The pomegranate is an ancient fruit with a rich history in myth, symbol, art, medicine and religion. Often referred to as ‘the divine fruit’, the pomegranate is considered by many to be a ‘super-food’. So what better flavour for our Turkish Delight?
Our Sultan series of Turkish Delight also features a different sultan on each box, in reminiscence of the illustrious history of Turkey. For Pomegranate, the focus is on Hurrem Sultan.
Hurrem Sultan, has remained a contested and controversial figure in early modern history. She was the wife of Sultan Suleiman Khan (Suleiman the Magnificent) and the mother of Selim II.
At the age of 14, Hurrem was captured as a slave during a Tartar raid in Ruthenia – she was presented to the Ottoman sultan Süleyman I the Magnificent (1520–1566), known to Ottomans as the Law Giver, as a gift from his mother.
Hurrem Sultan received special training in the palace. She came to the attention of the Sultan through her great beauty and intelligence. She made herself accepted by the women in the Harem and by the dignitaries of the palace. Soon she became Süleyman’s favourite concubine and later his beloved queen.
Hürrem’s transition from a harem slave to the queen of the Ottoman Empire provoked a contentious and vindictive response from the governing body and the general populace. She exerted immense influence over Süleyman and accompanied him as his political adviser to the extent that members of the court claimed that he was bewitched by his queen’s charm. Hurrem’s unique place in the Ottoman court was further conveyed through Süleyman’s contravention of dynastic traditions. Süleyman freed a slave concubine to make her his legal wife, allowed Hurrem to bear more than one son, and gave her access to imperial affairs that allowed her to replace the heir apparent with her own firstborn son. During their forty-year monogamous romance, Hürrem bore Süleyman five children and reigned supreme in the imperial court as well as in his heart.
During her lifetime, Hurrem Sultan commissioned Haseki Kulliye in Haseki town in Istanbul which was named after her. Today, the place is better known as the Haseki Training and Research Hospital supported by the Health ministry of the Republic of Turkey, and has the distinction of being the oldest hospital in Turkey still providing health services.
So that explains Hurrem Sultan, but what about the pomegranate? It has always been an important part of the Middle Eastern diet. Until recently however, pomegranates were something of a seasonal novelty in the West. Then medical studies suggested what the East already knew:
Pomegranates are really good for you.
Exactly how, we’ve gone into more detail about below.
The pomegranate is considered to be a super-food. Its jewel like seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins, this ruby-red fruit has been shown to be a cure-all for just about any ailment. It helps stomach upsets, menopausal hot flashes, haemorrhoids, conjunctivitis, osteoarthritis, lowers blood pressure, stimulates the immune system, wards off the flu, reduces inflammation, reduces risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol.
Help to Combat Prostate Cancer and Diabetes
A Technion-Israel Institute of Technology study led by Prof. Michael Aviram, head of the Lipid Research Laboratory of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and one of Israel’s top pomegranate researchers, showed that the antioxidants found in pomegranate juice may be especially beneficial to diabetes patients. Researchers found that drinking pomegranate juice reduced the uptake of oxidized “bad” LDL cholesterol by immune cells, which is a major contributing factor to atherosclerosis.
The Secret to Eternal Youth
Ok, not really. But Chinese herbology cites pomegranate juice as a longevity treatment thanks to the high quantity of antioxidants in the pomegranate. According to Aliza Shavit, a pharmacist; “Pomegranate oil is a rich source of punicic acid and this is a very strong antioxidant that helps fight wrinkles.” Punicic acid is a rare omega-5 conjugated fatty acid that has been shown to improve skin tone and elasticity. “Every day our faces are exposed to harmful sun rays and pollutants,” Shavit says. “The pomegranate extracts help keep the skin healthy.”
Amazing Clinical Results
Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.
In other studies, potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.
Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can’t afford to exclude from your diet!
We offer pomegranate as an ingredient in two of our delightful products, the 275G and in our Luxury Delight Tins, soon to be launched. Give it a try, we think
You’ll Be Delighted