Pomegranate – Punica Granatum
The pomegranate is one of the fruit plants cultivated the longest in the Mediterranean area; it has Asian origins, but already several centuries ago cultivation was spread in warmer and drier areas of the Mediterranean, where it develops better. It’s a big shrub that produces numerous basic pollens, generally in cultivation the central stem is chosen and the pollens are exported, to allow the development of a small tree, with a deciduous leaf; it has a rugged and wrinkly bark, of a light colour, the leaves are small and lanceolate, light green, they become orange before falling, in autumn.
The pomegranate is a plant that lives outside in half shade all year, in stands cold temperatures and it tolerates strong salty winds. It needs a well drained soil, without water stagnation.
FLORA AND FRUIT
In spring it produces small red flowers, enclosed in chunky buds, slightly tough, and also red. After the flowers big berries follow, known as arils, yellow orange and red, or even a mix of the three colours; the berries have a tough and thick skin, very fibrous, where inside there are countless small seeds, enclosed in small yellow membranes, rich in tannin. The seeds are consumed raw, or a juice is obtained, and they have various flavours depending on the variety of the plant, from very sour seeds to slightly sweet and very sweet, that are better consumed fresh.
USE AND HEALTH PROPERTIES
The properties of the pomegranate make it a very appreciated fruit around the world. The pomegranate is very rich in anti oxidants, vitamin C (a single pomegranate contains almost 20% of the entire daily need of an adult man), vitamin K, vitamin of group B, proteins and carbohydrates.
Furthermore it’s rich in potassium, that helps carry out correctly cell functionalities.
This fruit is also rich in other minerals, like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and, in a smaller amount, manganese and zinc. The pomegranate has few calories: about 80 Kcal per 100 grams of product.