Will pomegranate seeds hurt my young daughter?
December 12, 2012 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Are pomegranate seeds safe for my 8 year old daughter to eat?

I heard that pomegranate seeds were really healthy and I bought them for me, but my 8 year old daughter loves them. She eats spoonfuls of them. But now I'm reading that they have something in them like estrogen? I don't want to hurt her with high estrogen. Do any of you have a better understanding about this than me.

I just don't want to be giving her something that could harm her.

posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My kids -- 8 and 9 year old girls -- eat them all the time. I would think that they have a lot less estrogen than many other foods. I actually tend not to worry about anything plant based.

Enjoy! Yum!
posted by mamabear at 2:58 PM on December 12, 2012

Here's an article from Science Daily regarding pomegranate and estrogen.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:08 PM on December 12, 2012

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre--which I'd consider a credible source--it is OK to let kids eat pomegranate seeds and drink the juice in moderation.

Note: The studies cited in the references list are only as recent as 2009, so I don't know if there is more current research suggesting it's not safe. I was not able to find anything peer-reviewed that suggested it wasn't.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2012

I have very fond memories of being plunked outside with a whole pomegranate and having to break it open to work out the tasty seeds. If moderation is the key, perhaps instead of giving her the easily accessible already de-pomegranated seeds, you could get her a whole one. They are messy to tear apart though, so fair warning, have her do it in a place where she won't stain anything important (hence my mom putting me outside, but I was in Southern California, so it wasn't child abuse to lock your kid outside in winter).
posted by cecic at 3:25 PM on December 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

But now I'm reading that they have something in them like estrogen? I don't want to hurt her with high estrogen.

Lots of things have phytoestrogens in them. They're generally considered good for humans.
Multigrain bread, soy milk, beans, peas, flax, hummus, garlic, tofu, peanut butter, sesame seeds- all are significant sources of phytoestrogens. The amount of pomegranate your daughter consumes is probably a blip compared to those foods. I would not worry about it unless your daughter is not otherwise eating a balanced diet.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:46 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

She might have to spend six months in the underworld. Other than that, I think it would take a lot of seeds to be an issue (if phytoestrogens really cause a problem, which is still up in the air). I'd be more concerned if she were drinking gallons of the juice.
posted by Violet Hour at 4:49 PM on December 12, 2012 [27 favorites]

I ate pomegranate's all the time when they were in season as a child (for as long as I can remember), and turned out just fine.
posted by echo0720 at 5:03 PM on December 12, 2012

I have happy memories of eating pomegranates from a friend's tree as a kid, from about age 9 on, and have had no problems that can (that I know of) be attributed to too much estrogen at a young age. In fact, according to the Wikipedia entry on menarche, I was slightly older than the median age when I first got my period (but still well within the normal range).

They do stain like whoa, though. Not a fruit for eating while wearing white.
posted by Lexica at 7:07 PM on December 12, 2012

Yeah, adding to the chorus, my grandparents had a pomegranate tree and I ate them all summer, every summer for most of my life. I was a late bloomer physically, and am female, so the estrogens present did not seem to impact my development significantly.
posted by town of cats at 8:13 PM on December 12, 2012

Pomegranate is used to make grenadine, one of the key ingredients of Shirley Temples.
posted by brujita at 10:24 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

some people find them constipating. FYI.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:28 PM on December 12, 2012

They won't be safe on your daughter's clothing, but they'll be fine for her to eat.

Just make sure she's outdoors and wearing clothes you don't mind getting stained.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:07 AM on December 13, 2012

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