I grew up eating pomegranates daily. They grew in our back yard and I loved them. My mum still uses its juice as vinegar for salads and boils its skin as tea.
Here in Norway, they are quite a rare delicacy, my loyalty to the pomegranate is not so easily replaced, though. When I get my hands on a ripe pomegranate; I go back in time, red spots on kitchen walls, stains in my fingers and on my clothes, a knife in my hand; I sit quite happily in the midst of childhood memories.
My grandmother used to tell me I had to eat every seed of the pomegranate fruit because we couldn’t be sure which seed was the one that came from the garden of paradise. I also needed to be very patient with the act of eating pomegranate as it is the fruit of Love, fertility and bounty.
What an aura of mystery was those stories and pomegrenates’ deep red bleeding seeds to me!
It is believed that pomegranates traveled on the backs of Arab traders as they made their way around the Middle East. They used the pomegranate as a gesture of goodwill to entice merchants into buying their wares. People were especially taken in by the message of abundance and fertility that the pomegranate conveyed.
The ancient Greeks believed that pomegranate juice was the symbol of Love, because their legends proclaimed that the first pomegranate tree was planted by Aphrodite- The Goddess of Love. Shakespeare used the symbolism of a pomegranate tree in Romeo and Juliet to represent true love, forbidden love, and sweet innocence between Romeo and Juliet.
Although pomegranates originated in the fertile lands of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, it has been a favorite among Chinese, Korean, and Japanese consumers for thousands of years. In fact, its flowers and bark are so unique that the Japanese often use the pomegranate bush for their famous bonsai trees.
Pomegranate has extensively been used a source of traditional remedies for thousand of years. Research has shown that drinking a glass of fruit’s juice daily can reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce cholesterol..They are also a great source of vitamin C, and helps fight viruses of cancerous tumour activity.
Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice has high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, calcium, fiber, and mineral salts (potassium). This juice is also packed with more antioxidants than other berry juices, green tea, or red wine, which means it has the potential to help our bodies fight and prevent life-changing diseases.
In the ancient Ayurveda system of medicine, the pomegranate has extensively been used as a source of traditional remedies against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. As one of the world’s most ancient and natural sources of life, the pomegranate will only continue to be the “superfruit” and grace the tables and bellies of people everywhere.
Enjoy a glass of pomegranate juice in the morning and take another to work with you for that mid-morning snack instead of a chocolate bar:)