Pomelo: 10 Reasons to Enjoy This Fabulous Fruit

Updated on September 13, 2017
Pomelos come in many varieties. The texture, taste, and seediness of each variety is different.
Pomelos come in many varieties. The texture, taste, and seediness of each variety is different. | Source

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.

1. Taste

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.

Pomelos are an energizing snack any time of day.
Pomelos are an energizing snack any time of day. | Source

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.

3. Fiber

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.

7. Antioxidants

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.

8. Anti-aging

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.)

What does spermadine's discovery mean to you?

See results

9. Medicine

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 is a refreshing Thai salad.
Yum Som-O is a refreshing Thai salad. | Source

Yum Som-O (Spicy Pomelo Salad with Shrimp and Coconut Flakes)

Salad Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Cool.

Pour sauce on the salad and mix well.

Put in a dish and garnish with sliced red chili peppers and kaffir lime leaves.

Sources

1. Tate, Desmond (1999) Tropical Fruit Singapore: Archipelago Press

Recipe is courtesy of Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Bangkok

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        edna 5 months ago

        im eating 1 whole pomelo and 1grapefruit day....is that good or bad?

      • profile image

        kps7p$rd 19 months ago

        Is pomelo good in gout or not ?a uric acid patient should take this fruit or not ?if yes how much gram a day ?

        Manju

      • ratnaveera profile image

        ratnaveera 3 years ago from Cumbum

        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!

      • upal19 profile image

        Ashraf Mir 3 years ago from Dhaka

        I never tasted it. It seems it's a great source of nutrition.

      • hijama profile image

        Najat 3 years ago from Rottherdam - NL

        high % of vitamin c and it helps to weight loss, great hub.

        thank you for sharing.

        greeting from hijama

      • Drvikramchauhan profile image

        Vikram Chauhan 3 years ago from Chandigarh

        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 profile image

        Keisha Hunter 3 years ago from Kingston, Jamaica

        Will do.

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 3 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks Keisha and please let me know how that salad rated with your friends and family.

      • Keisha Hunter profile image

        Keisha Hunter 3 years ago from Kingston, Jamaica

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 3 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        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?

      • profile image

        jabgab 3 years ago

        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 .

      • profile image

        Vietfruit.Vn 3 years ago

        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

      • profile image

        nnenna 3 years ago

        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 profile image

        soulfully 4 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Aloha from Hawaii Bruna - where we also have pomelos to eat year round. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • profile image

        Bruna 4 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Hi Mo - Thanks for reading. Don't eat pomelos if you are on statins.

      • profile image

        Mo 4 years ago

        Can you eat pomelo if you are on statins. I have been told you must not eat grapefruit so is it the same thing?

      • profile image

        champa 4 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        edmar 4 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thx for stopping by patrick and legless.

      • profile image

        patrick 4 years ago

        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 :)

      • profile image

        legless 4 years ago

        Looks lovely but is dangerous to Transplant patients as it is of the Grapefruit family

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        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.

      • profile image

        To yay swansea 4 years ago

        I have had a kidney transplant, I would like to know if they will affect my anti rejection tabłets.

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks Susan, RamseySusan and DustinJ for visiting and commenting. Henrik Thomson - I'm thinking pomelo would be better in a sherbet/sorbet.

      • DustinJ profile image

        Dustin Jones 4 years ago from San Jose, California

        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!

      • ramseysusan profile image

        Susan Ramsey 4 years ago from Killen, AL

        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!

      • profile image

        Susan 4 years ago

        I just bought this fruit at Kroger in Atlanta. I love it!

      • profile image

        Henrik Thomsen 5 years ago

        Sounds very interesting ! Is it usable in ice-cream ?

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for visiting and commenting Tela. No doubt you will live a long and healthy life due to your pomelo consumption.

      • profile image

        teia 5 years ago

        Wooooow!sooo interesting article!I loooove pomelo,I ea 1 kg per day!thhAnks again for info

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Wow . . . thanks for sharing John Koh.

      • profile image

        John koh 5 years ago

        My gout was gone and no more medicine jus 1 pamelo a day

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for reading Bigjessy, Yum som o is delish!

      • bigjessy profile image

        Jessica 5 years ago from GERMANY

        THANK YOU!!!

        I need to try it.. I will cook it next days :)

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        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 profile image

        tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        FullOfLoveSites . . . thanks for reading and commenting.

      • FullOfLoveSites profile image

        FullOfLoveSites 5 years ago from United States

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for visiting MomsTreasureChest - let me know when you get a chance to taste!

      • MomsTreasureChest profile image

        MomsTreasureChest 5 years ago

        I've never tried this fruit, I'll be sure to add it to my shopping list!

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for popping in BuckleupDorothy . . . I will have to check out some of your Turkey hubs:)

      • buckleupdorothy profile image

        buckleupdorothy 6 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks Olde Cashmere and Rosika for reading and commenting. The pomelo is now my favorite fruit - so refreshing!

      • profile image

        Olde Cashmere 6 years ago

        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 profile image

        rosika 6 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thank you for your pomelos Neda. You are fortunate to have a pomelo tree!

      • profile image

        Neda Najibi 6 years ago

        This was very interesting to read. I never knew. :-)

        You're a great writer! Thank you for sharing this.

      • YogaKat profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for your comment Mary Jane Garner McMahon. I will take a pomelo over a grapefruit any day:)

      • profile image

        Mary Jane Garner McMahon 6 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for stopping in Girltalkshop. Thanks for the votes as well. I hope you run across a pomelo soon!

      • profile image

        girltalksshop 6 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        YogaKat 6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

        Thanks for your comment Stessily.

      • profile image

        stessily 6 years ago

        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.

        Well done.

        Thank you for sharing.

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