10 Impressive Benefits of Pomelo Fruit (Pummelo)

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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Pomelo is a citrus fruit that has a number of health benefits for people. For those people willing to do a bit of searching for this fruit, these impressive health benefits of pomelo include its ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, and reduce cramping. It may also help reduce signs of premature aging, aid in weight loss, and boost oral and dental health.

What is a Pomelo or Pummelo?

Pomelo is considered a citrus fruit and it is closely related to grapefruits and other members of the Citrus genus. Its scientific name is Citrus maxima. It is quite large in size and the closest in size to these kinds of citrus fruits is a grapefruit. Pomelo is primarily found in Southeast Asia, which is its native region. It has not become popular in other parts of the world because it typically takes eight years to grow before the seeds can begin to flower and bear any fruit. Also, much of the weight and volume of pomelo is tough and inedible, while only the inner flesh is palatable.

The taste of pomelo is quite pleasant, with the consistency of grapefruit, however, without the tart or tangy flavor. This fruit is usually pale green or yellow in color, while the edible flesh inside is pulpy and white, pink, or red, depending on the variety. The history of its use dates back to at least a few hundred years, although it has likely been cultivated for far longer than that in Southeast Asian countries.

Close-up view of pomelo fruit

Pomelo fruits have a sweet and non-bitter taste.Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Pummelo, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]89.1
Energy [kcal]38
Energy [kJ]159
Protein [g]0.76
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.04
Ash [g]0.48
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.62
Fiber, total dietary [g]1
Calcium, Ca [mg]4
Iron, Fe [mg]0.11
Magnesium, Mg [mg]6
Phosphorus, P [mg]17
Potassium, K [mg]216
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.08
Copper, Cu [mg]0.05
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.02
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]61
Thiamin [mg]0.03
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.22
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.04
Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]10
Vitamin A, IU [IU]8
Sources include : USDA

Pomelo Nutrition

The reason that pomelo is popular is due to its strong nutritional value, including its vitamin, mineral, and organic content like vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Pomelo Health Benefits

The health benefits of these citrus fruits are explained below.

Boosts Immunity

Each pomelo fruit contains approximately 600 percent of your daily vitamin C (ascorbic acid) requirement. This major source of ascorbic acid has been used for generations in Southeast Asia as a quick immune system booster. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to increase white blood cell activity and attack free radicals, which can damage the organs of the body. It helps to fight off infections that lead to colds, coughs, fevers, and serious symptoms or microbial, viral, and bacterial infections.

Aids in Digestion

Most fruits contain high amounts of fiber and pomelos are no exception. One pomelo (the edible flesh only), contains about 25 percent of your daily requirement of fiber. Adequate fiber promotes healthy digestion and eliminates problems like constipation and diarrhea. High fiber content bulks up the stool, promotes smooth movement in the digestive tract, and stimulates the secretion of digestive and gastric juices to break down complex proteins which are difficult to digest. This keeps the digestive system functioning at a high level.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Pomelo fruit is a very good source of potassium, roughly 37 percent of your daily requirement. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension in the blood vessels, and increases blood circulation and oxygenation in the organs. It also reduces the strain on the heart and lowers your chances of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Weight Loss

Both pomelo and grapefruit contain a “fat-burning enzyme” that can help you reduce weight. It is called carnitine palmitoyl-transferase and is not found in many foods. This enzyme can boost your battle against the bulge; many dieters, therefore, choose to include pomelo in their diets.

Prevents Cramping

Potassium is important for the fluid balance in the body. It is a key aspect of muscle cramping and stiffness. Without proper levels of potassium, you will likely face cramps and become susceptible to pulled muscles and torn ligaments. Lucky for us, pomelo supply a good amount of potassium content, which can help achieve this health goal.

Improves Bone Health

Another boon of adequate potassium is that it can aid in preventing osteoporosis. Potassium intake has been connected to bone mineral density as it helps to facilitate the uptake of other essential minerals for keeping bones strong.

Anti-aging Properties

The high levels of vitamin C in the pomelo fruit act as antioxidants, which seek out dangerous free radicals. One adverse effect that free radicals cause is the degradation of the skin, which results in signs of premature aging, like wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. High vitamin C intake can prevent this, so eat some more pomelos! Pomelo also contains spermidine, a rare chemical that is actually found in human sperm, which has been closely linked to anti-aging properties as well.

Oral Health

Vitamin C, found in pomelos, is essential for producing collagen, which strengthens tissues, organs, and cells. This can boost the strength of your gums and oral surfaces to prevent them from becoming infected or weak, which can result in tooth loss and dangerous oral illnesses. It is also an excellent home remedy for bleeding gums.

Improves Wound Healing

High Vitamin C content has been shown to help replace dead tissue with healthy tissue and promotes wound healing. Pomelo fruit contains vitamin C. Obtaining adequate amounts from this fruit and other foods also promotes the development of collagen which makes the skin more flexible and fastens up healing.

Hair Care

The high levels of vitamin B1, zinc, and other essential nutrients in pomelo fruit are thought to promote hair health and help prevent dandruff. It also improves the quality of hair.

Pomelo vs Grapefruit

  • Pomelo is not a grapefruit, although it is easy to mistake the two, given their similar size, color, and taste.
  • They are both members of the citrus family and share many of the same nutritional profiles.
  • Pomelo is the largest of the citrus fruits, with grapefruit as a close second.
  • Pomelo is native to Malaysia, while grapefruit was first found in Barbados, and is now mainly grown in China.

How to Eat a Pomelo?

Pomelos aren’t the easiest fruits to eat or peel, based on their thick rind. Here are the steps to peel and cut a pomelo:

  • Step 1: Using a sharp knife, start by cutting off the “cap” of the fruit. (You may have to cut through an inch, depending on the size of the pomelo.)
  • Step 2: Then, make 8-10 vertical slices around the outside of the fruit, starting from the cut end.
  • Step 3: Now, pull the thick rind down and away from the fleshy interior, which looks much like an orange. Pull the rind off the fruit completely.
  • Step 4: Then, pull the fleshy sections apart and remove the seeds.
  • Step 5: Discard the excess fibrous material and enjoy!

Word of Caution: The high levels of vitamin C and potassium in this fruit can make it hazardous for patients with liver and kidney conditions. Also, patients with hypotension must speak with a healthcare professional as pomelo lowers the blood pressure significantly.

Other than that, enjoy this rare and powerful fruit for better overall health!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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