Pomegranates are relatively low in calories and can be a satisfying snack, making them a suitable choice for those looking to manage their weight, said Sushma PS, chief dietitian, Jindal Naturecure Institute

There is so much written and spoken about healthy foods that one can lose track of what to have and what not to have. But worry not, as we bring you an expert guide almost every day on foods that are a must in your diet. As such, today’s in-depth analysis is about the red fruit with a hard leathery peel having tiny pearls of red juice – pomegranates.

If you have ever been wary of having pomegranates every day in your diet, here’s a foolproof guide to help you choose the best ones and understand why they need to be part of your diet.

Why is pomegranate one of the best foods?

Pomegranate is often regarded as one of the best foods due to its numerous health benefits and rich nutritional profile, said Sushma PS, chief dietitian, Jindal Naturecure Institute. “Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, particularly polyphenols and anthocyanins. These compounds help neutralise free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation,” said Sushma.

Pomegranates are a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, and fibre. “Pomegranates contain dietary fibre, which promotes digestive health by supporting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation,” said Sushma.

Sushma mentioned that the anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranates may benefit various conditions related to inflammation, including arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. According to the dietitian, there is evidence to suggest that pomegranate consumption may have positive effects on memory and cognitive function, potentially reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Pomegranates contain compounds with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which may help boost the immune system and protect against infections. “Pomegranates are relatively low in calories and can be a satisfying snack, making them a suitable choice for those looking to manage their weight,” said Sushma.

Tips on buying and using

Choosing a ripe pomegranate – Look for one that’s heavy for its size, which means it’s juicy and has smooth, unmarked skin, said Sushma.

How to store pomegranates – Keep them in a cool, dry place or in the fridge to keep them fresh longer.

Easy way to get seeds out – Cut off the top, score the sides, then break it open underwater to easily separate the seeds from the skin.

No waste with pomegranates

Sushma suggested these measures:

Pomegranate tea: Make tea with dried skins for a healthy drink.

Pomegranate vinegar: Use the skins and seeds to make a tangy vinegar for cooking.

Pomegranate powder: Dry and grind the skins to make a powder that adds nutrition to food and drinks.

Can I eat pomegranate every day?

Yes, eating it in moderation daily is good, said Sushma.

Will it affect my medicines?

Always ask your doctor, especially if you take medicine for thinning your blood.

When will I see health benefits?

You might start noticing improvements in a few weeks, mentioned Sushma

Can children drink pomegranate juice?

Yes, it’s healthy for them in small amounts.

Are the benefits just for the body?

No, it’s good for your mind too because of the antioxidants, Sushma said.