Benefits of Pomegranate: Protection From AMD and Cataracts

Pomegranate Quinoa SaladPomegranate is a delicious and fun fruit to eat that also promotes eye health. Pomegranates vaguely resemble red apples but are quite different. Unlike apples, pomegranates have a leathery skin that is inedible. The reward is inside – where the little red seeds (called arils) pack a burst of juicy flavor and a little crunch. Best of all – pomegranates offer nutrients that are healthy for your eyes.

Snacking on pomegranate seeds or adding them to your meals can help prevent eye conditions that affect many older adults, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). If left untreated, these conditions can start with blurry or cloudy vision and can end in complete vision loss.

Nutrients in Pomegranates

Pomegranate seeds and juice contain antioxidants that support eye health, including polyphenols and vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, various B vitamins, fiber and potassium. The juice contains higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices (and three times more than red wine and green tea). The antioxidants help neutralize disease-causing free radicals thereby protecting cells from damage, reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. Research shows that a diet high in antioxidants can help lower the risk of AMD and slow its progression. A diet high in antioxidants can also help prevent and delay the development of cataracts.

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad Recipe

You’ve probably tried pomegranate juice before, but have you tasted their juicy seeds? Try snacking on a handful of seeds or sprinkling them on a salad. This Pomegranate Quinoa Salad shows you one way to be creative with them. Pomegranate seeds can bring your meals to life with color and flavor while providing nutritional support for your eyes.

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 2 cups butter lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp avocado, chopped
  • Small handful of fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tsp chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange)
  • Dash each of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place chopped lettuce in a bowl. Sprinkle quinoa across the salad, followed by the chopped avocado, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and pecans.
  2. For the dressing, stir together the olive oil, citrus juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad and serve.