With its sweet, mild taste and large size, pomelo is an intriguing citrus fruit that offers a host of health benefits. Though not as widely known as grapefruits or oranges, pomelos deserve a place in every fruit-lover’s diet. Read on to learn 12 fascinating facts about this delicious and nutritious fruit.
Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit in the world. Native to Southeast Asia, they can grow over 25 pounds! Closely related to grapefruits, pomelos tend to be less bitter and sour. Their taste is often described as a sweet cross between a grapefruit and a lemon.
Pomelos offers an excellent source of vitamin C, providing over 400% of your daily needs in just one fruit. They also contain antioxidants like lycopene and flavonoids that can boost immunity and heart health. The fiber in pomelos aids digestion while the low calorie count makes them perfect for weight loss diets.
With origins spanning over 100 years, pomelos have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive issues, coughs, and motion sickness. The peel, pith, leaves, and flowers all play a role in natural remedies. Modern studies also show that pomelo extracts may have anti-aging effects.
From the Chandler to Honey cultivar, there are over 25 different types of pomelo. While most pomelos are light green or yellow on the outside, some exotic varieties can have pink or red flesh. Pomelos range in taste from tangy and tart to sweet and mild. The amount of seeds also varies.
Here are 12 interesting facts about this nutritious citrus delight:
1. Pomelos are the Largest Citrus Fruit
The pomelo is the largest of all citrus fruits, often reaching the size of a large grapefruit or cantaloupe. Some varieties can weigh up to 25 pounds! Their thick rind ranges from pale green to yellow or pink. Inside, the flesh is pale and thick with membranous dividers between segments.
2. Native to Southeast Asia
Pomelos originated in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia. They have been cultivated there for over 100 years. It is now also grown in China, Japan, India, Israel, and the United States. The largest producers today are China and Thailand.
3. Closely Related to Grapefruit
Pomelos are closely related to grapefruits. Grapefruits are a hybrid between pomelos and sweet oranges. However, pomelos tend to be larger and sweeter than grapefruit. They are considered one of the original citrus species.
4. High in Vitamin C
Pomelos are an excellent source of vitamin C. One pomelo contains over 400% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, which helps boost immunity. The water-soluble vitamin also acts as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.
5. Packed with Antioxidants
In addition to vitamin C, pomelos contain antioxidants like naringin, naringenin, and lycopene. These antioxidants help fight free radicals and prevent disease. The antioxidants may prevent cholesterol absorption.
6. May Lower Cholesterol
Studies show pomelo extract may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing heart disease risk. The antioxidants may prevent cholesterol absorption. Fiber binds to cholesterol so it can be eliminated.
7. Aids in Digestion
Pomelos are high in fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation. The fiber also helps feed good gut bacteria. These benefits make pomelos a smart snack for improving regularity.
8. Helps You Lose Weight
The fiber and water content in pomelo help fill you up. This can reduce calorie intake and aid in weight loss. Pomelos are also low in calories, providing just 60 calories per half fruit.
9. Anti-Aging Benefits
Pomelo contains compounds like vitamin C, spermidine, and gallic acid that may slow aging by protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. These nutrients reduce oxidative stress.
10. Used in Traditional Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, pomelo seeds and peel are used to treat digestive issues, coughs, and motion sickness. The peel is also used for skin rejuvenation. Pomelo leaves and flowers also have therapeutic uses.
11. Many Cultivars Exist
There are over 25 different cultivars of pomelo. Popular varieties include Chandler, Honey, and Pink. They vary in color, taste, seed content, and size. The Chandler is the most common commercial variety.
12. Eaten Fresh or Juiced
Pomelos can be peeled and eaten fresh. The juice and segments can also be added to salads, smoothies, and desserts. Spritzers made with pomelo juice are refreshing! Try adding it to cocktails for a tangy twist.
In summary, pomelos are nutritious, low-calorie citrus fruits packed with vitamin C. They offer many benefits and can be enjoyed fresh or juiced as part of a healthy diet. Trying this unique fruit is sure to be a delightful and tasty experience!