Fresh pomegranate, Jerash, Jordan

Pomegranate is an ancient food with symbolic meaning in many traditions, its many seeds symbolizing the blessings of fruitfulness. Scouts brought pomegranates back to Moses to show the promised land of Israel was rich and fertile, and Homer mentioned them as well. This one is the real thing, but to me, it looks like a detail from Brueghel.

Pomegranates are loaded with nutrition, in the form of vitamin C, potassium, and polyphenols. Rich in tannins and flavonoids, the fruit is also one of nature’s richest sources of free-radical scavenging anti-oxidants.

Vendors working from trucks along the highway between Amman and Jerash City, Jordan are doing their part to share the goodness. Fortunately, the fruit is readily available much closer to home, albeit in smaller, pricier quantities.

The power of pomegranate has been recognized by health practitioners and, of course, industry. A couple of years ago, the pomegranate finished first in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry’s ranking of healthful fruit juices, topping red wine and red and blue berries.

Top ten healthful fruit juices

  1. Pomegranate juice
  2. Red wine
  3. Concord grape juice
  4. Blueberry juice
  5. Black cherry juice
  6. Acai juice
  7. Cranberry juice
  8. Orange juice
  9. Tea
  10. Apple juice

November is national pomegranate month in the US. Why not peel back the lid on all that healthful goodness?


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