The pomegranate, affectionately known as the "jewel of winter," has recently been acclaimed for its health benefits, in particular, for its disease-fighting antioxidant potential. Preliminary studies suggest that pomegranate juice may contain almost three times the total antioxidant ability compared with the same quantity of green tea or red wine. It also provides a substantial amount of potassium, is high in fiber, and contains vitamin C and niacin.
Used in folk medicine (to treat inflammation, sore throats, and rheumatism) for centuries in the Middle East, India, and Iran, the pomegranate is about the size of an orange or an apple. It has a tough, dark red or brownish rind. The seeds and the juicy translucent scarlet red pulp surrounding the seeds of the pomegranate are the edible parts of the fruit, although only the pulp has any flavor. Encased within a bitter-tasting, white, spongy, inedible membrane, the seeds can be gently pried out with your hands. Perhaps one of the reasons the pomegranate isn't as popular as it deserves is that it takes time and care to get to the seeds. The flavor of these juicy seeds is delicate, sweet, and tangy.