“And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees—of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” (Quran 6:99). And in the same Surah, verse 141: “And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruits when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Quran 6:141)
“In both of them are fruits and palm trees and pomegranates. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?” (Quran 55:68-69)
For me, I have dubbed pomegranate a ‘superstar’ fruit. Among many fruits, it has earned itself a unique gold medal by the Most High simply because pomegranate is one of the fruits mentioned in the Quran. I have grown to love all the palatable fruits, foods, and herbs mentioned in the Quran because without any doubt, I believe that they offer ample nutritional and spiritual benefits.
Pomegranate is one of the oldest known fruits. The pomegranate fruit is reddish in color and sturdy looking. Embedded in it are small, golden red seeds lined up perfectly in a star-shaped style. Each red seed looks like a pearl encased in its own thick pith and connected to one another by a cloudy-looking, white pulp.
When looking for fruits that are rich in minerals and vitamins, consider pomegranates. Pomegranates are loaded up with potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, folic acid, vitamins B, C, E, and K, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin.
Pomegranates are very versatile in nature when it comes to food preparation. Their juice and seeds can be used as food staples. Pomegranate juice can be used as the liquid base to make different kinds of smoothies and kombucha drinks. The seeds, layered within the white honey-combed membrane, can be combined with either muesli, oatmeal, or salads, or eaten raw as a snack. In more recent times, the skin has been used to treat ailments such as skin disorders.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends consuming one-and-a-half to two cups of fruit per day. This can be either fresh fruit or fruit juice. In this case, both pomegranate seed as well as the juice, count.
The benefits of pomegranates cannot be underestimated. In Imam Ibn Qayyim Al Jauziyah’s book titled Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him [PBUH]), pomegranate is a nutrient for the human body. It is good for the stomach, throat, chest, and lungs. It relieves diarrhea, prevents vomiting, strengthens the organs, and improves heart health. From a clinical perspective, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods, quotes a published research article on pomegranates from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which states that “the potent antioxidative compounds in pomegranates, reverse atherosclerosis and reduce excessive blood clotting and platelet clumping, which are factors that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.” Dr. Furhman also adds that pomegranates are known to inhibit breast cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, and prostate cancer. They also reduce tissue damage in those with kidney problems.
Pomegranates come in sweet, bitter, and sour forms. Each can be consumed on its own or combined. For example, one cup of sour pomegranate juice can be mixed with one cup of sweet pomegranate juice plus honey and cooked until it reaches the consistency of a syrup. This syrup can be used in lowering fever.
Subia Ansari, a Dallas, Texas resident and a board certified integrative and holistic health practitioner, states that pomegranates have not only been mentioned in the Quran but also in various narrations of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). She says, “pomegranates have significant health benefits. They are potent antioxidants and rich in flavonoids, anthocyanins, and other components that have anti-hypertensive, anti-atherogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties.” She further states that according to research, pomegranates can be used in the prevention and treatment of several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases.
According to the Pomegranate Council, pomegranates are commonly used as decorations during the fall and winter seasons. They can be displayed fresh and later used for consumption, or they can be dried. Pomegranate season is usually from October until February. The seeds can be eaten raw because of the direct health impact of eating fresh fruit compared to its alternative such as juice. Its seeds can be used to garnish salads, or frozen for later use, when they are out season.
California produces more than ninety percent of the pomegranates within the United States (The Packer, 2014). Pomegranates grow in any conducive climate and are usually adaptable because the pomegranate tree does not need fertilizers or large quantities of water. They survive well in dry soils.
So, when you are relishing pomegranates in whatever form, remember that it is a blessed fruit; a superstar fruit among many fruits.
Maryam Funmilayo is a freelance writer and a certified food literacy educator in Irving, TX and CEO and co-founder of Scholarship Plaza. With academic backgrounds in public health nutrition, health education, and health promotion, she is always fascinated by the health and medicinal benefits of foods mentioned in the Quran.