Health Benefits Of Pomelo


Pomelo, which is also known as Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis in scientific terms, is often compared to grapefruit, but they are different fruits with similar external appearances. Unlike grapefruit, which is a hybrid fruit resulting from a genetic mix of two non-hybrid citrus fruits, pomelo is a natural, non-hybrid citrus fruit. Pomelo is a rich source of essential nutrients such as dietary fibres, vitamin C, iron, and potassium, among others. Its consumption offers several health benefits, including aiding in weight loss due to its low-calorie content and reducing the risk of heart disease. Let's explore this fruit in more detail. 

About pomelo

Pomelo is a type of citrus fruit that originates from Asia and is closely related to grapefruit. Its shape resembles that of a teardrop, and it has a thick, pale rind with green or yellow flesh inside. The appearance of the pomelo fruit can differ based on its specific origin and variety. There are different types of pomelos such as white pomelos, African shaddock pomelos, red pomelos, pink pomelos, honey pomelos, and others. The taste of pomelos can also differ along with their appearance. For instance, the honey pomelo has more sweet and floral notes, while other types have a sweet and tangy flavour with some acidic hints. 

Unlike other citrus fruits, pomelos have a unique and distinct flavour, mainly due to their sweetness. While other citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruits can be used interchangeably because of their zesty, acidic taste and pungency, pomelos cannot be substituted for other citrus fruits.

The fruit can grow to be as large as a cantaloupe or even bigger. When compared to grapefruit, pomelo has a sweeter taste. In addition to its pleasant flavour, pomelo is also a nutritious fruit that contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can contribute to a healthy diet.

Health benefits of Pomelo

High in nutrients

Pomelo is a high-nutrient citrus fruit that is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C. One pomelo that weighs about 610 grams has 231 calories, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 59 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fibre. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin (12.6% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)), thiamine (17.3% of the RDI), copper (32% of the RDI), and potassium (28% of the RDI). A single pomelo fruit contains more than 400% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that supports the immune system and protects cells from damage by free radicals.1 In addition to vitamin C, pomelo also contains potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and fluid balance, as well as other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.2

High fibre content

Pomelo is a great source of dietary fibre, with one fruit providing 6 grams of fibre. As most people should aim to consume at least 25 grams of fibre per day, adding pomelo to your diet is an excellent way to help meet your daily fibre needs.3 The fibre in pomelo is mainly insoluble fibre, which helps to add bulk to your stool and prevent constipation.4 Moreover, dietary fibre acts as a food source for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.5 The fibre present in pomelo has also been associated with improved bone density, long-term weight maintenance, improved gut and brain health, and a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.6

Weight loss

Pomelo may aid in weight loss efforts due to its low-calorie content. One pomelo, 610 grams, contains only 230 calories, which is relatively low for such a large amount of food. Consuming low-calorie foods can help you feel full while consuming fewer calories.7 Moreover, pomelo is a good source of protein and fibre, both of which can keep you feeling fuller for longer periods. Foods that contain protein and fibre can help induce feelings of fullness, making it easier for you to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight by selecting these types of foods.8

High in antioxidants

Pomelo is a rich source of antioxidants that can help prevent and reverse cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are harmful compounds found in the environment and food that can lead to health problems and chronic diseases if they accumulate in your body at high levels.9 Pomelo fruit is particularly rich in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, providing over 400% of the recommended daily intake value. It also contains other antioxidant compounds, such as naringenin and naringin, which are both commonly found in citrus fruits.10 Additionally, pomelo contains lycopene, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that is also present in tomatoes.11,12 The high antioxidant content of pomelo is responsible for many of its health benefits, including its anti-ageing and heart-healthy properties.

Improved heart health

Pomelo may have a positive impact on heart health by lowering levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, two types of blood fats that have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. One study in rats lasting 21 days found that taking concentrated pomelo extract supplements reduced triglyceride levels by up to 21%, total cholesterol by up to 6%, and LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 41%.13 Other research suggests that pomelo may lower these blood fats by hindering the absorption of cholesterol from food into the body.13 However, more studies are required in humans to establish a clear link between pomelo fruit and heart health. It's important to note that if you're taking statin drugs for high cholesterol, you should avoid pomelo. Like grapefruits, pomelos contain furanocoumarins, compounds that can affect the metabolism of statins.14

Anti ageing properties 

Pomelo's high antioxidant content may have anti-ageing effects by preventing skin damage caused by harmful free radicals such as vitamin C.3 Consuming pomelo may help in maintaining a more youthful appearance. Additionally, it may help in reducing the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that result from elevated blood sugar levels.15,16 AGEs can contribute to ageing by causing skin discolouration, poor circulation, and vision and kidney problems, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes.15,16 One test-tube study showed that pomelo extract significantly reduced the amount of AGEs formed after exposure to sugar.16 Additionally, the essential oil extracted from the peel of pomelo is rich in antioxidants and may decrease melanin production in the skin, potentially preventing discolouration and sunspots.17

Antimicrobial and antifungal properties

Pomelo may possess antibacterial and antifungal properties, but most of the research on these effects has used essential oils extracted from pomelo peel. A test-tube study found that pomelo essential oil inhibited the growth of bacteria on soft contact lenses. Another study reported that pomelo essential oil was more effective than orange, lime, or lemon oils in killing Penicillium expansum, a fungus that can produce a harmful neurotoxin.18 Although the fruit itself may have some of these antibacterial and antifungal properties, more research is needed to confirm these effects. It's crucial to note that essential oils are highly concentrated, and it's not safe to ingest them. Moreover, they should be appropriately diluted before applying to the skin.

Cancer prevention 

Pomelo may have the potential to kill cancer cells and prevent the spread of cancer. A study in mice found that pomelo peel extract suppressed tumour growth, enhanced the immune system, and killed cancer cells.19 Similarly, in another research study, an extract derived from pomelo leaves killed skin cancer cells in mice.20 Furthermore, naringenin, one of the primary antioxidants in pomelo, has demonstrated the ability to kill prostate and pancreatic cancer cells and slow the spread of lung cancer in test-tube studies.21,22,23 However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of pomelo on cancer in humans. It's important to note that the levels of these potentially cancer-killing compounds found in pomelo fruit are much lower than the concentrated forms used in studies.

Nutrients in pomelo

As mentioned before, pomelo is a highly nutritious fruit. One peeled pomelo contains:

  • Calories: 231 kcal
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 59 grams
  • Fibre: 6 grams
  • Riboflavin: 12.6% of the recommended daily intake value (RDIV)
  • Thiamine: 17.3% of the RDIV
  • Vitamin C: 412% of the RDIV
  • Copper: 32% of the RDIV
  • Potassium: 28% of the RDIV 

Using pomelo for our health

Incorporating pomelo into your diet is a simple process. You can obtain fresh pomelo at a local Asian market and purchase dried pomelo online. However, it is important to note that dried pomelo has more calories and added sugar compared to fresh pomelo and is typically used in desserts or as candy in some Asian countries. 

To peel a pomelo, begin by cutting off an inch (2.5 cm) from the pointed end of the fruit, followed by several inch-long (2.5 cm-long) notches into the rind around its diameter. Use these notches to peel the rind off section by section. Once the skin is removed, the pomelo fruit can be divided into sections easily, similar to other citrus fruits. Pomelo can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or used as a substitute for other citrus fruits in recipes. It is also a great addition to salads.

To summarise, here are the main ways to add pomelo to your diet:

  • Add it to salads
  • Mix it into smoothies
  • Add it to breakfast 
  • Use the juice to make healthy summer popsicles
  • Add it to desserts

Side effects

Although consuming pomelo fruit can have heart-healthy benefits, caution should be exercised if you are currently taking statin medications for high cholesterol. Pomelo fruit contains furanocoumarins, which can disrupt the metabolism of statins in your body. These compounds are also found in grapefruit. Additionally, it is important to note that dried pomelo, which is often consumed as a snack, may contain more added sugar and higher calories compared to fresh pomelo fruit.


Pomelo offers immense health benefits including promoting heart health, helping with cancer prevention, and losing weight. Furthermore, pomelo provides essential dietary nutrients like vitamin C and potassium, as well as key minerals like iron and magnesium for optimal blood circulation and bone health. It is important to consume only fresh pomelo and avoid excessive intake to prevent any potential side effects. This fruit is available throughout the year and can be enjoyed in its natural form or as juice to obtain its numerous health benefits for overall well-being.


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  12. Anti-inflammatory activity of β-carotene, lycopene and tri-n-butylborane, a scavenger of reactive oxygen species. (2018). In Vivo, 32(2).  
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  15. Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from pomelo (citrus grandis limonia Osbeck L.) peel. (2021). JST: Engineering and Technology for Sustainable Development, 31(4), 32–37.  
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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Karina Silova

MSc Molecular Medicine and BSc Biomedicine, University of East Anglia, UK

My background is in key areas of biomedical research focusing on diseases and their molecular pathways to understand their root cause. I specialise in epigenetics and reproductive health; I am passionate about understanding diseases and helping to bridge the gap between medical science and the general public with accurate and understandable content while educating the public about health and diseases. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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