Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate seeds were so valued for their ability to quench thirst that they were faithful companions of desert explorers.

  • Turkey is one of the native lands of the pomegranate tree where it is cultivated in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions and in southeastern Anatolia. Depending on the region, variety of pomegranate tree and time of flowering, harvest takes place between August and mid-November. Once it is harvested, the fruit no longer ripens and can therefore be conveniently transported as well as stored for long periods of time.
  • Pomegranate cultivation grew exponentially in the 21st century as knowledge spread about its significant health benefits. Though the bulk of pomegranate production goes toward juice-making, the pomegranate seeds that remain once the juice has been squeezed retain both nutritional value and potential to bring both flavor and texture to dishes.
  • Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds
  • Pomegranates have long been consumed to treat a variety of illnesses and research now strongly supports the fruit’s health benefits. Pomegranates are high in polyphenols such as tannins and flavonoids which alleviate the impact of oxidative stress and inhibit inflammation markers in the body. Each pomegranate contains hundreds of little sacs called “arils” in which tiny seeds or embryos can be found. Pomegranate arils are rich in a class of flavonoids called anthocyanins, which give both pomegranates and red wine their red color. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds and studies suggest that the antioxidant effect of pomegranate juice is even greater than that of red wine or green tea. Due to their high polyphenol content, pomegranates can help prevent diseases linked to oxidative stress and inflammation such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • Pomegranates are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, potassium, iron and vitamins C and K. There have been claims that pomegranates have antiviral and antibacterial properties and that they can help accelerate wound healing, though further human trials are needed. Pomegranates are excellent sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber serves as nourishment for friendly bacteria in the colon while insoluble fiber cleanses toxins from the digestive tract and promotes digestive regularity. The combination of the two types of fiber forms a gel in the digestive tract which prevents surges in blood sugar levels and reduces the level of the harmful type of cholesterol.
  • How to Use Pomegranate Seeds
  • These seeds or arils are generally consumed by being added to other ingredients to provide a unique and refreshing combination of tartness and sweetness. Their taste and texture are enjoyable with nuts, yogurt, salad dressings and desserts or baked goods. They can also bring a depth of flavor by being cooked with stews or meat dishes such as chicken or lamb.
  • In Persian and Indian cuisines, the dried seeds of the pomegranate are called “anardana” and are used to provide a distinctive tanginess as well as a pleasant bright color to dishes. In those cuisines, those seeds are also ground and made into sauces. Persian cuisine for example features a chicken with walnut and pomegranate sauce dish called fesenjan, and Indian cuisine relies on dried pomegranate seeds both whole and ground for curries, chickpea or lentil dishes, and chutneys.

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Available as

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Did You Know?

The pomegranate tree bears fruit even in the cold of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and its bright red skin is a treasure chest of more vividly colored seeds than one can count.

It is no wonder that ancient and modern traditions are rife with symbolism associating the pomegranate with fertility, abundance and prosperity, and the cheeks of a bride behind her veil have been compared to the two halves of a pomegranate.



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