Dietribes

Pomegranate vs. Apple


Food Fight logoThe fight between these antioxidant-rich fruits goes back to Adam and Eve – was it a pomegranate or an apple that got them kicked out of the Garden of Eden? Who comes out of top in this historical grudge match: the expensive and exotic pomegranate or humble apple-a-day?

Pomegranate (100 g)
  VS Apple
(100 g)
Iran Origin Kazakhstan
4,479 μmol TE ORAC*
3,049 μmol TE
$1.00 Cost** $0.33
83 kcal Calories  52 kcal
18.7 g Carbohydrate
 13.8 g
13.7 g Sugars  10.4 g
4.0 g Fibre
 1.9 g
236 mg Potassium
 107 mg
10.2 mg Vitamin C  13.8 mg

No Baloney’s results? Apples definitely win on cost (and ease of eating!), but we have to give the healthy win to pomegranate, particularly if you are trying to boost your antioxidant intake. We advise you to invest the time to consume the whole fruit instead of the flashy pomegranate juice to get the most bang for your buck: there are only 2,681 ORAC units in 100 g of pomegranate juice (about 1/3 cup)… and no fibre! If you opt for apples most often, granny smith (3,898) and red delicious (4,275) are the highest in antioxidants.

While there seems to be a new “super food” every year, often those that are the highest in antioxidants are the strong, silent types. For instance, raw chokeberries and elderberries, as well as raisins contain > 10,000 ORAC units per 100 g! Going for deep red and purple colour in your fruit is a great strategy to boost antioxidants too: black currants (7,957), plums (6,100), blackberries (5,905), raspberries (5,061) and blueberries (4,669) are all loaded with good-for-you phytochemicals and are available year-round in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Often it’s all about marketing. 100 g of prunes contains 8,059 ORAC units, but most people only associate prunes with reducing constipation! Perhaps 2012 should be the “Year of the Prune”…

Nutrition information from the Canadian Nutrient File: “pomegranate, raw” and “apple, raw, with skin”

*ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, a measure of the antioxidant potential of foods. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/orac

**We used the December 2011 CTV Calgary grocery price comparison (average price) to establish cost per 100 g.

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2 thoughts on “Pomegranate vs. Apple

  1. I’m not a fan of the whole “superfood” craze.

    Most of the time, “superfoods” are expensive, hard-to-get and often shipped in from halfway around the world. Because of the shipping, they can also be stored for long periods, which causes them to lose a lot of nutrients, so what you see on the official figures may not be what you are actually eating when it gets to you.

    I really think you’re best off eating what is local, seasonal, and affordable. According to your prices listed above, you could pay for 3x the amount of apples for the price of the same amount of pomegranates. So you can triple the nutrient figures (per dollar) in the apples, if you want to work out how much you can afford in your budget.

    The best place to get fruit is always your backyard first (plant trees if you can), then the local farmer’s market, then stores.

    But hey – what would I know? I’m just a farmer 😉 So I might be a bit biased!

  2. Agreed! We do try to encourage local, seasonal eating whenever possible. You can’t go wrong choosing fruits and veggies that are saturated in bright colour, and you are absolutely correct about nutrient degradation. That’s why I try to freeze berries when they are in season and avoid the ones from Chile in the supermarket in the winter. Stayed tuned for our upcoming Eat This! – I think you will like the veggie we’re spotlighting. 🙂

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