Pomelo – also called pummelo, pommelo, shaddock, or Chinese grapefruit – is the largest member of the citrus (Rutaceae) family. Some pomelos can be as big as volleyballs. The pale green or yellow fruit has a pink, white, or red inside that tastes like a slightly sweeter grapefruit. It is native to Southeast Asia and is less commonly consumed in the United States, but if you can find it, adding pomelo to your diet can boost nutrition and provide certain health benefits.
Pomelo is a large Asian citrus fruit that’s closely related to grapefruit.
Pomelo Nutrition Facts
It contains several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make it a healthy addition to your diet.
Nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one peeled pomelo fruit (609 g).
● Calories: 231
● Fat: 0.2 g
● Sodium: 6.1 mg
● Carbohydrates: 59 g
● Fiber: 6.1 g
● Protein: 4.6 g
● Vitamin C: 116 mg
● Riboflavin: 12.6% of the Daily Value (DV)
● Thiamin: 17.3% of the DV
● Vitamin C: 412% of the DV
● Copper: 32% of the DV
● Potassium: 28% of the DV
There are two types of Carbohydrate in Pomelo
Naturally occurring sugars and fiber. You’ll get just over 6 grams of fiber, or about 24% of your recommended daily intake, in a single pomelo.
The exact glycemic index (GI) of pomelo has not been recorded, although because it is high in sugar and does not provide a lot of fiber, it is likely a high glycemic food. One study that investigated the glycemic impact of a specific type of pomelo (Majia pomelo) estimated the glycemic index to be between 72 and 78 and the glycemic load to be around 4 to 5. As a reference, foods with a GI of 55 or more are considered high glycemic foods.
● Fats – as is typical of most fruits, there is only a very small amount of fat in pomelo.
● Vitamins and Minerals – pomelo is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing a whopping 619% of your daily recommended needs in one fruit. You’ll also benefit from small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 when you consume this citrus fruit.
● Minerals – pomelo include potassium (33% of your daily recommended needs) and smaller amounts phosphorus, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
● Help Fight Cancer
Vitamin C (L -ascorbic acid) is essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It aids in the absorption of iron, promotes wound healing, and may also help to prevent disease. In fact, studies investigating the role of citrus in cancer prevention are showing that the juices and extract of these fruits may provide a positive benefit.
Pomelo may likewise help kill cancer cells and prevent the spread of cancer.
One study in mice found that pomelo peel extract suppressed tumor growth, boosted the immune system, and killed cancer cells. A similar study observed that an extract made from pomelo leaves killed skin cancer cells in mice.
In addition, naringenin – one of the main antioxidants in pomelo – has been shown to kill prostate and pancreatic cancer cells, as well as slow the spread of lung cancer in test-tube studies.
Finally, it’s important to remember that pomelo fruit contains much smaller amount of these potentially cancer-killing compounds than the concentrated forms used in studies.
● Supports Digestive Health
You’ll also get a boost of fiber when you eat pomelo. Most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets. Fiber helps to boost satiety, improves digestive health, and may help to lower blood cholesterol. Current guidelines suggest that you consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day.
● Protects Against Chronic Diseases
One study, for example, identified several antioxidants in pomelos that could help lower cholesterol. Another study, published in 2014, found several pomelo varieties that were a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidant activity.
● Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Pomelos are an excellent source of potassium, which is important for many cellular functions. In particular, it is important for keeping blood pressure at normal levels.
● Full of Fiber
One pomelo offers 6 grams of fiber. Most people should aim to get at 25 grams of fiber per day,so the fruit is an excellent way to help you meet your needs. It’s particularly rich in insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to your stool and prevent constipation.
Dietary fiber also serves as a food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut. In addition, fruit fiber, such as that of pomelo, has been associated with improved bone density, long-term weight maintenance, improved gut and brain health, and decreased risk of some chronic diseases.
● May Promote Weight Loss
Pomelo may help you lose weight. One peeled pomelo (about 21 ounces or 160 grams) contains 230 calories, which is a relatively low number for such a large volume of food. Eating a lot of low calorie foods can help keep you full on fewer calories.
Both protein-and fiber-containing foods help induce feelings of fullness. Thus, you may find it easier to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight by choosing these foods.
● Rich in Antioxidants
Pomelo is full of antioxidants, which can help prevent and reverse cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are compounds found in the environment and food. They can cause health problems and chronic disease when they build up in your body in high levels.
Pomelo not only contains over 400% of the DV for vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, but also packs several other antioxidant compounds. The main antioxidants in pomelo are naringenin and naringin both of which are commonly found in citrus fruit.
Additionally, pomelos contain lycopene, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that’s also present in tomatoes. Many of the benefits of pomelos, such as their anti-aging and heart-healthy properties, are credited to their high antioxidant content.
● May Boost Heart Health
Pomelos may boost heart health by reducing levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, two blood fats that have been linked to heart disease.
One 21-day study in rats found that supplementing with concentrated pomelo extract reduced triglyceride levels by up to 21% total cholesterol by up to 6%, and LDL (bad) cholesterol by up tp 41%.
Another study noted that pomelo may reduce these blood fats by preventing the cholesterol in food from being fully absorbed into the body.
However, more research in humans is needed to establishe a connection between pomelo fruit and heart health.
Note that you should avoid pomelo if you’re taking statin drugs for high cholesterol.
Like grapefruit, pomelos contain compounds called furanocoumarins, which can affect the metabolism of statins.
● May have Anti-Aging Properties
Due to its high antioxidant content, pomelo may exert anti-aging effects.
Antioxidant, including vitamin C, can help prevent skin damage caused by harmful free radicals, helping you maintain a more youthful apperance.
Pomelo may also decrease the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are caused by high blood sugar levels.
AGEs can contribute to the aging process by causing skin discoloration, poor circulation, and vision and kidney problems – especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
However, one test-tube study found that pomelo extract significantly decreased the amount of AGEs that were formed after exposure to sugar.
Moreover, essential oil from the peel of pomelo is rich in antioxidants and can decrease melanin production in the skin, potentially helping prevent discoloration and sunspots.
● May be Antibacterial and Antifungal
Pomelo may also have antibacterial and antifungal properties, though most of the research on these effects has used essential oils made from pomelo peel.
In one test-tube study, pomelo essential oil slowed the growth of bacteria on soft contact lenses.
Another study observed that pomelo essential oil killed Penicillium expansum, a fungus that can produce a harmful neurotoxin, more effectively than orange, lime, or lemon oils.
While the fruit itself may boast some of these antibacterial and antifungal properties, more research is needed.
Because essential oils are highly concentrated, you should not ingest them, and they should be properly diluted before you apply them to skin.
The Bottom Line
Pomelo is a highly nutritious fruit that’s low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
It also contains fiber and protein, which can help keep you full for longer.
While it boast many potential benefits, more research in humans is needed to fully understands its health effects.
All in all, pomelo fruit is a healthy, unique addition to your diet.
Reference: verywellfit.com / healthline.com