The pomegranate is a fruit that grows from a deciduous shrub native to the middle east. It grows well in tropical environments and was introduced to Latin America by the Spanish in 1769. It is now also cultivated in California and Arizona, primarily for the production of pomegranate juice.
Pomegranate Nutrition Energy Value
The edible portion of an average sized pomegranate (4″ diameter) provides
234 calories; the majority of these calories are provided by sugar. Pomegranate is also a great source of fiber and supplies a whopping 11 grams.
Vitamin Pomegranate Nutrition
Pomegranate has an unusually high amount of vitamin K for a fruit; an essential vitamin for inducing blood clotting in wounds. There is also some preliminary evidence that vitamin K helps to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures. Pomegranate also boasts high levels of folate. Folate is needed for the healthy functioning of DNA and in processes that require rapid cell division, such as the development of a baby during pregnancy. Pomegranate nutrition also includes high levels of vitamin C.
Mineral Pomegranate Nutrition
Pomegranate is a great source of potassium and has higher levels of this mineral than bananas. As an essential mineral, potassium is needed for sending nerve signals to muscles. A deficiency can result in muscle weakness, an irregular heartbeat and even a heart attack. Other minerals found in fair amounts in pomegranate include selenium, phosphorous and zinc.
Phytochemicals are antioxidants that protect us from free radicals – rogue molecules that harm our cells – and can cause diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The most abundant phytochemical found in pomegranate is called punicalagins and represents the majority of pomegranates’ antioxidant power. Although there is very little research about punicalagins at present, its antioxidant properties are established. The phytochemicals ellagic acid, anthocyanins and cyanidin also add to pomegranates’ nutritional value.
Darren and Veronica Haynes