Monday, December 8, 2008

Pomegranate Power

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

A study published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that pomegranate juice may help prevent fatty deposits from forming on artery walls, while another study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles suggests that it might help prevent prostate cancer. Scientists continue to investigate the fruit’s potential role in preventing cancer and dementia, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and lowering both ldl (unhealthful) cholesterol and blood pressure.

Potential health benefits aside, cooks are discovering the pomegranate’s wealth of culinary uses. When choosing a pomegranate, look for fruit that is round, plump, and blemish-free. The bigger the fruit, the better, too, as they tend to be the juiciest. While fresh pomegranates are available only from September to January, the delicious, nutrient-rich juice is obtainable year-round. Brands like Lakewood Organic, pom Wonderful, and R.W. Knudsen can be found in most major supermarkets and natural-foods stores. For a perfectly piquant treat, seek out pomegranate molasses. A traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, the thick syrup is a vibrantly flavorful addition to dressings, glazes, and marinades.

Whether fresh or as a juice or molasses, this vermillion fruit brightens flavors and boosts health. And for mortals, that’s surely good news.

For more on the power of the pomegranate click here.

Source: Cooking Light

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