To my Myth Buster Followers,
What is on the agenda today, let’s talk about your heart and what foods protect it!
Myth:- Pomegranates, it’s a superfood that protects your heart.
Here’s what you need to know
Please, look at Government and Professional Accredited nutrition, dietetic and medical websites and information resources. The Australian Dietary Guideline states that consuming an additional serve of fruit daily is associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease and eating 1.5 serves of fruit (e.g. 1 apple & half a banana) or more daily is linked to reduced risks of stroke. However this evidence is not specific to pomegranates, and can come from a wide range of fruits available to Australians, as there is limited current evidence specific to pomegranates.
The relationship between eating foods containing antioxidants for reducing risks of heart disease is true and these antioxidants can be found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and some fish, meat and poultry. Often these foods are rich in nutrients of Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, polyphenols, beta-carotene, Iso-flavonoids and many more, and these nutrients in foods are often referred to as a “superfoods” that can cure or prevent diseases. These claims are often not verified by the appropriate professional or medical organisations, and need to be validated prior to any major changes you make to your diet.
Pomegranates are known to be higher in flavonoids and polyphenols (antioxidants) than many fruits, especially blueberries and cranberries, however there is no proven evidence of better or poor health outcomes from pomegranates. All vegetables and fruits that contain potassium assist in reducing blood pressure, e.g. oranges, grapefruit, bananas, pomegranates, raisins, dates, bananas, peaches, prunes, avocado’s, mushrooms, potatoes and dark green vegetables, they can all improve heart health.
FACT:- Antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables(not supplements in tablet form), work by neutralising free-radicals (unstable chemicals) in the body that damaged our cells, that may cause diseases e.g. heart disease or some cancers.
Hot Tip:- Eat a wide variety of foods from the 5 recommended food groups:- Fruit, Vegetables, Dairy, Grains/cereals, and lean meat, fish and meat alternatives, plus unsaturated fats (most plant fats). These all contain the nutrients and energy for the majority of healthy people. Highly promoted fresh superfoods may be incorporated into your diet in moderation. Be aware that you may pay a lot extra for a ‘supposed’ superfood that might not do anymore than other nutritious foods from the recommended food groups.
Food supply and availability:- The pomegranate origins are from Iran to northern India and produced in California, Spain and Turkey, with small scale productions throughout Australia. Demand is increasing, however for the majority of the Australian population can buy other more common and regularly consumed fruits cost effectively. Pomegranate prices range for ~$3 – $5 per fruit and can be found inconsistently in supermarkets and green grocers. In season from November to March.
Links for further reading:-
A recipe that will delight pomegranate lovers
Pomegranate, Prawn and Haloumi Salad Serves 4
3 cups of spinach or mixed lettuce or rocket
1 pomegranate – seeded (cut in half and remove seeds out by tapping skin firmly with blunt object)
150-200g Haloumi sliced in 1 cm thick, grill on medium to high heat in non-stick pan with ½ teaspoon of olive oil
¼ toasted Pinenuts, toast in a pan- medium to high heat, watch carefully as they brown quickly
16 large green prawns, shelled and grilled at high heat in non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, one clove of crushed garlic (optional) and small red chilli finely chopped (optional) – cook for 2 minutes while tossing.
1 large avocaco (optional) sliced
½ Red onion sliced finely
Fresh coriander chopped finely
Dressing – 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 lime squeezed and seasoning
Place spinach/lettuce leaves, red onion, coriander and pomegranate in a bowl and combine. Make dressing and add to salad and toss. Place on plates and add 4 grilled prawns per plate, 2-3 slices of grilled haloumi, sliced avocado and sprinkle each plate with pinenuts. Serve immediately with fresh bread.
Enjoy……Eat well, eat fresh
By Lyn Dunkley your Myth Buster,
NRG Dietitians Australia
For individualised advice to meet your nutritional needs, look for an Accredited Practising Dietitian
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