The pomelo is an unusual member of the citrus fruit that has a surprising number of health benefits for people who are willing to do a bit of searching for it. These impressive health benefits of pomelos include its ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, reduce cramping, prevent anemia, boost bone strength, reduce signs of premature aging, prevent cancer, protect heart health, aid in weight loss, and boost oral and dental health.
Table of Contents
- What are Pomelos?
- Nutritional Value of Pomelos
- Health Benefits of Pomelos
- Pomelo FAQs
What are Pomelos?
Pomelos are considered citrus fruits, and are closely related to grapefruits and the other members of the Citrus genus. Its scientific name is Citrus maxima because it is the largest citrus fruit. The closest in size to this king of citrus fruits is a grapefruit. Pomelos are primarily found in Southeast Asia, which is their native region. It has not become widely popular in other parts of the world, because it typically takes 8 years before the seeds can begin to flower and bear fruit. Also, much of the weight and volume of pomelos is tough and inedible, while only the inner flesh is palatable.
Their taste, however, is quite pleasant, with the consistency of grapefruits without the tart or tangy flavor. It is usually pale green or yellow in color, while its edible flesh inside is pulpy and white (or, more rarely, pink or red). The history of its use dates back at least a few hundred years, although it has likely been cultivated for far longer than that in certain Southeast Asian countries. This is also primarily where you will find pomelos on the market, excluding certain specialty import grocery stores in the western world.
Nutritional Value of Pomelos
The reason that pomelos are popular is due to their very strong nutritional value, including their vitamins, minerals, and organic content like vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium. It does not have a strong variety of nutrients, but the ones that it does have are in impressive proportions, particularly vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Pomelos
Although a single serving is less than an entire fruit, considering how large they are, it isn’t a terrible idea to eat the entire fruit, considering that each fruit contains approximately 600% of your daily vitamin C 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 substance to increase white blood cell activity and attack free radicals, that can damage the organ systems of the body. It helps to fight off infections that lead to colds, coughs, fevers, and more serious symptoms or microbial, viral, and bacterial infections.
Most fruits contain high amounts of fiber, and pomelos are no exception. One pomelo (the edible flesh only), contains about 25% of your daily requirement of fiber. This 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 and more difficult to digest foods. This keeps the digestive system functioning at a high level.
Regulate Blood Pressure
Pomelos are a very good source of potassium, and each fruit contains roughly 37% of your daily requirement. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension of blood vessels and promotes increased blood circulation and oxygenation of organ systems. It also reduces strain on the heart and lowers your chances of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Prevent Body Cramps
Potassium is also important for the fluid balance in the body, which is a key aspect of muscle cramping and stiffness. Without proper levels of potassium, which pomelos can supply, you are likely to cramp up and become susceptible to pulled muscles and torn ligaments.
Improve Bone Health
Potassium intake has been connected to bone mineral density, as it helps to facilitate the uptake of other essential minerals for keeping the bones strong. Therefore, pomelos can aid in preventing osteoporosis and general bone weakness throughout the body.
Have Anti-aging Properties
The huge levels of vitamin C in pomelos act as antioxidants, which seek out dangerous free radicals. One adverse effect that free radicals cause is 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! Pomelos also contain spermadine, a rare chemical that is actually found in human sperm, hence the name. This has been closely linked to anti-aging properties as well!
Promote Weight Loss
Both grapefruits and pomelos contain a “fat-burning enzyme” that can help you reduce your weight. It is called Carnitine pamitoyl-transferase and is not found in many foods. However, it can seriously boost your battle against the bulge, so many dieters choose to include pomelo in their healthy eating habits.
Oral and Dental Health
Vitamin C 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.
Words 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, those patients with hypotension (low blood pressure) can be in danger since pomelos lower the blood pressure significantly. Other than that, enjoy these rare and powerful fruits for better overall health!
What is a pomelo?
A pomelo is a delicious citrus fruit, native to Southeast Asia and nearby regions, that looks quite a bit like a large grapefruit. The scientific name of this fruit is Citrus maxima, due to its size, but the name could also be attributed to the health benefits it can deliver! Pomelos have a sweet, mild taste and a very thick rind inside of the pale green or yellow exterior. The flesh itself is a pale white color, and is often sweetened with sugar.
How to eat a pomelo?
Pomelos aren’t the easiest fruits in the world to eat, based on their thick rind, but a good way to start is to cut the “cap” off the fruit, and then cut vertical slices on the sides of the fruit. Pull the thick rind down and away from the fleshy interior, which should now look much like an orange. Pull the fleshy sections apart and remove the seeds. Some of the fibrous tissue around the flesh can be bitter, so either remove it, or add a bit of sugar. Enjoy!
What is a pomelo fruit?
A pomelo fruit is the fruit of the pomelo tree. It is easy to mistake a pomelo for a grapefruit or other large citrus fruit, but it has a flavor and nutritional profile all its own. The pomelo fruit is usually pale green or yellow when it is ripe, holding a thick, white rind inside. In the center of a pomelo is the edible flesh, which is organized like an orange, and has the color of a pale grapefruit.
How to peel a pomelo?
Peeling a pomelo can be a challenge for some people, but you always need to start by cutting off the “cap” of the fruit. Then, make 8-10 vertical slices around the outside of the fruit. Now, peel back the rind on those slices, exposing the core of the fleshy fruit. Pull the rind off the fruit and then split the 10-12 sections of the fruit, removing the seeds contained inside. Then, pull of the excess fibrous material and enjoy!
Is pomelo a grapefruit?
A pomelo is not a grapefruit, although it is easy to mistake the two, given their size, color and taste.They are both members of the citrus family, and share many of the same nutritional profiles. Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit, but grapefruit are a close second. Pomelos are native to Malaysia, but grapefruits were first found in Barbados, and are now mainly grown in China!