Pomegranates are packed with hundreds of edible ruby-red seeds called arils that have a sweet, tart flavor. They’re also full of nutrients that benefit the heart, especially antioxidants that help quell inflammation. In fact, pomegranate juice contains three times the antioxidant activity of red wine or green tea. Studies suggest the juice may help lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
But as is true for all fruits, you’re better off consuming the fruit itself (so you eat the fiber-rich seeds) rather than drinking juice. A half-cup of pomegranate arils contains just 72 calories.
Pomegranates are in season from October to January. Here’s an easy way to get the seeds out: Cut the pomegranate in half and score the outside of each half four times, barely cutting through the rind. Hold the cut side of one half loosely in your hand, facing down, over a large, wide bowl. Whack the rind with a large spoon and the seeds should fall out through your fingers into the bowl. The seeds add a pretty pop of color to all types of salads (grain, green, or fruit), or you can sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt.
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