Consumer behaviour and eating sugar is complex. Prior to the global pandemic, consumers were welcoming sugar reduction, however since March with the stay at home directives, we are observing more home baking and the use of sugar. People are still interested in natural sources and fewer ingredients. As a result, let us look at what the heck is pomegranate syrup.
About three years ago, I discovered pomegranate syrup at a local Syrian restaurant. Pomegranate molasses (usually has more added sugar, than the syrup) has been a staple in kitchens for centuries. It has middle eastern origins and may have been made to preserve the pomegranate. Pomegranate syrup is sweet and tangy in taste. It can be used as a sweet/tangy sauce and topping for drinks, salads, wraps, and desserts.
Today, you can find several pomegranate syrup recipes online and with our current stay at home situation, if you can still source pomegranates at your grocery store, it might be fun to give it a try.
Pomegranate Syrup and Health
Overall, there are possible health benefits based on the consumption of pomegranate syrup, although, more research is required to confirm its effects. Probable benefits include bone health, heart health, and immune health.
Studies have also shown that pomegranate extract can increase cartilage nodules within rodents (1). This effect may be due to its high polyphenol concentrations (1). Pomegranate syrup shows promising effects on the prevention of cartilage degradation and cartilage growth (1,2). This may also be due to the high amounts of vitamin C in pomegranate syrup. However, more studies are required regarding the use of pomegranate syrup to achieve these effects as oppose to pomegranate juice or extract.
Pomegranate syrup may be beneficial to cardiovascular health (2,3). Pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure and pomegranate syrup may have a similar effect (2,3). In addition, pomegranate syrup may have cholesterol-lowering effects like pomegranate juice (2,3). Pomegranate syrup is high in polyphenols which is important in reducing LDLs (bad cholesterol) (2,3). This may contribute to improvements in overall cardiovascular health and decrease the risk of a cardiovascular event such as a stroke or heart attack. More research is required to conclude all the heart health benefits.
Pomegranate syrup has a high concentration of antioxidants (2,3). It is especially high in vitamin C (2,3). Its high antioxidant levels may reduce oxidation in the body. This supports a healthy immune system and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. More primary research is required to prove this mechanism with pomegranate syrup.
The interest in pomegranate syrup may be due to its minimalistic ingredients and perceived health benefits as a sweetener. The road ahead may seem uncertain, therefore, remember no single food or ingredient is a silver bullet. A lifestyle filled with healthy habits including a balanced dietary pattern, exercise, and restful sleep is the best approach for long-term consistent, mind-body health. If you have added pomegranate syrup to your healthy diet, let me know your thoughts about the flavour, and how you use it!
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- Monsefi M, Parvin F, Talaei-Khozani T. Effects of pomegranate extracts on cartilage, bone and mesenchymal cells of mouse fetuses. Br J Nutr. 2012 Mar 14;107(5):683–90.
- Health Benefits of Pomegranate Molasses | Livestrong.com [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 7].
- Pomegranate: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning WebMD.com [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 7].
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