5 Health Benefits of Pomegranates & 20+ Pomegranate Recipes

February 5, 2016

Reap the amazing health benefits of pomegranates with these 20+ nutritious and delicious pomegranate recipes to enjoy all winter long!

20+ Healthy Pomegranate Recipes | Reap the amazing health benefits of pomegranates with these nutritious and delicious pomegranate recipes to enjoy all winter long! See them all @jlevinsonrd.

With the release of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans comes another reminder of the importance of eating fruit and vegetables. Back in September in honor of Fruits & Veggies More Matters Month, we shared important reasons why fruit and vegetables matter and to help you put it into action we shared 7 ways to improve your fruit and vegetable intake.

Every season comes with fruits and vegetables that are the star of the show.

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are widely available and therefore well known, especially for their vitamin C content, and cranberries get a lot of buzz around the holidays as they add color, flavor, and nutrition to so many festive recipes.

Pomegranates, on the other hand, didn’t get the appreciation they deserved until the past few years when pomegranate juice became a trendy item on supermarket shelves (and in cocktails!) as more research came out about the health benefits of pomegranates, primarily their high levels of antioxidants.

Of course the health benefits are not limited to the juice alone, but many people don’t know what to do with a whole pomegranate so they avoid it altogether.

Before you pass over this nutrient-rich and super delish fruit the next time you’re at the supermarket, find out what you’ll be missing for your health. Then read on to learn how to get to those valuable seeds – called arils – out of the fruit and get some inspiration for what to do with them in the kitchen.

Health Benefits of Pomegranates

      • Heart Health: The antioxidant concentration in pomegranates is higher than that of other antioxidant-rich foods like green tea, cranberries, and red wine. These antioxidants help improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure, thereby protecting against heart attack and stroke. (FYI, in case you didn’t know, February is Heart Health Month!)
      • Cancer Protection: Ellagic acid, an antioxidant in pomegranates may fight cancer in the digestive tract and stop prostate cancer cells from spreading, according to some studies.
      • Kidney Health: The antioxidants and potassium in pomegranates help protect against dialysis-related infections and kidney disease in general.
      • Diabetes: Fiber from pomegranate seeds provides a satiating effect and slows the rise in blood sugar.
      • Alzheimer’s Disease: Pomegranates are showing anti-inflammatory properties, which are being attributed to the polyphenol in pomegranates called punicalagin. This anti-inflammatory property may help lower levels of the plaque that accumulates in brain nerve cells and contributes to Alzheimer’s.

In addition to all these health benefits of pomegranates, there’s some research showing the benefit of this delicious fruit on dental carries, arthritis and joint inflammation, anemia, a healthy immune system, wound healing, and blood clotting.

Needless to say, there are a lot of reasons to love pomegranates.

How to Eat a Pomegranate

Now that you know all about the health benefits of pomegranates, how do you eat them?!

While many supermarkets sell pomegranate arils already released from the flesh, the price tag on those can be quite high. So it’s best to learn how to de-seed this gorgeous fruit on your own. And it’s really not difficult. You’ll find a variety of methods on YouTube and other cooking websites, but the method I use is the one described at Simply Recipes using water.

Pomegranate Recipes

Once you’ve freed the arils, pop them in your mouth for a burst of flavor (that’s my girls’ favorite way to eat them!), add them to yogurt or oatmeal, or try them in some of these nutritious and delicious recipes!

Salads

Winter Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate Ginger Dressing @jlevinsonrd

Winter Root Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate Ginger Dressing @ Nutritioulicious

Sweet Potato, Pomegranate, & Crispy Quinoa Salad @ Wendy Polisi

Arugula Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese @ Dishing Out Health

Healthy Crispy Chickpea Greek Salad with Pomegranates & Tzatziki Drizzle @AbbeysKitchen

Healthy Crispy Chickpea Greek Salad with Pomegranates & Tzatziki Drizzle @ Abbey’s Kitchen

Pomegranate Citrus Salad @ Your Choice Nutrition

Jicama, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad with Raspberry Dijon Vinaigrette @ An Edible Mosaic

Broccoli Salad with Pomegranate Arils & Maple Walnuts @ Shaw’s Simple Swaps

Appetizers & Hors D’ouerves

Lemon Hummus Endive Boats with Pomegranate Seeds @jlevinsonrd

Lemon Hummus Endive Boats with Pomegranate Seeds @ Nutritioulicious

Smoked Cheddar and Pomegranate Beer Dip @ Zen & Spice

5-Ingredient Pomegranate Salsa @ C It Nutritionally

Pear and Pomegranate Crostini @ Homemade Nutrition

Wild Blueberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta @ Kara Lydon

Main Dishes & Side Dishes

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Gremolata @myBottomlessBF

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Gremolata @ The Every Kitchen

Grilled Lamb Shawarma with Pomegranate and Pistachios @ Kumquat

Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Berry Sauce @ Healthy Aperture

Sprouted Red Jasmine Rice Salad with Pomegranate, Feta, Pine Nuts, and Fresh Herbs @ The Spicy RD

Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash Quinoa Salad | Maple-roasted delicata squash tops cider-infused quinoa and is garnished with thyme and pomegranate seeds in this easy, yet elegant side dish that's perfect for the holidays or any day of the week.

Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash Quinoa Salad @ Nutritioulicious

Holiday Glazed Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Toasted Pine Nuts @ Eat Yourself Skinny

Roasted Butternut Squash Carrot Barley Farro Sorghum Quinoa Salad @ Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Glaze @ Nutritioulicious

Roasted Squash with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese @ The Floating Kitchen

Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Beets, & Pomegranates @ Eating Well

Beverages

Pomegranate Apple Cider Spritzer @HealthyNibs

Pomegranate Apple Cider Spritzer @ Healthy Nibbles and Bits

Spiced Pomegranate Lemon Lassi @ The Spicy RD

Antioxidant Sangria @ Lively Table

Desserts

Flourless Chocolate Pomegranate Cake @Kumquat

Flourless Chocolate-Pomegranate Cake @ Kumquat

Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Bars with Pomegranate @ Cotter Crunch

Wild Blueberry, Pomegranate, and Lemon Popsicles @ Abbey’s Kitchen

For more ways to use pomegranate seeds, check out my friend and fellow RD Katie’s 10 Tasty Ways to Enjoy Pomegranate Seeds @ Mom’s Kitchen Handbook!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pomegranates?

Thanks to Tracy Williams for her help compiling the nutrition research for this post. 

20+ Healthy Pomegranate Recipes | Reap the amazing health benefits of pomegranates with these nutritious and delicious pomegranate recipes to enjoy all winter long! See them all @jlevinsonrd.
You Might Also Like...

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. Serena, the fact that your family already eats them makes you ahead of the game. Just wait until you “fancy” it up with these recipes!

  1. My mouth is watering looking at all these delicious recipes! Pomegranate is one of my favorites. Thanks again for including my pomegranate citrus salad recipe. 🙂

  2. I’m excited to try some of these recipes. Pomegranates are great not only because of their nutritional quality but also because they make the recipe so pretty!

  3. All of the recipes look delicious!! Not only are they delicious but packed with so many health benefits!
    My love for cranberries has had me blind to other fruits lately but I just swapped out dried cranberries for pomegranates in a salad! I can’t wait to play more with the pomegranates I picked up this week.

    1. Thanks Sarah! I love cranberries too and they have a lot of the same health benefits as pomegranates, so you’ve made a good choice either way. But I’m glad to hear you’re playing around more with the poms! Enjoy!

    1. Thanks Liz! So glad you’re finally cooking with pomegranates and was thrilled to include your delicious recipe. Have fun experimenting some more!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I can see that about the texture. I enjoy them most when they’re used within a recipe. And pomegranate juice is so delish in dressings and marinades!