By Naini Setalvad September 2009 The beautiful pomegranate with its honeycomb of ruby red kernels offers a host of nutritive benefits Who needs a glass of wine or a dessert after a meal when you have the pomegranate? The delicious and glamorous pomegranate juice is a wonderful healthy substitute for wine (it has three times the amount of anti-oxidants). It is also a low-cal treat for those with a sweet tooth (a small amount after a meal will satisfy the craving). This juicy, red fruit is an eternal favourite with most children and adults.Some may find it tiresome to peel off pomegranate skin and detach the kernels, but the effort is worth it. Let me tell you why.The first time I realised the pomegranate is a medicinal fruit was when it was prescribed to me for diarrhoea. I thought it was an old wives’ tale but I had it because my mother made me. And lo, it did the trick. As I studied nutrition I learnt more about this visually stunning and invaluable fruit.• Pomegranate juice is a wonderful antidote for loose motions. Two glasses a day instantly stops the loose motions • It has been researched that pomegranate may prevent prostrate cancer and even regress chances of developing it• Pomegranate has extraordinary properties as an external and internal health benefactor. It is high in anti-oxidants and helps in detoxification and lowering of bad cholesterol• Pomegranate juice actually increases the blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart• Protects against free radicals that increase cholesterol and are a cause of many cancers • Consumption of pomegranate might prevent and even slow down Alzheimer’s disease• Also known as the ‘jewel of winter’, it contains potassium and has high fibre too • Pomegranate oil acts as a moisturiser, has natural oestrogenic properties, is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, improves skin elasticity and protects the skin.• Its strong anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce swelling and ease muscular aches and pains.• Various spas and beauty products have discovered the benefits of pomegranate. Spa treatments, anti-aging products, and refreshing spa drinks are all spiked with the wonder fruit. • It contains vitamin C, citric acid, tannin and many useful alkaloids which make it a powerhouse of beauty and health Culinary usesToss it in salads, eat it by itself, have it as a juice, or add it as a fruit chaat or a smoothie! It is one fruit that can be combined with cooked food without being acidic. Naini Setalvad is a nutritionist specialising in lifestyle and immunity disorders. Her foundation, Health For You, throws light on healthy food habits. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgWe welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at email@example.com
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