Oh yeah it is.
Free radicals beware. This week, we’re going all pomegranate on you.
Recipes of the week: Pomegranate Olive Oil Pan Sauce
Protein source of choice: 4 – 4oz. slices of organic chicken, turkey, firm tofu slices, etc.
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pomegranate, juiced (1/2 cup juice – see below for tips)
½ cup red wine
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
- Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan on medium heat. Once warmed, add protein and sauté. After 3-4 minutes, depending on type and thickness of protein, turn to other side and continue to sauté until cooked thoroughly (can turn down heat and continuing cooking through if necessary). Set aside and keep warm.
- Add garlic cloves to sauce pan, set at medium-high heat. Stirring continuously, sauté for ~2-3 minutes. Then, stir pomegranate juice and wine. Stir in honey. Continue to cook on medium-high, swirling around pan until reduces by ½ the volume and is a thick liquid.
- Remove from heat. Stir in additional olive oil. Serve over protein choice.
Why’s a pomegranate worth the trouble? It just happens to be a Super Food with high amount of antioxidants, polyphenols, and fiber.
Hmmm. Athletes need antioxidants, polyphenols, and fiber. In fact, pomegranates may just help you stay on your bike and off the sick-bed. Research has correlated it with potentially reducing the risk of:
- Common Cold
- Heart disease
- Prostate cancer
- Rhinovirus infection
- Oxidative Stress
- Dental caries
First, your cardiovascular system. It takes free radicals to oxidize LDL cholesterol. Once oxidized, LDL cholesterol can enter the cell wall of an artery and form a dangerous plague. No oxidation, no plaque. In one study performed in 2000, daily consumption of pomegranate juice by healthy men increased antioxidant levels; decreasing their LDL cholesterol oxidation by 90%! What’s more, two weeks of pomegranate juice has also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure.
Then, nasty bacteria and viruses. Pomegranates’ antimicrobial properties can help your teeth fight bacteria and your body fight viral infections.
Lastly, the intestines, colon, and for all our male athletes, the prostate. Mice studies have shown that metabolites of pomegranate juice tannins localize specifically in the prostate gland, colon, and intestinal tissues. This has led researchers to hypothesize the benefits of pomegranate juice and begin studying its effects specifically in these organs. Remember, if your intestines aren’t healthy, your whole body isn’t healthy since they are the gateway for most all nutrients to enter the rest of the body. Antioxidants can’t fight free radicals if they can’t get in.
While it’s not hard to convince you of the health benefits, still some might find this fruit more intimidating than a 5000-foot climb! And, they are such a mess!
To buy: The pomegranates skin gives a clue to a ripe fruit. It should be tough, unbroken, and have its distinctive reddish color. When tapped, one should hear a metallic sound.
To get those delicious seeds out:
- Cut off the crown at the end
- Lightly score the rind in several places around all the way around the fruit
- Immerse it in a bowl of water for 5 minutes
- Hold the fruit under the water and break it apart, separating the seeds from the membrane. The seeds will sink while the membrane floats.
- Skim off and discard the membrane and rind (really, you’ll impress people with this one).
- Pour the seeds into the colander, drain and pat dry. A medium pomegranate provides approximately ¾ cup of seeds.
- Eat as a snack or as part of a meal. For upcoming Holiday dinners and parties, simply set a bowl of pomegranate seeds out on the table with a serving spoon.
- Roll a pomegranate on a hard surface. Press down and squeeze repeatedly until soft.
- Puncture the skin and bore a hole into the fruit.
- Simply cut it open or even stick a straw in it! A medium pomegranate should yield approximately ½ cup of juice.
For a limited time only! The pomegranate season lasts from September through December. Buy them now, and you can actually store them in your refrigerator for up to 6 months without shrinking or spoiling! And, you’re in luck: the fruit improves with storage.
Don’t wait. This week, we suggest you get on your bike, roll down to the market, and pick up some pomegranates while they last. Yum and yum.
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