9 Health Benefits of Pomelo (and How to Eat It)

9 Health Benefits of Pomelo (and How to Eat It)

Written by SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD on November 15, 2019 — Medically reviewed by Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice)

From http://www.healthline.com

Written by SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD on November 15, 2019 — Medically reviewed by Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice)
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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 (1Trusted Source):

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 (2Trusted Source).

Pomelo is also rich in other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance and blood pressure (3Trusted Source).

Furthermore, pomelo contains several other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Pomelo is particularly rich in vitamin C and potassium and contains several other vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and fiber.

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 (4Trusted Source).

It’s particularly rich in insoluble fiber, which helps add bulk to your stool and prevent constipation (5Trusted Source).

Dietary fiber also serves as a food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut (6Trusted Source).

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 (7Trusted Source).

One pomelo packs 6 grams of fiber. Fiber can help add bulk to your stools, feed healthy gut bacteria, and promote overall wellness.

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 (8Trusted Source).

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 (9Trusted Source).

Pomelo fruit is relatively low in calories for its large size and contains protein and fiber — both of which can help you feel full for longer.

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 (10Trusted Source).

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 (11Trusted Source).

Additionally, pomelos contain lycopene, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that’s also present in tomatoes (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Many of the benefits of pomelos, such as their anti-aging and heart-healthy properties, are credited to their high antioxidant content.

Pomelos contain high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C, naringenin, naringin, and lycopene, which may offer various health benefits.

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% (14Trusted Source).

Another study noted that pomelo may reduce these blood fats by preventing the cholesterol in food from being fully absorbed into the body (14Trusted Source).

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 (15Trusted Source).

Pomelo extract has been shown to reduce blood fat levels in animal studies, but more research in humans is needed. If you’re taking a statin drug, you should avoid pomelo.

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 (2Trusted Source).

Pomelo may also decrease the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are caused by high blood sugar levels (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

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 (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

However, one test-tube study found that pomelo extract significantly decreased the amount of AGEs that were formed after exposure to sugar (16Trusted Source).

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 (18Trusted Source).

Pomelo may have anti-aging properties due to its antioxidant content and ability to decrease the formation of AGEs.

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 (19Trusted Source).

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 (20Trusted Source).

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.

Pomelo essential oils are antibacterial and antifungal. However, more research is needed to understand whether the fruit offers these benefits.

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 (21Trusted Source).

A similar study observed that an extract made from pomelo leaves killed skin cancer cells in mice (22Trusted Source).

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 (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).

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.

Extract from pomelo peels and leaves have been shown to kill cancer cells and prevent the spread of cancer in test-tube studies. However, more research in humans is needed to understand how pomelo fruit affects cancer.

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.

Pomelo is easy to peel and can be eaten by itself or used in recipes. Dried pomelo contains more sugar and calories than raw pomelo.

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.

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