Pomegranate is a fruit that comes from a small deciduous tree called Punica granatum, which is native to the Middle East and has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is now grown in many parts of the world, including North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
The plant, which may attain 5 or 7 metres (16 or 23 feet) in height. The pomegranate tree is branched and spiny with glossy, leathery, oval to oblong leaves that grow in whorls of five or more on the branches. The tree produces bright red flowers singly at the tips of the branches and a rounded hexagonal fruit with a thick pink-red skin. The fruit has a thick, leathery rind which protects the pulp and seeds inside. The inside of the fruit is separated into compartments by white spongy tissue. Each compartment contains seeds and pulp. Each pomegranate fruit may contain as many as 600 seeds.
- Pomegranates are typically round, with a diameter of 5-12 cm (2-5 inches), although they can also be somewhat flattened or irregularly shaped. They are about the size of a large orange or grapefruit.
- The skin of a pomegranate is thick and leathery, and ranges in color from pinkish-red to deep purple, depending on the variety.
- The edible part of the pomegranate is the small seeds or arils, which are surrounded by a bitter, white membrane. Each pomegranate contains hundreds of arils, which are juicy, sweet-tart, and typically deep red in color.
- Pomegranates have a long history of use in many cultures and religions, and are often associated with fertility, abundance, and eternal life. They are used in many traditional medicines, and have been studied for their potential health benefits.
- High in antioxidants
- They promote heart health
- Supports digestive health
- May have antimicrobial properties
- Improve exercise endurance
- They may benefit prostate health