Health Benefits of Pomelos
The pomelo is an unusual member of the citrus fruit that has a surprising number of health benefits for those people 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.
Pomelos are considered citrus fruits, and are closely related to grapefruits and the other members of the Citrus genus. Its scientific name of 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, and primarily found there. 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 if pulpy and white. 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 compounds 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
Immune System: 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.
Digestion: 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.
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 tension of blood vessels and promotes increased blood circulation and oxygenation of organ systems. This also reduces strain on the heart and lowers your chances of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Body Cramping: Potassium is also important in 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.
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.
Anti-Aging: The huge levels of vitamin C in pomelos act as antioxidants, which seek out those dangerous free radicals. One unfortunate thing that free radicals cause is degradation of the skin and 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!
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.
A Few 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!