When I was a child, I spent fall vacation at my aunt Susu’s in Alexandria, Egypt. She lived on the fourth floor of a 1940s apartment complex near the ocean. Every day peddlers guided their donkey-drawn carts through the neighborhood streets, loudly advertising the fruits and vegetables they had for sale.
Once in a while a peddler shouted with a roaring voice, “Pomegranates! Pomegranates!” Susu interrupted her chores, rushed to the balcony, and asked how much the salesman wanted. If the price was right, she grabbed a basket that she had attached to a long rope, placed a few coins in it, and swiftly lowered it to street level. The peddler took the money and filled the basket with fruit, which Susu promptly pulled back up.
She knew how much I loved pomegranates, and whenever she had them, she cracked one for me to have as an afternoon snack. That is why I will always associate these luscious fruits with the shores of the Southern Mediterranean, even though they originate from Iran.
American supermarkets carry them between the months of October and February. If you have never tried one, you should. Not only does it boast a delightful flavor; it is also really good for you.
Dr. Bharat Aggarwal of Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center praises the pomegranate in his book Healing Spices. The fruit is filled with disease-fighting polyphenols, he says, and has more than twice the antioxidants of red wine and green tea.
- The pomegranate helps reverse arterial plaque and thus protects you from heart attack or stroke.
- It is also good for diabetics. If left untreated, diabetes damages a person’s blood vessels. Because the pomegranate protects blood vessels, it can help diabetics fend off damage to the retina of the eye, to the kidney, the nerves, or the extremities, all conditions that are due to impaired blood circulation.
- It reduces the growth of cancer cells.
- It reduces damage to the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
- And much more.
So grab a sharp knife, a sturdy spoon, a bowl, and get cracking. The video below will show you just how easy this is, making you wonder why you have waited this long.