growing nice and large, some were also splitting. I made a call to the friendly and helpful Maricopa Cooperative Extension https://extension.arizona.edu/maricopa and they gave me some great watering tips. Apparently the reason my fruit was splitting was because I was watering them unevenly, too much some times and not enough at others. So I put them on a consistent deep watering plan and that seemed to really help.
Pomegranate Health Benefits
Pomegranates have so many health benefits, it will be hard to list all of them here! Some of the most important are:
Very in high antioxidants, which could aid in preventing cancer and fight certain types of tumor growth. Contain flavonols which may decrease inflammation in the body.
Supplies Iron to blood
High amounts of Vitamin K and C
May lower blood pressure
May reduce plaque in carotid artery and improve heart health, this study in the Clinical Health Journal found that patients who were given pomegranate juice demonstrated reduced LDL and blood pressure https://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(03)00213-9/fulltext
May have anti-tumor effects in fighting breast cancer. The National Institute of Health studies have been conducted that shown pomegranate extract can inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23359482
The pomegranate leaf is also edible and has many health benefits.
*As always, the information provided here is not medical advice. Remember to consult with your medical provider to ensure that adding this or any food/herb/supplement will not contraindicate any medicines or health situation you may be experiencing.
Organic vs non organic?
Well of course I always recommend eating organic foods a much as possible. Regarding pomegranates, I researched the “Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen” and found them on neither, maybe because the market is still emerging regarding this fruit and there have not been many studies done. However, I did find in my research that the largest pomegranate producer in the USA does use pesticides in their production. My suggestion as always is to grow your own if possible, if not then try the farmer’s market before buying conventional. I have seen several posts on social media platforms from folks offering to sell pomegranates from their yards, please use discernment in these cases.
My favorite way to eat pomegranate is straight from the tree. But I would also soon like to add a recipe for Chiles en Nogada. I first learned about this dish when I read the book “Como Agua Para Chocolate” and saw the movie. It looked so wonderful with all the different colors and flavors.
I do plan to make this dish in my kitchen some time soon and will share my recipe, but in the meantime here is a recipe you can try: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chiles-en-nogada-recipe4-2062175
What is your favorite way to eat pomegranates??