Pomegranates: Nutritional Benefits, How to Open, Recipes

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Pomegranates can be a little intimidating -- they're so unlike every other fruit out there! Need an intro course? We've got the info for you right here...

  "What's the deal with pomegranates?"

Pom 101 starts in 3... 2... 1...

1/2 cup arils: 72 calories, 1g fat, 3mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 12g sugars, 1.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Pomegranates are in season in late fall and early winter (from about October to January), a.k.a. NOW. Inside the tough outer skin are a ton of juicy seeds called arils. Well, the juice in those arils is packed with good-for-you antioxidants and nutrients -- vitamin C, vitamin K, and polyphenols. And the edible seeds in the center contain fiber. Need more reasons to chew 'em? Studies show that compounds in pomegranates provide impressive health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease and even cancer. Oh yeah, and they taste REALLY good!

Pomegranate nutritional info
  "That's great… Now how do I break into this thing?"

Let us show you! Click and watch this crazy-helpful, six-second how-to demo from yours truly. Not in the mood for a video? Here's the 411...
How to open a pomegranate
1. Cut off the ends, and score the outside skin so you can pull it apart into chunks.

2. Break apart the pomegranate over a bowl of water, and loosen all those arils.

3. The white pieces will float, so scoop those off the water, and drain the arils.

See? That wasn't so hard! Don't have time for this process? You can buy ready-to-eat arils at the supermarket -- look for these grab-n-go cups!

  "What if I just wanna drink the juice?"

You won't get the fiber from the seeds, but that juice is loaded with the other good stuff we mentioned already. But as with any juice, it's easy to take in too many sugary calories quickly when you drink it straight. (Plus, the flavor is pretty intense!) Here's the need-to-know info...

Pomegranate juice
4 oz.: 75 calories, <0.5g fat, 10mg sodium, 18g carbs, 0g fiber, 15.5g sugars, <0.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

Instead of downing it by the glass, spike some club soda (or calorie-free lemon-lime soda) with an ounce or two of that juice. It's also fantastic in cocktails, DIY salad dressing, sauces, and more.

Pomegranate juice: benefits & tips

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Happy National Gingerbread House Day, December 12th! Skip the whole house approach, and go right to the man himself… the gingerbread man, that is! Have four Pepperidge Farm Gingerman cookies for 130 calories and 3.5g fat.

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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