Probably few of us know the pomelo, also known as pummelo or pampaleone, an ancient fruit with extraordinary properties. Let’s find out below.
The pomelo (Citrus maxima) is the fruit of the homonymous tree belonging to the Rutaceae family and to the Citrus genus, that is, it is a citrus fruit, which seems to be such an ancient plant as to be the ancestor of orange and grapefruit.
Pomelo, also known as pummelo or pampaleone, is an exotic fruit that is widespread in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia and China, but its cultivation has also extended to South Africa and the United States, it is in fact a plant that it prefers hot and humid climates.
The fruit is very large, about the size of a melon, but with a pear-shaped appearance and with a peel similar to that of other citrus fruits but with colors ranging from green to yellow and contains rather large wedges, which have a sweeter flavor than those of lemon and grapefruit.
Pomelo: calories and nutritional properties
Like all citrus fruits, pomelo has a low calorie content, in fact it provides about 40 kcal per 100 grams. For this reason it lends itself to being included in low-calorie diets. Pomelo also contains a lot of water and a lot of fiber (especially soluble fiber), little protein and does not contain fat.
Its content in vitamin C is relevant, a vitamin with antioxidant properties and essential for the well-being of our body. It is also rich in mineral salts, including potassium and above all in antioxidant molecules, in particular naringenin, naringin and lycopene.
Nutritional values per 100g of pomelo:
- Kcal: 38
- Carbohydrates: 9.62 g
- Fat: 0.04 g
- Proteins: 0.76 g
- Fibers: 1 g
- Waterfall: 89.1 g
- Iron: 0.11 mg
- Soccer: 4 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Potassium: 216 mg
- Phosphorus: 17 mg
- Zinc: 0.08 mg
- Magnesium: 6 mg
- C vitamin: 61 mg
- Vitamin B1: 0.034 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.027 mg
- Vitamin B3: 0.22 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.036 mg
Pomelo: the health benefits
It is a pity that pomelo is not a very well known fruit, since it has innumerable nutritional qualities and can bring many benefits to our health. Let’s see in particular what are the main properties of pomelo.
✓ Help against diabetes
Pomelo, containing a lot of water and fiber, has a low glycemic index, therefore, inserted in a meal, it is able to lower the glycemic index of the entire meal, helping to positively modulate glucose absorption and avoiding glycemic peaks. It follows, therefore, that even diabetics can eat it without fear that it will increase blood sugar levels.
✓ Beneficial for the intestine
Also thanks to the presence of water and fiber, pomelo keeps the intestine healthy, avoiding constipation and enriching it with prebiotics, that is compounds useful for the bacterial flora residing here. It also has digestive properties as it stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and its consumption can also be useful after a meal.
✓ Useful against fungal and bacterial dermatitis
Pomelo contains antibacterial and antifungal substances, located above all in the peel, from which it is possible to obtain essential oils for topical use with anti-bacterial properties.
✓ Lowers blood cholesterol
Pomelo seems to have hypocholesterolemic properties, that is, it seems to help reduce blood cholesterol values, and also triglycerides, thus contributing to the health of the cardiovascular system.
✓ Useful against colds
The remarkable content of vitamin C makes pomelo a possible ally against colds, offering us a concentrate of antioxidants that helps us fight winter ailments and counteract psychophysical stress.
✓ Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
As we anticipated above, pomelo is particularly rich in antioxidant molecules, such as naringenin, naringin and lycopene that counteract the formation of free radicals, molecules responsible for oxidation with consequent damage to the tissues, so it seems to be useful also in the case of inflammatory diseases chronic.
✓ Promotes weight loss
If we are on a low- calorie diet, eating pomelo will help us achieve a sense of satiety with very few calories, filling up with water and fiber, which will also promote correct intestinal transit. The presence of potassium, then, favors the reduction of water retention.
After or during prolonged physical activity, eating pomelo wedges will help avoid dehydration and replenish our reserves of mineral salts lost during physical exertion. It can also help regain lost fluids following diarrhea episodes.
Pomelo: how to peel, how to eat and some cooking tips
If we have never tasted pomelo, we naturally ask ourselves where to buy. If we are lucky we can find it in our trusted supermarket, otherwise we will have to rely on shops specialized in agri-food products or in Asian food shops. Like all citrus fruits it is a winter fruit but since it is imported, it can be found in stores at all times of the year. To choose a ripe pomelo it is necessary to look at the peel, which must be light green or yellow-pink, and in any case uniform in color. In addition, it must not have any dents or black parts.
To be able to eat it, it is necessary to remove the peel, as is done with an orange or a grapefruit, an operation that could be just a little more complicated given the size of this fruit, which, as we have seen, can be very large.
Under the peel there is a rather thick albedo that will be eliminated and then the pulp in large segments, which can be eaten fresh and natural, since the taste is less sour than that of grapefruit.
Once opened, it would be advisable to consume it immediately, as it is very easy for it to dry out, as it happens for oranges, while if we buy it and do not intend to consume it immediately, we can keep it intact in a cool place in the air or in the refrigerator for about a week.
Since this citrus fruit does not have such a bitter aftertaste like that of grapefruit, we can eat it natural as a fresh and moisturizing snack, or at breakfast to fill up on vitamins and minerals from the morning, or we can decide to use it in the kitchen for the preparation of fresh meat or fish dishes. In the oriental culinary tradition it is in fact widely used together with pork or fish or shellfish.
We can also use it to prepare fresh and rich salads, on the other hand even in the Mediterranean tradition it is easy to find citrus fruits in salads, such as the typical orange salad so loved in Sicily.
It also lends itself very well to being used in a fruit salad or as an ingredient in sweet recipes. It is in fact possible to prepare granitas and sorbets or fragrant jams to enrich our homemade tarts.
Not only that, with the peel of the pomelo you can prepare a delicious snack, cutting it into thin strips and boiling them with sugar to caramelize them, or, for the sweet tooth, covering them with chocolate.
If, on the other hand, we want to take advantage of the purifying and antimicrobial properties of pomelo, we can prepare a decoction with the peels, to which we can add ginger and enjoy it in the form of a thirst-quenching drink in summer or as a hot herbal tea in winter. We can also prepare dietary and moisturizing juices, but in that case we will not take advantage of the properties of the fibers of which pomelo is particularly rich.
Contraindications of pomelo
Like grapefruit, even pomelo in some cases must be used carefully, it seems that it can interact with the intake of some drugs, such as some antibiotics, some chemotherapy, anxiolytic drugs of the benzodiazepine class, anticoagulants, corticosteroids. Therefore, if you take medications, it is always good to consult your doctor before starting to take a new food, especially if it is part of your diet regularly.