Pomegranates can be a little intimidating. Cutting one open requires some precision. And are they even worth the work to free all those little ruby red buds inside? Nutritionists think so.
“Pomegranates are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, the Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.
The fruit’s red color comes from plant pigments called polyphenols found in many plant-based foods that work as antioxidants in the body and help fight inflammation and aging. When you open a pomegranate, you find a bounty of red, round arils that have a sweet but tart taste. Inside each aril is a small seed. It’s OK to eat the arils as a whole or stick with the juice and spit out the seeds. But don’t eat the rind and white areas, called membranes, around the arils.
Half of a cup of arils has 72 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates and three grams of fiber. Pomegranates also have a lot of folate, potassium and vitamin K.