Cucumber & Pomegranate Salad with Mint

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 English cucumber

  •  1 cup pomegranate seeds (1-2 pomegranates)

  •  1/4 cup lemon juice

  •  2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  •  1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

  • Salt


DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing the lime/lemon juice with the olive oil.

  2. Slice the English cucumbers into rounds and seed the pomegranates.

  3. Place fruits in a bowl and pour the dressing over. Toss gently to coat.

  4. Top with some gently torn mint leaves and serve immediately

What are the benefits of this dish?

This beautiful fruit bears delicious seeds and also offers an impressive and concentrated source of antioxidant phytochemicals (aka plant substances that help protect cells from damage and may lower inflammation in the body). Pomegranates also provide vitamins B5 and C as well as potassium. 

Recent studies suggest that the polyphenols in pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestion. 

Furthermore, when we eat pomegranate, certain microbes in our gut digest a specific compound found in pomegranates (ellagitannins) and transform it into a powerful metabolite (urolithin A) that may be beneficial for people with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and other gut-related inflammatory diseases such as IBS and intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut).

Urolithin A cannot be found in any food source. We depend 100% on specific bacteria strains in our gut microbiota to convert the ellagitannins present in pomegranates into urolithins. 

Other sources of ellagitannins include nuts, some berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cloudberries), tea, muscadine grapes, many tropical fruits, and oak-aged wines.