Top Seeds

Juicy, sweet, and packed with an­tiox­i­dants, pomegranates can su­per­charge your work­out.


THE WORD SU­PER­FOOD is bandied about in the well­ness world, but pomegranate seeds are in­deed wor­thy of the name. They’re loaded with po­tent an­tiox­i­dants (three times that of green tea or red wine) that can help pro­tect you from cel­lu­lar dam­age and in­flam­ma­tion linked to ev­ery­thing from cog­ni­tive de­cline to can­cer.

The juicy, crunchy seeds are also an im­pres­sive work­out booster. A study from Skid­more Col­lege in New York finds that pair- ing them with a pro­tein (such as Greek yo­gurt) pro­motes mus­cle re­cov­ery and re­duces sore­ness, even more than eat­ing a pro­tein or carb by it­self. “The com­bi­na­tion of an­tiox­i­dants to com­bat free rad­i­cal dam­age and pro­tein to build and re­pair tis­sue makes it the per­fect mar­riage to sup­port mus­cle re­cov­ery and growth,” says study au­thor and ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist Paul J. Arciero.

Pomegranates—which are ac­tu­ally in the berry fam­ily—are avail­able fresh through Jan­uary. Stock up while you can; re­search finds that the seeds have triple the can­cer-fight­ing com­pounds as the juice. Ex­tract­ing seeds from the fruit can be messy, so try this: Make cuts around the pomegranate shell, then sub­merge it in a big bowl of wa­ter. Break apart the lobes, pluck out the seeds, and strain.

Snack on the tart seeds straight, add them to sal­ads and oat­meal, or re­duce and strain for a sauce to go atop chicken or pork. Eaten be­fore you go out drink­ing, they might even help pre­vent a han­gover. Given all the hol­i­day par­ties, they couldn’t come at a bet­ter time.

A cup of pomegranate seeds has 7 grams of fiber and a third of your vi­ta­min C for the day.

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