This is my 10th Thursday 13!
If you've never seen beautiful pomegranate blossoms in several stages, be sure to look at my previous post (just click on the link). Pomegranates are not only beautiful and tasty, they are extremely healthy too. Be sure to check back tomorrow for some yummy pomegranate dessert recipes. In the meantime, Happy Thursday to all!
- The pomegranate tree is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India;
- It has been cultivated and naturalized over the entire Mediterranean region since ancient times and is mentioned in various Bible verses;
- The tree was introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769;
- Pomegranates are popular decorator items;
- The juice can be used in a variety of ways: fresh juice, syrup, jellies, sorbets, savory or sweet sauces, to flavor cakes, baked fruits, etc.;
- Pomegranate syrup is called grenadine;
- The juice can also be made into a wine;
- The American Journal of the College of Cardiology published research in September 2005 that eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily for three months improved the amount of oxygen getting to the heart muscle of patients with coronary heart disease;
- Other researchers reported in the Journal of Urology (July 2005) that long-term consumption of pomegranate juice may help combat erectile dysfunction;
- Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have reported that tissue cultures of human cartilage cells respond to pomegranate extract. Inflammation is reduced and the enzymes that break down cartilage become less active, helping those with arthritis. (Journal of Nutrition, Sept. 2005);
- In June 2004, Clinical Nutrition, published a small clinical study by Israeli researchers, suggesting that drinking a glass of pomegranate juice a day for one year reduced blood pressure (particularly systolic pressure) and slowed down LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) oxidation;
- Pomegranate fruits contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins - all are beneficial antioxidants. Pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants - higher than most other fruit juices, red wine and green tea.
- Pomegranate juice has also been found to have neonatal benefits. In a study published in 2005 in Pediatric Research, the investigators found that supplementing the breast-feeding mother with pomegranate juice was neuroprotective for the neonatal brain of infants with traumatic births (such as those where the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck which can cause a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, and result in minimal to extensive brain damage and disability).