Pomegranate and sprouts salad
Pomegranate is the superstar
You are what you eat. Some of the gravest health problems can be caused by food and yet, food can also be a cure for many an ailment. This column is all about food that will work towards your good health. Each week I’ll take a common food item from your kitchen, and show you the wonders it can do for you.
If there were a Superstar Award for a fruit, it would probably go to this one. With newer health benefits being discovered in every research, the pomegranate has suddenly come into limelight like never before. According to a recent report in LA Times, in the last 6 months alone, 215 new pomegranate food and beverage products were launched in the United States. The ruby red seeds are not only a feast for your eyes but also a nutrition powerhouse for your body.
Derived from the Latin words - pomom (apple) and granatus (seed) - “Seed-apple”
A native of Persia, pomegranate was grown in the gardens of Babylon and was known in ancient Egypt. The pomegranate spread early to the Mediterranean and eastwards to India, China and Japan. In India, it is cultivated mostly around Pune, Dholka in Gujarat and to a limited extent in north India.
Pomegranate is a very rich source of Vitamin C, folic acid, fibre and anti-oxidants.
Pomegranate in Ayurveda
All parts of the pomegranate tree - the roots, the reddish brown bark, leaves, flowers, rind and seeds, have featured in medicine for thousands of years. Even in the ancient times, Ayurveda considered it a light food and a tonic for the heart.
7 reasons why Pomegranate is good for you
1.The fruit is packed with antioxidants called flavonoids in even more concentrations than what you'll find in cranberries, red wine and green tea. These flavonoids help mop up the free radicals that do considerable cellular damage leading to several diseases and disorders.
2.Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among men is the United States. Asians are considered to have a lower risk. A study released by UCLA in June indicates drinking a glass of pomegranate juice every day can help slow the spread of prostate cancer.
3.Pomegranate juice reduces the risk of atherosclerosis (fat deposition in the arterial walls) in diabetics. In most juices, sugars are present in free form and, therefore, not advisable for diabetics. However, the sugars are attached to unique antioxidants in pomegranate juice, which actually make these sugars protective against atherosclerosis. It is also known to lower bad cholesterol and stimulate the immune system.
4.Phytoestrogen found in the pomegranate seed is known to alleviate the symptoms faced by menopausal and post-menopausal women including hot flushes, mood swings and night sweats. It is the only plant source known to contain a particular kind of mild estrogen.
5.Another recent study showed a regular intake of pomegranate juice raises nitric oxide levels and blood supply as seen in those who take Viagra.
6.Pomegranate juice is of great value in digestive disorders. It is an appetiser, a digestive food and is useful for patients suffering from colitis and mucous in stools. It binds the stools and tones up the intestines.
7.The astringent property of pomegranate is what makes it a valuable home remedy for diarrheoa and dysentery. A ¼ cup of pomegranate juice can be had at regular intervals to bring diarrheoa under control.
Ways to use pomegranate in your diet
§ Grind a cupful of seeds, filter out the seeds and drink the juice. Seeds can be dried and powdered and used instead of amchur powder to give a sweet-sour taste to certain curries.
§ A simple salad can be made with pomegranate seeds, raw sprouted moong beans, finely chopped cucumber, topped with grated coconut. (See recipe below.)
§ Make a delicious pomegranate raita by mixing the seeds in curd seasoned with salt and pepper and garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
§ Add it into curd-rice for a beautiful garnish as well as a nice crunch.
Pomegranate juice can be used in rasam to make an antioxidant- rasam. Extract juice out of one fruit as described above and add it to the prepared rasam. Do not boil rasam after adding the juice.
§ Pomegranate juice mixed with various spices is used as a marinade for meats and chickens to give them an exotic flavour
§ Pomegranate seeds are sometimes used as a spice, known as anardana (which literally means pomegranate seeds, mostly in North Western frontier cuisine.
§ In Greece, pomegranate is used in many recipes; such as kollivozoumi, a creamy broth made from broken wheat (lapsi), pomegranates and raisins.
Like Dr Fothergill, an English physician of the 18th century, once said, “Plant it against the side of thy house, nail it close to the wall. In this manner it thrives wonderfully with us and flowers beautifully, and bears fruit this hot year. I have twenty-four on one tree. Of all trees this is most salutiferous to mankind."
Recipe for your health-food file
Pomegranate and sprouts salad
A light and nutritious salad rich in anti-oxidants, fibre and protein
Ingredients –Serves 2
1 large pomegranate-shelled
1.To make sprouts from green moong beans, soak them in warm water for 4-5 hours, until soft. Drain the water from the beans, cover with a lid and store in a warm place. The beans will sprout in around 8-10 hours.
2.Mix all the ingredients in bowl and serve as a salad with chapatis or as a side dish for rice.
3.You may add beaten fresh curds to this to make it into a refreshing raita.
The contents of this column such as text, images, recipe recommendations and other materials are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for any health