Can you eat whole pomegranate seeds?

Yes, you can eat whole pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate seeds, also known as arils, are edible right out of the fruit. Eating the seeds whole provides you with all the fiber, nutrients, and health benefits that pomegranates have to offer.

Are pomegranate seeds healthy?

Pomegranate seeds are very healthy. They are packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds that are responsible for most of the fruit’s health benefits. Just one cup (174 grams) of pomegranate seeds provides:

  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Vitamin K: 36% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 40% of the RDI
  • Folate: 16% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 12% of the RDI

Pomegranates seeds are especially high in punicalagins, tannins that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies suggest that eating pomegranate seeds may help lower blood pressure, slow Alzheimer’s disease progression, and reduce oxidative stress.

Do you have to chew pomegranate seeds?

Yes, you should chew pomegranate seeds before swallowing. Pomegranate seeds have a tough outer husk. Chewing breaks down this husk and releases the seed’s juice and nutrients. The seeds contain insoluble fiber in their husks, which does not break down during digestion. Chewing allows your digestive system to get the most out of this fiber.

If you swallow pomegranate seeds whole without chewing, you may notice the husks passing through your digestive system intact. Therefore, take care to thoroughly chew pomegranate seeds before swallowing to get the most health benefits.

What do pomegranate seeds taste like?

Pomegranate seeds taste sweet and tart, with hints of fruity flavors like cherry or raspberry. The seeds also have a juicy crunch and pop when you bite into them. While the flavor differs slightly between varieties, most pomegranate seeds taste refreshing and sweet-tart.

The taste and crimson color of pomegranate seeds come from their high levels of anthocyanins. These antioxidant pigments also give foods like cherries, raspberries, red cabbage, and purple sweet potatoes their distinctive colors.

Are there any downsides to eating whole pomegranate seeds?

There are a few downsides to consider when eating whole pomegranate seeds:

  • May cause choking: Because of their small size, pomegranate seeds present a choking risk, especially for children. Always thoroughly chew pomegranate seeds before swallowing.
  • Contains fructose: The natural sugar in pomegranate seeds is fructose. Consuming too much added sugar from any source may promote insulin resistance, weight gain, and other negative effects in some people.
  • High in calories: While healthy, pomegranate seeds are high in calories. One cup packs 144 calories. Keep this in mind when portioning them out.
  • May cause digestive issues: Some people report digestive upset from eating pomegranate seeds. Issues seem most common when consuming the seeds on an empty stomach.

In most cases, eating pomegranate seeds whole in moderation should not cause adverse effects in healthy people. However, some individuals may be more sensitive.

Do you have to deseed a pomegranate before eating it?

No, you do not have to deseed a pomegranate before eating it. Pomegranates can be consumed whole with seeds intact. However, most people prefer removing the seeds first for the following reasons:

  • Easier eating experience: Deseeding a pomegranate makes it easier to enjoy consuming the seeds only without having to pick them out of the pulp.
  • Less mess: Juicy pomegranate seeds tend to squirt when you bite into whole fruit. Deseeding first reduces this mess.
  • Easier digestibility: Removing the seeds eliminates the pulp and tough outer rind, potentially reducing digestive upset in sensitive individuals.
  • Better portion control: Deseeding allows you to control how many seeds you eat at once.

While not required, deseeding pomegranates first can make eating the seeds a more pleasurable experience. However, some cultures do consume pomegranates whole without issue.

What’s the easiest way to deseed a pomegranate?

There are a few techniques for deseeding pomegranates efficiently:

  • Submerge method: Submerge the fruit in water and gently break it open underwater. The seeds will sink while the pith floats.
  • Banging method: Score the pomegranate rind into quarters. Hold it over a bowl and bang the rind with a wooden spoon. The seeds should fall out.
  • Twisting method: Score into quarters, then twist open each section and pick out seeds.

The submerge method is often considered the easiest, fastest way. Once deseeded, enjoy the seeds immediately or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 5–7 days.

Can you eat a whole pomegranate including the rind?

It’s not recommended to eat the entire pomegranate whole, including the inedible rind or pith. Here’s why:

  • The rind is tough to chew and digest. It cannot be broken down and absorbed by your body.
  • The white pith surrounding the seeds is very bitter and unpleasant to eat raw.
  • Eating the rind provides no beneficial nutrients. All the nutrients are contained in the seeds and juice.
  • Inedible parts like the peel contain higher levels of pesticide residues compared to the seeds.

For safety, enjoy only the interior seeds and discard the outer rind. Any nutrients the rind contains would not be bioavailable or usable by your body when eaten.

Do you need to peel pomegranate seeds before eating them?

No, you do not need to peel pomegranate seeds. The edible seeds are surrounded by a red pulp and thin outer husk. Both the seed and the surrounding juicy pulp and husk are edible:

  • The pulp provides beneficial nutrients and plant compounds.
  • The husk provides insoluble fiber that aids digestion.

Peeling each individual seed would be extremely tedious and result in loss of nutrients and fiber. The vast majority of people consume pomegranate seeds whole without peeling them first.

Can you eat all parts of a pomegranate?

No, not all parts of a pomegranate fruit are edible. Here is a breakdown of which parts are edible vs. inedible:

Pomegranate Part Edible?
Seeds/arils Yes
Juice Yes
Pith No
Rind No
Roots, stems, leaves No
Flowers Yes

The seeds, juice, and flowers are the only parts routinely consumed. The rind, pith, roots, stems, and leaves are considered inedible and may cause digestive upset if eaten.

Can you eat pomegranate seeds raw?

Yes, pomegranate seeds can be eaten raw right out of the fruit. In fact, this is the most common way people enjoy them. Pomegranate seeds make for a sweet, refreshing snack or colorful addition to salads and desserts.

The seeds contain beneficial plant compounds that may degrade from prolonged cooking at high temperatures. Eating them raw maximizes their crisp texture and nutritional value.

Are pomegranate seeds safe to eat for babies and toddlers?

Pomegranate seeds may pose a choking hazard for babies and young toddlers due to the seeds’ small size. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not giving whole pomegranate seeds to children under age 4.

However, if prepared properly, babies can start eating pomegranate seeds around 6–12 months old. Here are some tips for giving pomegranate seeds to babies:

  • Wait to introduce until baby is ready for finger foods.
  • Always supervise baby when eating seeds.
  • Crush, mash, or blend seeds to break down before serving.
  • Mix into yogurt, oatmeal, or purees for an easier texture.

Introduce pomegranate seeds slowly and watch for any signs of allergies. Though healthy, hold off on seeds for infants under 6 months old due to choking concerns.

Do pomegranate seeds promote weight loss?

Some research indicates pomegranate seeds may aid weight loss in multiple ways:

  • High in fiber and protein: The fiber and protein in seeds help increase satiety, which may decrease calorie intake.
  • Low in calories: Seeds are lower in calories than many other fruits.
  • impacts metabolism: Compounds in seeds may boost metabolism and fat burning.
  • Anti-obesity effects: Pomegranate extracts reduced fat cell growth and obesity in some animal studies.

That said, human research is limited and more studies are needed. Eating the seeds alone is unlikely to lead to significant weight loss if your overall diet is unhealthy.

Do pomegranate seeds help digestion?

Yes, eating pomegranate seeds may benefit digestion in a few ways:

  • Rich in fiber: The fiber in pomegranate seeds helps add bulk to stools and promotes regular bowel movements.
  • Contain antioxidants: These compounds may protect against inflammation in the gut and resulting damage.
  • Aid growth of healthy gut bacteria: Pomegranates contain polyphenols that act as prebiotics for probiotics.

Limited evidence also suggests pomegranate extracts may help reduce diarrhea. More studies are needed on the direct effects of the seeds on digestion.

Should you eat pomegranate seeds every day?

Eating pomegranate seeds daily can be healthy as part of a balanced diet. Potential benefits of daily consumption include:

  • May lower heart disease risk: Polyphenols may improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Help reduce inflammation: Powerful anti-inflammatory effects, especially for joints and muscles.
  • Support brain function: Antioxidants are linked to neuroprotective benefits.
  • Fight oxidative stress: Daily intake provides continuous antioxidant protection.

Aim for around 1⁄2–1 cup (60–150 grams) of seeds per day. monitor your portions. Though healthy, they’re high in calories and fructose.


Pomegranate seeds are highly nutritious, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects. Eating the seeds whole provides the most nutritional benefits. Chew the seeds thoroughly before swallowing to enhance digestion.

Choose seeds free of pits and rind, which are not edible. Enjoy pomegranate seeds as a snack or added to salads, desserts, and more. Pair them with probiotics for an extra gut health boost.

Incorporate up to one cup of pomegranate seeds per day as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Consider juicing them for babies or people who have difficulty chewing.

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