- Calories: 72 (1 Cup, Sectioned)
- Originated: South Asia
- Main Health Benefit: Immune Booster
- Other Known Benefits: Weight Loss, Digestive Health, Heart Health
- High in: Vitamin C
On the outside, you might mistake the pomelo fruit as a pear, or even a grapefruit depending on its color. Pomelo also goes by a few different names depending on where you are in the world. No matter what you choose to call it, pomelo is one of the oldest citrus fruits around, and has been traced back to South Asia. Pomelo can be used in a lot of different ways, and can be eaten on its own or part of a broader meal.
Since the pomelo is related to the grapefruit, it does have a similar taste. It can be a bit more difficult to find pomelo if you’re living in the western hemisphere, but it’s not impossible with shipping and growing becoming more easily attainable. If you can get your hands on some pomelo, you’ll enjoy a wide range of health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits, and the nutrition that pomelo brings.
Nutrition of Pomelo
It can be hard to find a food both low in fat and calories while still bringing a ton of nutrition, but pomelo fits the bill. In each one cup serving of pomelo, you’ll be eating only around 70 calories, making it the ideal snack. That serving comes with about three percent of your daily protein needs, and roughly 10 percent of your daily fiber recommendation. In terms of vitamins, vitamin C really stands out for pomelo as you’re getting about two times your daily recommended value.
Other vitamins that come in smaller amounts (around five percent) include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. In the mineral department, pomelo is a significant source of potassium with more than 10 percent, while those that fall around the five percent mark include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese. With only 0.1 grams of fat in each serving and no cholesterol, pomelo is a fine choice for those looking for something quick, healthy and delicious.
Most of us know that if there’s one vitamin in particular that we need to keep diseases away, it’s vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the biggest antioxidants that you can find, and it helps your body to produce white blood cells that keep away foreign bodies that cause a range of illnesses. Even if you’re getting more than the 100 percent daily recommendation of vitamin C, there’s no need to worry about getting too much as your body gets rid of any excess naturally.
In terms of more serious illnesses that you might have to face down the road such as cancer, pomelo can help you prevent that, as well. Pomelo skin is high in antioxidants known as bioflavonoids, which have been shown to be effective against certain types of cancer such as pancreas and breast cancers. There’s another one in your digestive system that you can prevent, too, which we’ll get to in a moment.
It’s likely that you’ve heard of the Grapefruit Diet, or know someone that’s been on the plan (maybe even yourself). Since the pomelo is so closely related to the grapefruit, it’s another food that some people will eat quite a bit of in hopes of losing a few pounds. One of the big reasons is that pomelo, like grapefruit, contains an enzyme called carnitine palmitoyl-transferase, which has been said to help burn fat cells in your body.
While you should certainly be eating other foods as part of a well-balanced weight loss plan, pomelos are a great fit for a diet. Eating a pomelo for breakfast or as a snack is a good way to drop some quick pounds. You’ll be able to feel more full since pomelos are mostly comprised of water, and have plenty of fiber to leave you satisfied and avoiding junk foods that can hinder your weight loss goals.
Another big part of pomelo (especially the flesh) is the high amount of fiber that you’ll be getting in each serving. That fiber goes a long way in helping your digestive system, creating more helpful bacteria that can eradicate the harmful bacteria. If you suffer from regular discomfort in your digestive system, or have problems with diarrhea or constipation, you might not be getting enough fiber in your diet.
Fiber quickly gets rid of many of these problems over the course of a couple of days, allowing you to become more regular. Certain forms of cancer in the digestive system can also be prevented by getting more fiber in your diet, especially colon cancer. It’s estimated that half of the people in the United States aren’t getting the fiber that they need, which is quite a shocking number.
Good For the Heart
It’s not just your digestive system that gets a benefit from fiber, but also your heart. Getting more soluble fiber in your diet has been shown to balance your blood sugar, which prevents several different heart problems. On top of that, you get a significant amount of vitamin C and potassium that are also essential to your heart’s health by strengthening your blood vessels and working as an antioxidant.
There’s also another antioxidant found in pomelo called pectin. This antioxidant can help to clean out plaque buildup in the arteries, drastically reducing your chances of hypertension. All in all, you’ll see lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which is what you should always be aiming for to achieve better health.
When you visit a dentist, one thing that they’ll typically tell you (outside of needing to brush and floss more) is that you need more vitamin C in your diet. Since it works as an antioxidant, vitamin C can get rid of much of the harmful bacteria found in your mouth that causes disease such as gingivitis or even tooth loss. Your gums will also become more strong thanks to collagen production from vitamin C, letting you keep a healthy smile for years to come.
Summing it Up
There isn’t really anything too negative that you can say about pomelo, as the side effects are extremely rare (such as being allergic). Pomelo has a very long shelf life and can be eaten easily, but you do have to watch your overall nutrition. Since pomelo is really only high in vitamin C and a bit of fiber, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting all of the necessary vitamins from other sources outside of pomelo.
Because of the fiber, you may feel some minor and temporary discomfort if you’re not used to getting any in your diet. It could cause some gas or bloating for a couple of days, but is usually a sign that your digestive system is adjusting and goes away on its own. Other than that, pomelo is a great addition to a diet, but just make sure it’s not the only thing you’re eating. So run to the store and pick some up when you can to enjoy the fantastic taste and health benefits that it brings!