Perhaps you’ve wondered, can you eat pomegranate seeds? The answer is yes! The real question might be, should you eat pomegranate seeds? The short answer is also yes, but the why you should do so is more interesting than you might think. Keep reading to learn all about eating pomegranate seeds!
What Is a Pomegranate?
Before getting to the can you eat pomegranate seeds? question, let’s clarify exactly what a pomegranate is. A pomegranate is a fruit that comes from a tree that can grow up to 10 meters (33 feet) but is usually trained to remain shorter. A pomegranate is a reddish, round fruit, with what looks like a crown on the end that is opposite the stalk. The skin is quite hard, but can be cut. When it is cut in half, the pomegranate reveals many seeds.
The name pomegranate in fact comes from the Greek word meaning ‘many seeded’ and there can be up to 600 seeds in one fruit. The seeds can be up to one-third of the fruit’s weight! No wonder people start wondering about eating pomegranate seeds…
Pomegranates have been grown in the Mediterranean area for centuries and are now also grown in other places in the world.
Can You Eat Pomegranate Seeds?
Not only is eating pomegranate seeds completely fine, but they are actually also the most often eaten part of the pomegranate fruit.
A pomegranate is made up of the skin, pith, and seeds, which have a kind of jelly-like, juicy flesh around them. The skin is fibrous and not very tasty, and the pith is bitter. The seeds, however, are tasty thanks to this juicy flesh, and are also good for you!
Is a Pomegranate Seed Just a Seed?
Here, the answer is no. What we easily call pomegranate seeds are actually called arils. These are made up of two parts: a white seed and a pocket of juice around it.
Eating pomegranate seeds is only part of what you’re munching on!
Why is Eating Pomegranate Seeds Good?
On one level, you should eat pomegranate seeds because although most people might not realize it, they are the only edible part of the fruit. So, if you intend to eat a pomegranate at all, it is the seeds you will eat.
Plus, the seeds themselves and the surrounding flesh are delicious, which is the main reason why you should be eating pomegranate seeds!
Pomegranate seeds are described as being a ‘super food’ because pomegranate seeds have many health benefits, including:
- Strong antioxidants, which help to prevent inflammation in your body and free radical damage. Don’t think of inflammation simply as being swelling you can see. You can also get internal inflammation, which affects your whole body. Free radicals can also affect the way your body fights infections.
- The arils also contain pucinic acid, which is a main fatty acid. It is part of a group of acids that are linked to weight loss, because they are trans fat, which is healthier for you than saturated fats.
- Pomegranates have a low percentage of sugar and carbs, which means they’ll deliver the energy you need without overdoing the sugar!
- There is a high percentage of fiber in pomegranate seeds, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fiber is important to keep your digestive system working efficiently. It prevents constipation so that waste from the food you eat moves easily through your body, which means less waste trapped in your body, which leads to overall better health. Fiber also helps good bacteria to grow in your gut.
- Pomegranate arils contain vitamins C and K. Vitamin C helps the body to fight diseases by protecting your cells against the negative effects of free radicals, and Vitamin K is useful in helping blood clotting, bone growth, and the development of calcium in the body.
- Pomegranates also contain a significant amount of Potassium and folate. Potassium is important in the way that protein and carbohydrates are processed in the body. It means that the muscles and nerves will function properly. Folate is important in the formation of red blood cells that are important in the growth of healthy blood cells.
Pomegranates are a winter fruit and are readily available from fall to late winter at most grocery stores. Some retailers or specialty stores might have pomegranates during other seasons, as well, and even online.
As far as eating pomegranate seeds, the obvious source of is the fruit themselves. This does mean you will need to take the seeds out of the fruits yourself.
To do this, you can either hit them out, scoop them out, or pop them out.
To hit or scoop the seeds out of the skins, you must first cut the fruit open lengthwise, then, hold the fruit over a bowl and use a wooden spoon to hit the fruit lightly so that the seeds fall into the bowl, or scoop it out manually.
To pop the seeds out, take a knife and score the whole fruit in quarters. Carefully peel back the skin of each piece and press against the pith to pop the seeds out. For a more detailed explanation read How To Cut Pomegranates and Deseeding Pomegranates With Less Mess and Stress.
Using Pomegranate Seeds
There are endless ways of eating pomegranate seeds. You can eat them their own as a snack, sprinkle them over dishes such as a salad, or a bowl of oatmeal, or even add them to a fruity drink, such as sangria.
If you find that you have leftover pomegranate seeds, learn how to store them well to save them for later!
Here are a few specific ideas for eating pomegranate seeds in unique ways:
Red, White and Green Salad
- Cut avocados into cubes.
- Chop up tomatoes and onions into fairly small pieces.
- Add the pomegranate seeds.
- Toss everything with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Oatmeal With Pomegranate Seeds
- Add one cup of water to half a cup of oatmeal. Leave this to stand for 5 minutes.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Cook the oatmeal on medium heat in the microwave for one minute. Take it out and stir, then cook it for a minute again.
- Drizzle the oatmeal with a teaspoon of honey.
- Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Summer Fruit Salad
- Scoop out the flesh of half a papaya with a melon scoop.
- Chop half a pineapple, banana, and apple into cubes.
- Add pomegranate seeds.
- Mix this all together and drizzle with lemon juice.
Berry and Pomegranate Salad
- Toss raspberries, pomegranate seeds, and blueberries together.
- Slice strawberries into quarters and add.
- Sprinkle the salad with castor sugar.
- Leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours before eating.
Now You Know All About Pomegranate Seeds!
So, there you have it – the answer to the question, can you eat pomegranate seeds? and much more! Pomegranate seeds are the edible part of the fruit and not only can be eaten, but should be eaten for their health benefits and delicious taste!
Do you have a favorite way you enjoy pomegranate seeds? Share it in the comments section below! Excited to learn more about this magical fruit? Then check out our pomegranate trees page for information on pomegranate planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!