More sweet than sour, with juicy meat and pulp, pomelos are grandfathers to grapefruits. This gentle giant of the citrus family is native to Malaysia and Southeast Asia but has been introduced to many tropical countries as well as California, Florida, and Hawaii of the United States. It is also called pulmetto, shaddock, French chadec, Malayan limau besar, Bali lemon, and Chinese grapefruit.
I discovered the fruit when a client shared her tree's bounty. The delicious pomelo can enhance a healthy diet. Here are 10 reasons why.
Sweet with just a hint of grapefruit-like tang, pomelos are refreshing first thing in the morning or cold from the refrigerator, as a fortifying snack. Its juice can be a tasty addition to sauces, salads, salsas, and marinades. The curious mixture of melon-like sweetness with citrus tang makes pomelo juice a welcome addition to many recipes—add a skinless, seedless wedge to flavor your favorite iced tea.
2. Low Calorie and Low Fat
Pomelos have 0% fat and 72 calories per cup/190 grams—a dieter's delight! Most everyone has heard of the Grapefruit Diet, which become popular in Hollywood in the 1930s and saw another resurgence in the 1970s. Both grapefruit and pomelo contain a fat-burning enzyme, which theoretically increases the dieter's success. This fad diet consisted of an extremely low-calorie intake and eating grapefruit before every meal.
Due to its extremely low-calorie intake, the Grapefruit Diet is unhealthy, but the principle behind eating grapefruits is a sound one. Pomelos, like grapefruits, have a fiber content of 8% daily value or DV. The Food and Drug Administration describes DV as the recommended daily intake for nutrients for adults and children ages four and up. Eating fiber creates a full feeling in your stomach, so you eat less. Eating fiber also keeps your bowels healthy and prevents colon cancer.
4. Vitamin C
Citrus fruit are bursting with vitamin C, and the pomelo is no exception. A pomelo provides 193% DV of vitamin C. Recent studies have shown vitamin C strengthens your immune system when it weakens due to stress. And although vitamin C can not cure the common cold, it can prevent you from developing additional cold complications such as lung infections or pneumonia. Persons with a higher concentration of vitamin C in their blood have a 42% lower risk of developing a stroke. Vitamin C has been shown to aid in macular degeneration, inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular deterioration.
5. Heart Health
Pomelos have 410 mg of potassium per serving, which, like vitamin C, plays a role in supporting the heart. There is no DV for potassium, but 4700 mg per day is considered adequate. This essential mineral regulates blood pressure levels. Abundant with pectin, pomelo juice is capable of clearing the arterial deposits accumulated in the body, thereby reducing the impurities and benefiting people with hypertension. People on blood-thinning, kidney, and other medications need to use caution when eating rich potassium foods like pomelos, as it can have a negative impact and serious health complications.
6. Cancer Fighter
The Chinese use the pomelo rind in many dishes. The skin of the fruit is very rich in bioflavonoids. This property is helpful in reducing pancreatic, intestinal, and breast cancer. In fact, it stops cancerous cells from spreading further. Pomelo rind contains rich bioflavonoids that help in fighting against cancer cells. It prevents the spread of breast cancer cells especially by enabling the body to eliminate excess estrogen.
Most notable, pomelos are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to help slow down the aging process and protect against some diseases—including heart disease and cancer—as they help rid the body of free radicals.
Grapefruits and pomelos are the only known fruits containing spermidine, which is also found in human sperm. A laboratory-based study found that spermidine protects cells from processes related to aging and cell damage. In the study, spermadine increased the lifespan of flies, blood cells, yeast, and worms. Spermidine introduced to the blood cells of white mice protected them from particular types of cell damage, but their lifespans were not reported. (See the link below for more information on this study.)
When chewed slowly, the pomelo is said to cure hangovers. In Malasia and Philippines, a lotion made from the pomelo leaves is used to alleviate sores and swellings. The Filipinos also use it as a sedative for nerves. The Chinese use the entire plant to make medications that cure coughs, car sickness, and indigestion. A paste of pomelo rind and ginger can be applied to joints to ease arthritic pain.1
10. Availability and Storage
Pomelos are available at most Asian or Latin American markets throughout the year. Choose firm, heavy fruits. Blemishes on the skin are okay. Soft, dull-skinned pomelos that leave an imprint when squeezed or those that appear dried-out on the stem should be avoided. Pomelos keep for a week in the refrigerator or for a few days left at room temperature. A handy trick to keep the juice for longer periods is to freeze it in ice cube trays and add them to recipes for a citrus zest.
Yum Som-O (Spicy Pomelo Salad with Shrimp and Coconut Flakes)
350 g (2 c) pomelo meat
12 g (1/2 c) peeled, cooked prawns, sliced (optional)
35 g (1/4 c) roasted ground peanuts
35 g (1/4 c) roasted grated coconut
5 g (1 Tbsp) fried sliced shallots
1 tsp (1 medium-sized chili) red chili thinly sliced
1 tsp (4 thin slices) thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves
Spicy Sauce Ingredients
1 roasted dried red chili
80 g (1 c) roasted dried ground shrimp
100 g (1/3 c) roasted shallot, sliced
60 g (3 Tbsp) palm or brown sugar
45 ml (3 Tbsp) fish sauce
45 ml (3 Tbsp) tamarind juice
Mix all ingredients of the salad except the red chili and kaffir lime leaves.
Pound or blend all dry ingredients of the sauce until thoroughly ground.
Add fish sauce and tamarind juice and boil until thick.
Pour sauce on the salad and mix well.
Put in a dish and garnish with sliced red chili peppers and kaffir lime leaves.
1. Tate, Desmond (1999) Tropical Fruit Singapore: Archipelago Press
Recipe is courtesy of Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Bangkok
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
edna on January 14, 2018:
im eating 1 whole pomelo and 1grapefruit day....is that good or bad?
kps7p$rd on November 05, 2016:
Is pomelo good in gout or not ?a uric acid patient should take this fruit or not ?if yes how much gram a day ?
ratnaveera from Cumbum on December 02, 2014:
Interesting to read! I always like to eat citrus fruits like Pomelo as they have sweet as well as sour taste. With my experience all of the citrus fruits including grapes, lemon and orange are abundant with antioxidants and vitamin C so that they can fight against cancer like diseases. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful information about Pomelo! Awesome Hub!
Ashraf Mir from Dhaka on November 22, 2014:
I never tasted it. It seems it's a great source of nutrition.
Najat from Rottherdam - NL on November 13, 2014:
high % of vitamin c and it helps to weight loss, great hub.
thank you for sharing.
greeting from hijama
Vikram Chauhan from Chandigarh on November 11, 2014:
High-dose vitamin C linked to High oxalate, can cause kidney stones. Calcium intake can balance the effect of oxalte in body.
For Example :
Wheat germ oatmeal with some milk as well
Add spinach with pizza or lasagna
Berry smoothie, Add some yogurt to help provide balance.
Keisha Hunter from Kingston, Jamaica on November 09, 2014:
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on November 09, 2014:
Thanks Keisha and please let me know how that salad rated with your friends and family.
Keisha Hunter from Kingston, Jamaica on November 08, 2014:
That Thai salad looks great! I'll have to try that soon! I didn't know of this fruit but love grapefruits! I'll definitely be going in search for it. If there is no luck, i'll just have to make that Thai salad with the grapefruit. Thanks for sharing.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on September 03, 2014:
Aloha Jabgab, Vietfriut and Nnenna . . . thanks for reading and commenting. I've had lots of global attention on this hub. Pomelos are new and interesting to the world, even though they are ancient. I wonder if you made an essential oil from them . . . what benefits?
jabgab on September 03, 2014:
We have hundreds of this in our farm here in the Philippines. Sweet as it is... love to eat it pure and fresh!! Still looking for a good market .
Vietfruit.Vn on August 18, 2014:
I have had it one time. It is really good for your helth.
Fresh sweet pomelo has plenty in Vietnam. I love fruits always
cheers! from Vietfruit.vn site
nnenna on August 04, 2014:
Never heard or tasted pamelo before until my sister bought it from a village market. I wasn't too sure I wanted to taste it as I don't like grapefruit. As soon as I had a taste, I feel in love with it. It is sweet like orange, not as tarty as grapefruit and has a tang like tangerine.
soulfully on March 11, 2014:
I've never actually tasted pomelo as of yet. Thanks for giving me quit a good idea of what to expect. I like the idea of eating some of this mixed with other fruit over some yogurt.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on February 11, 2014:
Aloha from Hawaii Bruna - where we also have pomelos to eat year round. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Bruna on February 11, 2014:
My first taste of a Pomelo was in California. My cousin picked it from her tree in her front yard in January. I came from Canada, so there is no citrus fruit growing from trees outside in January. We thought it was great, and amazed that it came from my cousins front yard.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on January 31, 2014:
Hi Mo - Thanks for reading. Don't eat pomelos if you are on statins.
Mo on January 31, 2014:
Can you eat pomelo if you are on statins. I have been told you must not eat grapefruit so is it the same thing?
champa on January 19, 2014:
Thank you ,it was very interesting I learned many tips of taking this fruit. As I did when young girl in Fiji but had no idea what was the goodness behind it.
bless you all.
edmar on January 18, 2014:
Enjoyed reading your article. However, there is so much similarity between your article and Arshi's in http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-health-...
Same sentences... same phrases. Who plagiarized who?
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on January 03, 2014:
Thx for stopping by patrick and legless.
patrick on December 20, 2013:
I've just eaten my first Pomelo and found it to be excellent, lovely flavor and texture, really enjoyed it, thank you for this hub :)
legless on December 14, 2013:
Looks lovely but is dangerous to Transplant patients as it is of the Grapefruit family
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on December 13, 2013:
Yay Swansea - ask your doctors if pomelo will have a negative effect. I know grapefruits and most likely pomelos are not reccommended for people on blood thinning medications.
To yay swansea on December 13, 2013:
I have had a kidney transplant, I would like to know if they will affect my anti rejection tabłets.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on December 05, 2013:
Thanks Susan, RamseySusan and DustinJ for visiting and commenting. Henrik Thomson - I'm thinking pomelo would be better in a sherbet/sorbet.
Dustin Jones from San Jose, California on December 05, 2013:
Wow, I really love learning about new types of fruit. I love how you included the health benefits of the fruit in the article. Im gunna go buy one tomorrow :) thanks for the hub!
Susan Ramsey from Killen, AL on November 15, 2013:
I love having this fruit at home. Aside from the fact that Pomelo is really delicious, it is good for our health and body. Thank you for sharing your own review with this fruit YogaKat!
Susan on November 14, 2013:
I just bought this fruit at Kroger in Atlanta. I love it!
Henrik Thomsen on December 24, 2012:
Sounds very interesting ! Is it usable in ice-cream ?
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on December 08, 2012:
Thanks for visiting and commenting Tela. No doubt you will live a long and healthy life due to your pomelo consumption.
teia on December 07, 2012:
Wooooow!sooo interesting article!I loooove pomelo,I ea 1 kg per day!thhAnks again for info
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on November 29, 2012:
Wow . . . thanks for sharing John Koh.
John koh on November 29, 2012:
My gout was gone and no more medicine jus 1 pamelo a day
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on November 22, 2012:
Thanks for reading Bigjessy, Yum som o is delish!
Jessica from GERMANY on November 22, 2012:
I need to try it.. I will cook it next days :)
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on November 21, 2012:
Yummy! I love pomelo. I used to climb the pomelo tree of my grandparents when I was a child. Now I have my own pomelo tree in my garden in the Philippines and I enjoyed eating this fruit whenever I´m there. I did not know until now that this fruit has a lot of health benefits. Thanks for sharing this informative hub. Voted up and more;-)
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on October 24, 2012:
Thanks for visiting tebo. I saw some in the organic grocery store today. I see you are from New Zealand . . . I bet you could find some there.
tebo from New Zealand on October 23, 2012:
I too have not heard of this fruit, but am intrigued by your information here. I have tasted some grapefruits that are quite sweet and easy to eat. I will keep an eye out for them.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on October 19, 2012:
FullOfLoveSites . . . thanks for reading and commenting.
FullOfLoveSites from United States on October 19, 2012:
I love citrus of all kinds, including pomelo ... but the anti-aging properties, what a bit of surprise and discovery for me. Great hub. :)
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on October 18, 2012:
Thanks for visiting MomsTreasureChest - let me know when you get a chance to taste!
MomsTreasureChest on September 08, 2012:
I've never tried this fruit, I'll be sure to add it to my shopping list!
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on April 01, 2012:
Thanks for popping in BuckleupDorothy . . . I will have to check out some of your Turkey hubs:)
buckleupdorothy from Istanbul, Turkey on April 01, 2012:
Great introduction to a fruit I've never met! I'll keep an eye out for it in the markets and let your readers know if it's made its way to Turkey.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on March 20, 2012:
Thanks Olde Cashmere and Rosika for reading and commenting. The pomelo is now my favorite fruit - so refreshing!
Olde Cashmere on March 20, 2012:
I've never had a pomelo before and after reading your article, I gotta have one now. Very informative with plenty of reasons why we should include this fruit amongst our food choices. Voted up and useful, great work.
rosika on March 13, 2012:
that picture of salad you posted is watering my mouth ..i knew that this fruit is high in vitamin c, but good to know about other benefits as well! voted up and voted useful and interesting!
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on March 12, 2012:
Thank you for your pomelos Neda. You are fortunate to have a pomelo tree!
Neda Najibi on March 12, 2012:
This was very interesting to read. I never knew. :-)
You're a great writer! Thank you for sharing this.
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on March 12, 2012:
Thanks for your comment Mary Jane Garner McMahon. I will take a pomelo over a grapefruit any day:)
Mary Jane Garner McMahon on March 11, 2012:
Most interesting article...so informative! My reaction to tasting a pamelo was that it was better tasting than the grapefruit...sweeter and juiceier...and so much bigger. I feel fortunate to have had the experience of tasting a pamelo since it was while on a recent visit in Oahu...never saw one before and not one since...but I will be on the look out for this unusual fruit!
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on February 24, 2012:
Thanks for stopping in Girltalkshop. Thanks for the votes as well. I hope you run across a pomelo soon!
girltalksshop on February 24, 2012:
I've never heard of this type of fruit before, but it sounds good! : ) I would like to try one someday, especially if it lives up to its expectations listed in your hub. Voted up and interesting, of course!!
YogaKat (author) from Oahu Hawaii on February 22, 2012:
Thanks for your comment Stessily.
stessily on February 21, 2012:
YogaKat, As a long-time fan of pomelos and grapefruits, I appreciate this presentation, which succinctly covers the fruit's many key benefits. I've never been on a diet in my life, a fact which I attribute, in part, to the regular inclusion of grapefruits or pomelos, along with balanced eating.
Thank you for sharing.