Pomegranate's connection to Love & Health "Won't you be my Valentine?"
Fruits like grapes, apple, pear, cherries and berries contains up to 200–300 mg polyphenols per 100 grams fresh weight. Phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants might also help promote healthy aging by minimizing DNA damage caused by free radicals.
At important festivals in the Greek Orthodox calendar, including Christmas Day, it is customary to adorn the table with pomegranates (known as ‘polysporia’ meaning ‘many-seeded’) and on New Year’s Day it is traditional to break a pomegranate on the ground. On moving into a new home, house guests traditionally bring pomegranates as a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck for the new owner.
The pomegranate fruit has been used throughout history and in virtually every religion as a symbol of humanity’s central beliefs and ideals, namely, life and death, rebirth and eternal life, fertility and marriage, and abundance.
In Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate features prominently in the story of Persephone and her marriage to Hades, the god of the Underworld. Hades kidnapped Persephone and took her to the Underworld to be his wife. Persephone’s mother, Demeter, goddess of fertility, considering her daughter lost, went into mourning and thus all things on earth ceased to grow. Zeus, Persephone’s father, commanded his brother Hades to release her, however Hades had tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds, the rule of the Fates anyone who consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there.
Since Persephone had eaten the six pomegranate seeds, she had to remain in the Underworld for six months of the year. Hades agreed to release her to the world above for the other six months of the year, to be reunited with her mother.
This is how the ancient Greeks explained the cycle of the seasons: when Persephone was with her mother, the earth flourished and the crops grew (Spring and Summer); when she returned to Hades, Demeter mourned and the earth was infertile (Autumn and Winter).
As a consequence, pomegranates were often offered to the goddess Demeter in prayer for fertile land.
The pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub, widely considered to have originated in Persia, modern-day Iran, cultivated since ancient times. During the Greco-Persian Wars, the Persian soldiers carried spears adorned with golden and silver pomegranates instead of spikes (Herodotus, Histories 7.41).