Pomelo, pronounced pum-mel-o, is the largest of all citrus fruits. It has a round shape that resembles a grapefruit, but the skin tends to be greenish to yellow. What makes pomelo different from all other citrus fruits is that the fruit is protected by very thick skin. Upon peeling the fruit open, you’ll notice a thick, spongy pith before you discover the yellow, or sometimes pink, flesh.
The pomelo is highly nutritious and primarily found in Southeast Asia, its native region. Some people in Asian countries use pomelo flowers to make perfume, as they have an enchanting scent. Sometimes, people in the Philippines use pomelo to soothe chronic coughing or epileptic episodes. It can take up to eight years before a tree bears any fruit, which is not palatable for some. Ideally, the taste is pleasant, slightly tart with a sweet undertone. The flavor of the fruit will depend on when you pick it, and that can be a difficult feat.
You may not find them in a regular grocery store, but you may find them in Asian supermarkets. When you choose a pomelo, opt for the varieties that are more yellowish than green. Make sure to remove the rind and thick pith to get to the fruit, which has a slightly sour flavor. If you can handle the tartness, you can enjoy the following health benefits.
Excellent Source Of Fiber
If you want to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, health experts suggest optimizing digestive health. One of the best ways to do that is to supply the body with fiber. A 2017 article said that about 95% of U.S. residents don’t eat enough fiber. One pomelo contains six grams of fiber, which satisfies about one-fifth of the recommended daily intake. The insoluble fiber content helps to add bulk to your stool and reduces the risk of constipation. Additionally, pomelo’s fiber has been associated with improved gut and brain health.
The antioxidants and vitamin C in pomelos may help to protect the skin from oxidative stress, helping you maintain a youthful glow. Without combatting free radicals in the skin, you can develop wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, and dark spots prematurely. A 2013 report said that pomelos may lower the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs can cause skin-related issues like spots and discoloration.
May Boost Heart Health
A 21-day animal study involved rats and pomelo extract supplementation. After receiving concentrated pomelo extract for 21 days, the researchers saw a 21% decrease in triglyceride levels and a 41% decrease in bad LDL cholesterol. Both triglycerides and cholesterol are blood fats that, when left unmonitored, can increase the risk heart disease. More human research is still necessary to determine if pomelos are effective at improving heart health.
May Combat Cancer Cells
It’s possible that pomelo has the potential to kill cancer cells and prevent their spread. A mice study found that an extract made from pomelo leaves was effective at killing skin cancer cells. A different mice study found that pomelo peel extract was able to suppress tumor growth. The same study found that this extract enhanced immune function and killed cancer cells. Additionally, the naringenin in pomelo has proven to kill prostate and pancreatic cancer cells in test-tube studies.
Rich In Antioxidants
The high antioxidant concentration makes pomelos excellent for keeping cells healthy. Protecting cells from free radical damage can help to ward off common health problems and chronic diseases. Naringenin and naringin are the two prominent antioxidants in pomelos, but they also exist in other citrus fruits. Lycopene, another antioxidant, also exists in pomelos and it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Lastly, one pomelo contains over 400% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant.
May Regulate Blood Pressure
As a great source of potassium, it’s possible that pomelos may help regulate blood pressure. One pomelo fruit satisfies about 37% of your recommended daily intake of potassium, which acts as a vasodilator. As a vasodilator, potassium releases tension in blood vessels and increases circulation to other organs. Additionally, a vasodilator like potassium reduces strain on the heart and lowers your risk of developing atherosclerosis.