Pomegranates don't necessarily hit a home run when it comes to vitamins, but they are loaded with phytonutrients. Phytonutrients simply mean "plant nutrients," and anything that's good that comes from plant-based food that isn't a vitamin, mineral, protein, carb or fat falls into this category. A lot of research has been done in this area in recent years - a bulk from the mid-90s through today. So it's no surprise that fruits and vegetable that were relatively obscure 15 years ago are making the scene today. "New" phytonutrients are discovered all the time. Pomegranates are no exception to the new-ish type of nutrition.
Here are a few benefits of the amazing pomegranate via the phytonutrients within them:
- Free Radical Scavenger: Think of free radicals as rust on a car. It's corrosive and makes the car look old and beat up. That's what free radicals do to our body. Pomegranates contain cyanidin, a phytonutrient found in red-shaded fruits and vegetables, that gobbles up the nasty free radicals that eat away at our body (inside and out).
- Fungus Fighter: Fungal infections are just icky, but they happen. Athlete's foot, jock itch, ring worm and yeast infections make the ranks of common fungal infections. Pomegranates contain the phytonutrient, gallic acid, which has strong anti-fungal properties.
- Inflammation Fighter: Anything that can help keep inflammation at bay is incredibly important to your health, and thanks to betulinic acid, a phytonutrient found in pomegranates, your joints might ache a little less.
I'll be writing a lot more on the benefits of phytonutrients in the future. The bottom line is to look beyond the label. If what you're eating is a fresh, whole food - it's probably really good for you. If it's packaged, processed or overly-refined, your body probably won't get much benefit.
I made a really yummy pomegranate compote that I mixed with plain low fat yogurt. Think of it as fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. The recipe follows, but the compote itself can be used in so much more than yogurt. What's more, it's really good for you. Enjoy.