So lets talk antioxidants... I know we hear this buzz word being thrown around as something that we need in our diet for optimum health but what actually are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds found in plants that protect our cells from free radicals that can damage the body and lead to a number of different diseases as well as cancer. Antioxidants are vital for keeping our cells healthy and maintaining body functioning.

One of the best sources of antioxidants? POMEGRANATES!

To give you a little history, the fruit, leaves, flowers, and seeds of a pomegranate have been used in traditional herbal medicine to heal certain ailments like diarrhea, parasites, bronchitis, and indigestion for many years. Pomegranate’s large amount of anti-inflammatory properties have linked them to the prevention of diseases. The part of the pomegranate that is most commonly eaten today is the aril, which is the juicy, red covering of the seed. There are hundreds of arils in each pomegranate. These sweet edible arils are high in vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium as well as an excellent source of antioxidants! I think we all have a different approach to opening a pomegranate, so I wanted to give you a standard method that is my personal go to...

1. Run a small, sharp knife around the fruit, slicing it about ½ inch deep. Hold both halves while you twist them apart slowly with your hands.
2. Grab one half of the pomegranate and hold it over a bowl with the cut side facing down. Use a spoon to tap around th
e fruit so that the arils fall out into the bowl.
3. Gently pull apart the fruit with your hands into smaller sections and spoon out arils into bowl.
4. Repeat this with the other half.
5. After you have a bowl filled with arils, pick out any bits of white tissue that may have fallen into the bowl.
6. ENJOY! Add to your favorite smoothies, salads, soups, or just enjoy them as they are.

 Look for delicious pomegranates at their peak ripeness at your local grocery store or co op this fall season!