Pomelo is a large Asian citrus fruit that’s closely related to grapefruit.
It’s shaped like a teardrop and has green or yellow flesh and a thick, pale rind. It can grow to the size of a cantaloupe or larger.
Pomelo tastes similar to grapefruit, but it’s sweeter.
It contains several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make it a healthy addition to your diet.
Here are 9 health benefits of pomelo, including how to easily add it to your diet.
1. Highly nutritious
Pomelo contains a variety of vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of vitamin C.
One peeled pomelo (about 21 ounces or 610 grams) contains:
- Calories: 231
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 59 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Riboflavin: 12.6% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Thiamine: 17.3% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 412% of the DV
- Copper: 32% of the DV
- Potassium: 28% of the DV
One fruit packs several days’ worth of vitamin C, a powerful immune-boosting antioxidant that helps prevent cellular damage from harmful compounds called free radicals.
Pomelo is also rich in other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance and blood pressure.
Furthermore, pomelo contains several other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.
2. Full of fiber
One pomelo offers 6 grams of fiber. Most people should aim to get at least 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 a decreased risk of some chronic diseases.
3. May promote weight loss
Pomelo may help you lose weight.
One peeled pomelo (about 21 ounces or 610 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.
What’s more, pomelo contains protein and fiber, both of which can help keep you feeling full for longer.
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.
4. 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 fruits.
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.
5. 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 to 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 establish a connection between pomelo fruit and heart health.
Note that you should avoid pomelo if you’re taking statin drugs for high cholesterol.
Like grapefruits, pomelos contain compounds called furanocoumarins, which can affect the metabolism of statins.
6. May have anti-aging properties
Due to its high antioxidant content, pomelo may exert anti-aging effects.
Antioxidants, including vitamin C, can help prevent skin damage caused by harmful free radicals, helping you maintain a more youthful appearance.
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.
7. 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 your skin.
8. May fight cancer cells
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.
Still, more research in humans is needed to fully understand pomelo’s effect on cancer.
Finally, it’s important to remember that pomelo fruit contains much smaller amounts of these potentially cancer-killing compounds than the concentrated forms used in studies.
9. Easy to add to your diet
Pomelo is easy to add to your diet.
You may be able to purchase fresh pomelo at a local Asian market, and dried pomelo is available online.
Though dried pomelo is commonly used to make desserts or eaten as candy in some Asian countries, it’s much higher in calories and added sugar than fresh pomelo.
To peel pomelo, cut off an inch (2.5 cm) from the pointed end of the fruit. Then cut several inch-long (2.5 cm-long) notches into the thick rind around its diameter.
Peel the rind off section by section using these notches.
After peeling the skin, you can easily divide the remaining fruit into sections. Like other citrus fruits, pomelo fruit is separated into sections by a thin, white, fibrous membrane — called the pith — that makes it easy to pull apart.
Pomelo can be eaten by itself as a snack or used as a substitute for other citrus fruits in recipes. It also makes an excellent addition to salads.
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 boasts many potential benefits, more research in humans is needed to fully understand its health effects.
All in all, pomelo fruit is a healthy, unique addition to your diet.
Source: Health Line