The pomelo fruit has been on the Israeli market since the 1970s. Recently, however, it has also spread internationally. In addition to grapefruits and oranges, the pomelo is now also finding increasing space on German supermarket shelves. Since it looks confusingly similar to the grapefruit, little attention has been paid to it to this day.
In order to expand your knowledge about the pomelo fruit and to be particularly informed about its effect on our health, you will find more detailed information in the following sections about what exactly the pomelo fruit is and how it affects our health.
the essentials in brief
Pomelo's Health Effects: What You Should Know
Not everyone is familiar with the tart citrus fruit, but it has a lot to offer. Exactly what kind of fruit the pomelo is and everything else about its calories, nutritional values and health properties is explained for you below.
What is a pomelo?
A pomelo is a 15 to 25 centimeter tall citrus fruit crossed from grapefruit and grapefruit. It is therefore not a separate species, but a variety of these two fruits, but especially the grapefruit. Nevertheless, the pomelo also has slightly different properties. In contrast to the bittersweet grapefruit, the pomelo has a much milder, sweet and sour taste.
The shape of the pomelo can be pear-like or rounded and pointed. The peel is greenish-yellow and very thick. Under the thick skin is the sweet and sour, tart and very juicy flesh. This is usually light green or white-yellowish.
Compared to other citrus fruits, the pomelo is relatively large.
The pomelo grows on trees that can grow up to 15 meters tall and prefer a warm, frost-free climate. The fruits weigh between 500 and 2000 grams. The weight is mostly due to the very thick shell and the finger-thick white layer underneath. This layer should be completely removed before consumption, otherwise the bitter substances in this layer will make the pomelo inedible.
The pomelo grows on trees and thrives best in rainy, tropical climates with temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. (Image source: Zera Li / unsplash)
The easiest way to enjoy the pomelo is raw. However, the citrus fruit can also be used in some dishes. You can use the pomelo to create fruit juices, spreads, chutneys or ice cream. In addition, the fruit can also be used to refine fruit or leaf salads and desserts.
What Are the Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits of Pomelo?
Below is the nutritional table of pomelo per 100 grams of weight (1).
|pomelo||Nutritional values per 100 grams|
|Carbohydrates (including dietary fiber)||10g (1g)|
The table shows that the pomelo has a high vitamin C content. Pomelo contains 61 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. It also has large amounts of various minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate (1).
How many calories does a pomelo have and how healthy is it?
The pomelo is a fruit that has a very low calorie density. In the following table, the respective calories are given once depending on the serving size of the citrus fruit (1):
|amount of pomelo||Calories (kcal)|
|100 gram||25-50 calories|
|1 medium (500 grams)||about 230 calories|
|1 large (1000 grams)||about 460 calories|
As already explained, the exotic fruit is very low in calories, depending on how sweet it is, with only 25 to 50 calories for 100 grams of pulp. For this reason, the citrus fruit is an excellent snack for anyone who wants to pay attention to their energy supply as part of a diet or change of diet and is looking for a healthy snack or a sweet snack in between.
What nutrients in pomelo are healthy?
In general, all of the nutrients in pomelo are healthy in some way. Since the pulp of the pomelo contains so many minerals and vitamins , the citrus fruit serves as an excellent support for your daily needs. Also because of its low calorie density, the citrus fruit is very popular in diets and is one of the current slimming products in the food sector.
The pulp of the pomelo is rich in minerals and vitamins. Pomelo contains large amounts of vitamin C in particular. (Image source: Neringa Skorupskiene / unsplash)
Above all, the minerals potassium, limonin and naringin, as well as vitamin C , have a very positive effect on the health of our body. In the following, these four minerals will be examined in more detail:
|vitamin C||Belongs to the antioxidants and is used both in the regulation of the oxygen supply of the cells and in the synthesis of other endogenous substances (2)|
|potassium||Is one of the electrolytes in the body that carries an electrical charge when dissolved in bodily fluids such as blood and is important for the normal functioning of cells, nerves and muscles (3)|
|limonine||Is a bitter substance to which antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties are attributed (4)|
|Naringin||Is a glycoside which mainly has an antioxidant and lipid-lowering effect (4)|
The amount of carbohydrates in the fruit is also extremely low. At just 10 grams per 100 grams, citrus is in the low range compared to other fruits (1).
How Do Pomelo Nutrients Affect Health?
As mentioned, vitamin C, potassium, limonin, and naringin are four key nutrients in pomelo. While vitamin C and potassium only have positive properties and therefore have a positive effect on health, limonine and narginine also carry some risks. Consequently, the health effects of the four different nutrients are explained.
Vitamin C is involved in various metabolic processes, among other things, and is required for the development of collagen, connective tissue, bones and teeth (5). It also supports the functions of the immune system, has an antioxidant effect (5) and improves iron absorption in the body.
The vitamin allows more iron to be absorbed from the intestine into the blood, which results in an increased concentration of hemoglobin (red blood pigment). Consequently, this can prevent anemia (6). Eating a pomelo also covers 40 percent of the daily vitamin requirement of an adult (2.5).
Potassium regulates our blood pressure and acid-base balance. In addition, it is also of particular importance for the contraction of our muscles (7). This is exactly why the DGE recommends a daily potassium intake of 4000 milligrams for adults. With the consumption of a pomelo, this recommendation can already be properly contributed (8).
Limonine , on the other hand, is a bitter substance in pomelo, which, in addition to some positive effects on health, also has a negative property. This is illustrated below:Advantages
- Stimulates intestinal activity and supports healthy digestion
- Has anti-inflammatory properties and thus has a preventive effect on certain types of cancer
Naringin is another nutrient called a flavonoid (4) that poses a health risk. Its positive and negative properties are as follows:Advantages
- Breaks down cholesterol and improves insulin sensitivity, which has a positive effect on and can prevent diabetes mellitus
In summary, it can be said that the nutrients in the pomelo have a predominantly positive effect on people's health. However, if the fruit is not peeled properly, the bitter substances will make the fruit inedible.
You should also make sure that the fruit is not taken in combination with antihypertensive drugs, as this can cause serious problems such as a sharp drop in blood pressure.
What effects does the pomelo have on a healthy immune system?
Since the pomelo, like all other citrus fruits, is an optimal source of vitamin C, the fruit is an optimal booster for the immune system. More specifically, the pomelo "overtakes" even the lemon due to its significant amount of vitamin C.
With 61 milligrams per 100 grams, the pomelo can thus contribute to the daily requirement of 95 milligrams per 100 grams for women and 110 milligrams for men. It thus already covers more than half of the human daily requirement (5).
Vitamin C contributes greatly to the immune system and therefore a higher intake of vitamin C is recommended precisely in the event of an infection. Due to the increased inflammatory reactions and metabolic activity, the body uses significantly more vitamin C during an infection.
Vitamin C, in turn, can prevent immunosuppression by protecting cells of the immune system from oxidative stress (12,16). The pomelo can also help to strengthen the immune system and allow the body to process an infection more quickly.
Are there any health risks to eating pomelo?
Despite its numerous health benefits and ingredients, there are some factors you should definitely know before purchasing and consuming the fruit. If necessary, you should even discuss the intake with your doctor. In fact, pomelo can cause undesirable interactions in combination with some medications. This specifically includes hormonal contraceptives and antihypertensive drugs.
Pomelo can cause some unwanted interactions when combined with certain medications.
As already explained, pomelo contains flavonoids such as naringin, which can lead to dangerous interactions in the human body. In particular, the flavonoids can inhibit some enzymes and thus inhibit the metabolism, i.e. the breakdown or conversion, of certain active ingredients in medicines.
More specifically, the nutrient naringin is first converted to naringenin in the body. Naringenin now inhibits the enzyme cytochrome P450 isoenzyme CYP3A4, which is responsible for the controlled breakdown of substances in medicines that are responsible for the liver.
The inhibition of CYP3A4 then ensures a delay in the metabolism of certain substances in medicines. This in turn ensures a higher effective level (13,14). In connection with antihypertensive medication, the fruity snack can therefore lead to considerable problems, as it can lead to a sharp drop in blood pressure (14).
The active ingredients listed as a result are those where you should avoid eating pomelos:
- Lovastatin, Simvastatin, Verapamil, (HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors),
- amlodipine, nifedipine, nisoldipine, nitrendipine and felodipine.
- As well as with midazolam, terfenadine and ciclosporin.
Taking naringin at the same time as the anticoagulant phenprocoumon can lead to an increased tendency to bleed. This can then cause other diseases (15)
In general, the following always applies: If you are currently taking special medication, consult a doctor and clarify whether the consumption of pomelos in combination with these medications is recommended. If necessary, the pomelo may only be eaten in small quantities in order to avoid the interactions mentioned.
Who is eating pomelos healthy for?
For all those who want to do something good for their body, the pomelo is a very healthy snack. As a true vitamin C bomb, it strengthens the immune system and contributes enormously to the immune system.
Especially at times when many infections are making the rounds, it is advisable to eat a pomelo every day. Not only is the vitamin C household increased, the body is also supplied with other important minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate. So if you also have a deficit in these nutrients, you are welcome to use the pomelo.
The pomelo is an ideal snack, especially during diet phases. Its low calorie density helps you get in shape quickly. (Image source: Bill Oxford / unsplash)
Pomelo can also be helpful for those who are currently on a diet and want to remain in a calorie deficit or even on a keto or low-carb diet. Due to its low calorie density and also the few carbohydrates, the citrus fruit has optimal values and can therefore be easily integrated into a diet phase.
So if you want to take a little more care of your body and get in shape, the pomelo fruit may be an ideal and healthy food on your next shopping list.
Who isn't eating pomelos healthy for?
You should be careful when eating pomelos if you are currently taking medication. As already explained, naringin or naringenin, which is contained in the citrus fruit, can inhibit enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of medicines in the liver, for example. As a result, some medicines have a weaker or stronger effect.
Drugs that lower blood pressure can cause interactions, for example. Because with the blood pressure lowering drugs, the effect is increased. The following applies when eating pomelos and taking medication at the same time: First consult your doctor.
If you belong to the group of allergy sufferers, then the pomelo is probably not for you either. The citrus fruit can trigger some allergies. If you are already allergic to different grasses or latex, you may not tolerate the pomelo in this case.
In terms of your health, the pomelo is a very beneficial fruit that is high in vitamins but low in calories. The nutrients contained in the citrus fruit make the pomelo a real immune system booster and supply the body with important minerals.
When eating pomelo, however, it should be noted that certain medications can cause interactions. If you are currently taking certain medications, please check with your doctor first whether the consumption of pomelos is suitable for you.
- FDDB (2015): "Pomelo, fresh", retrieved 2021-02-09 Source
- Seedling Naturkost (2021): "Vitamin C", retrieved on 02/08/2021 Source
- James, L. Lewis (2020): "MSD Manual: Overview of the function of potassium in the body", retrieved 2021-02-08 Source
- German Society for Nutrition (DGE, 2012): "Secondary plant substances and their effects on health", retrieved from 08.02.2021 Source
- German Society for Nutrition (DGE, 2021): "Selected questions and answers about vitamin C", retrieved on February 08, 2021 Source
- Péneau S, Dauchet L, Vergnaud AC, Estaquio C, Kesse-Guyot E, Bertrais S, Latino-Martel P, Hercberg S, & Galan P (2008 ). Relationship between iron status and dietary fruit and vegetables based on their vitamin C and fiber content. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(5), 1298-1305. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1298 Source
- German Society for Nutrition (DGE, 2021): "Selected questions and answers about potassium", retrieved on February 08, 2021 Source
- German Society for Nutrition (DGE, 2021): "Potassium", retrieved on 02/08/2021 Source
- Su Z, Wang C, Chang D, Zhu X, Sai C, & Pei J (2019). Limonin attenuates the stemness of breast cancer cells via suppressing MIR216A methylation. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 112, 108699. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.108699 Source
- Kim, SY, Kim, HJ, Lee, MK, Jeon, SM, Do, GM, Kwon, EY, Cho, YY, Kim, DJ, Jeong, KS, Park, YB, Ha, TY, & Choi, MS (2006 ). Naringin time-dependently lowers hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis and plasma cholesterol in rats fed high-fat and high-cholesterol diet. Journal of medicinal food, 9(4), 582-586. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2006.9.582 Source
- Hassan NA, Bassossy H, Fahmy A, & Mahmoud MF (2018). Limonin alleviates macro- and micro-vascular complications of metabolic syndrome in rats: A comparative study with azelnidipine. Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 43, 92-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2018.03.044 Source
- Hemilä H, Chalker E, Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold, Pubmed 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782, doi: 10.3390/nu9111211. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4. Source
- Ho, PC, Saville, DJ, Coville, PF, & Wanwimolruk, S (2000). Content of CYP3A4 inhibitors, naringin, naringenin and bergapten in grapefruit and grapefruit juice products. Pharmaceutica acta Helvetiae, 74(4), 379-385. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0031-6865(99)00062-x Source
- Onmeda (2020): "Riskful Combination: Grapefruit and Drugs", retrieved 2021-02-09 Source
- MEDA Pharma (2021): "Marcumar Specialist Information", retrieved on 02/09/2021 Source
- Carr, AC, & Maggini, S (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111211 Source