Why you should eat pomegranate when living in Beijing!

Pomegranate

 

We are now end of September and you have probably noticed street vendors selling pomegranate fruits and pomegranate juice at every single corner in Beijing city and it seems they are even encouraged by the authorities, as pomegranate could minimize the impact of pollution on human body (which is scientifically proven in some extend). Chinese people also say that you should “eat a pomegranate a day to remain healthy in Beijing”.

 

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How to eat pomegranate?

The edible portion is about 50 to 60% of the total fruit weight. You have between 200 and 1400 seeds per pomegranate fruit. Eating an entire pomegranate fruit takes quite some time and this is why pomegranate juice is easier to consume ;-).  

How to eat a pomegranate?It is also important to consume fresh pomegranates: make sure the fruit is plump and rounded when you buy it (when it gets older, the skin starts to shrink). Pomegranates do not ripen after they’re picked. 

  1. Cut the crown end off a pomegranate and remove some of the white pith.
  2. Lightly score the skin in quarters, from the stem to the crown end.
  3. Break the sections apart, following the score lines.
  4. Bend back the skin and gently scoop the seed clusters, remove any pith.

At room temperature, pomegranate fruits will last for about a week. You can keep wrapped fruits in refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Once taken out the seeds can be stored a few days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Pomegranate (石榴, shíliu) in China

Pomegranate could first come from Iran, then cultivated in India, it was introduced to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD. In olden times, pomegranate symbolizes fertility and numerous progeny.  Today, pomegranate or Pomum (apple) Granatus (grainy) or seeded apple is also growing in Iran, India, China, USA and Turkey.

220px-PomegranateChinaIn China, pomegranate is cultivated in the South regions:

  • Zhuhai (Guangdong) even holds a pomegranate festival at the end of September, at the beginning of the harvest season. http://www.zhuhaileisurehotel.com/news/31886.html
  • Huili county in the southernmost part of Sichuan (near Yunnan province) holds an international pomegranate festival mid of September. It is China’s largest producer of pomegranate with over 18,667 hectares (~ 300 000 tons annual production) and used to be supply pomegranates to the royal families during the Tang Dynasty.
  • Lintong pomegranate is a speciality in Shaanxi Province. It w as first planted in Beijing in 1977 and it is now an ornamental tree in many parks in Beijing such as the Temple of Heaven, the Imperial Palace, the Summer Palace… 

 

Nutrition facts of pomegranate

  • Pomegranate-juice-Recipes-and-PreparationRich in antioxidants: pomegranate contains even more antioxidants (like punicalagin) than other superfoods like acai berry juice or green tea.
  • Rich in vitamin C: 100 mL would fill 16% of a person’s daily requirement.
  • Source of vitamin K: vitamin K helps to support bone health.
  • Source of vitamin B5: vitamin B5 helps the body metabolize protein, carbohydrates and fats.
  • Source of manganese: manganese helps to form bone structures during the metabolic process.
  • Source of potassium: potassium helps to maintain cellular functions and balance fluid levels.
  • Other nutrients: The fruit is also high in phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron.
  • Fat content: pomegranate is low in fat and it does not contain cholesterol. Most of calories come from the seeds, which contain unsaturated oils, sugar and carbohydrates but they are also source of fiber and protein.

Beauty benefits of pomegranate

imagesRead our article about beauty criteria in China and you will quickly understand why Chinese (ladies) are so eager to eat pomegranates!

  • contains elements that stimulate skin cells regeneration
  • contains antioxidant ellagic acid that can help to inhibit skin tumors and protect the body from skin cancer, sun damage and sunburn. Also prevent hyper-pigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.
  • pomegranates help to soften the skin and produce additional elastin and collagen it can make your skin look more firm, smooth and youthful.

Health benefits of pomegranate

  • images (1)Eliminate Free Radicals thanks to high levels of antioxidants.
  • Protect Cardiovascular Health: reduces blood thickness and helps to remove the plaque from the arteries (minimize the risk of atherosclerosis), helps to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems.
  • Fight Cancer, thanks to its high antioxidants content, pomegranates could be clearing away some types of cancer, including breast, prostate and skin cancers.
  • Improve Bone Quality. Pomegranate contains enzyme inhibitors that can help to prevent damage and degeneration of the cartilage and thus osteoarthritis.
  • Boost Digestive system. It improves enzymes secretion which have anti-bacterial properties, aid digestion and help to fight off hemorrhoids, nausea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, piles and diarrhea. Pomegranate juice can be used as a laxative to treat constipation.
  • Increase Appetite
  • Cure Anemia. Thanks to its high amounts of iron, pomegranates will raise hemoglobin levels.
  • Reduce Inflammation. Thanks to its high vitamin C content, it will help to manage asthma, sore throat, cough and wheezing.
  • Promote Blood Circulation.
  • Help Lose Weight. Can be used to cleanse the body, which makes easier to lose weight.
  • Aid in Pregnancy. Thanks to its high content in niacin, folic acid, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron and fiber, pomegranate will help to maintain a pregnant woman’s health and encourage cell growth. 
  • Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to its high content in punicalagin (antioxidant), it has anti-inflammatory properties and it would reduce the amyloid plaque formation on brain’s nerve cells.

 

Don’t forget “a pomegranate a day”!

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Sources:

http://www.pomegranates.org/index.php?c=7

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-392-pomegranate.aspx?activeingredientid=392&activeingredientname=pomegranate

https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article19.aspx

http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/JournalsSup/images/Sample/FVCSB_4(SI2)77-87o.pdf

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00060086

http://www.healthambition.com/health-benefits-pomegranate/

 

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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!