Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Super Pomegranate

This extraordinary fruit has its ancient origins in southwestern Asia. Historically, the pomegranate had a symbolic significance throughout the world, which ranged from honesty and righteousness to abundance and good fortune. It was mentioned in the Hebrew Torah and in Greek mythology, and remains a part of the Jewish and Greek cultural traditions to this day.

The pomegranate tree was brought to Italy from Carthage by the Romans, who believed that its fruit was a symbol of fertility and longevity - in fact it was used to decorate bridal wedding dresses. 
In Christianity, the pomegranate represents the passion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, and can be found in religious decorations as well as in the works of masters like Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci.  

In Italy, these trees can be found growing spontaneously or in farm orchards in the more temperate regions. From the beautiful flowers that bloom between May and June, comes this unique fruit – which is ripe by the early fall, around late September, or October.

Today, the extraordinary nutritional benefits of the pomegranate are clinically documented. It is classified in first place for its content of antioxidants (so the ancients were probably onto something in their thinking that this fruit had special properties!) It is full of vitamins B, A, C and E, as well as potassium and iron. Studies have shown that it contains more flavonoids than red wine or olive oil, a substance necessary to combat free-radicals. For all these reasons, the pomegranate is of great interest to the medical community as well as the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. So, maybe we should all consider giving it a try?

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