Pomegranate, widely known as kuku manga in Kenya, is one of the widely known fruits though rarely eaten. It is a red fruit with a tough outer bark like layer that originated from Persia. It’s found in many people’s fences probably eaten by the birds.
Pomegranate benefits include lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. Recent clinical trials have shown that pomegranate juice improve cholesterol and even decrease plaques in your arteries, reducing your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
It has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as other attributes that make it an effective juice or fruit to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol profiles, and to prevent and treat the atherosclerotic plaques that are responsible for heart attacks and strokes. Its healing properties come mainly from certain flavonoids such as catechins, tannins, and a potent flavonoid known as ellagic acid. These compounds make pomegranate a stronger antioxidant than red wine and equal to or better than green tea.
The ability to lower blood pressure is because it is a natural occurring ACE inhibitor (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) for relaxing arteries. ACE inhibitors include high blood pressure drugs like Lisinopril and work by decreasing angiotensin activity, an enzyme that is made when the kidneys receive a signal to help blood pressure. Inhibiting ACE helps blood vessels to relax and open up, thus lowering blood pressure and allowing more blood and oxygen to get to the heart.
In addition to antioxidants, pomegranates are a source of fibre, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. One pomegranate supplies one-quarter of a day’s worth of folate (a B vitamin needed to synthesize and repair DNA) and one-third of your daily vitamin C.
THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HAVE A POMEGRANATE
1. Start by cutting the fruit in half. Then, spoon out the tiny red seeds into a bowl. You can add the seeds to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, desserts, or whatever you want!
2. If you bought too many pomegranate. You can save the seeds by spreading them on a baking sheet and freezing them for two hours. Then transfer them to freezer bags and put them back in the freezer. This will make them last for up to one year
3. You can also juice pomegranates and save yourself the expense of buying it in a bottle. Plus, pre-bottled pomegranate juice can contain all sorts of other ingredients, including added sugar and sodium. Use a juicer or simply squeeze the fruit, separating the fibers with a strainer
You can easily get pomegranate from leading supermarkets in Kenya. They can also be purchased online and all major fruit markets in town (Nairobi).
In a nutshell, pomegranate is one of the super fruits that goes straight to your heart.