Pomelo is a 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 pomelo include its ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, reduce cramping, prevent anemia, improve bone strength, reduce signs of premature aging, prevent cancer, protect heart health, aid in weight loss, and boost oral and dental health.
What are Pomelos?
Pomelos are considered citrus fruits and they are closely related to grapefruits and other members of the Citrus genus. Their scientific name is Citrus maxima because they are the largest citrus fruits. The closest in size to these kinds of citrus fruits is a grapefruit. Pomelos are primarily found in Southeast Asia, which is their native region. They have not become popular in other parts of the world because they typically take 8 years to grow 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. These fruits are usually pale green or yellow in color, while the edible flesh inside is pulpy and white (or, more rarely, pink or red). The history of their use dates back to at least a few hundred years, although they have likely been cultivated for far longer than that in Southeast Asian countries.
Nutritional Value of Pomelos
The reason that pomelos are popular is due to their strong nutritional value, including their vitamins, minerals, and organic content like vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Pomelos
The health benefits of these citrus fruits are explained below.
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 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.
Aid in 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 which are difficult to digest. 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 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.
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 will likely face cramps 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.
The high 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 spermidine, a rare chemical that is actually found in human sperm, hence the name. This has been closely linked to anti-aging properties as well!
Both grapefruits and pomelos 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 foods.
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.
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 (low blood pressure) can be in danger since pomelos lower the blood pressure significantly. Other than that, enjoy these rare and powerful fruits for a 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 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 looks much like an orange. Pull the fleshy sections apart and remove the seeds. The fibrous tissue around the flesh can be bitter, so either remove it or add a bit of sugar. Enjoy!
How to peel a Pomelo?
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 10-12 sections of the fruit, removing the seeds. Discard 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 fruits, but grapefruit is a close second. Pomelos are native to Malaysia, but grapefruits were first found in Barbados, and are now mainly grown in China!