[ pom–uh-loh ]
So the debate may be decided by dictionary.com; it is pronounced with the emphasis on “pom” versus often heard “pa-mel-loh”. What is not debatable is that it is the largest of the citrus fruits. It’s latin name is translated as Citrus Maximus.
Though it looks like a giant grapefruit, it is sweeter and has it’s own unique flavor. It is refreshing when added to a salad, adds a pleasant tang atop fish and is a healthy way to top your waffles, pancakes or oatmeal. It can be also be added to a smoothie for a citrus burst that is neither too sweet or sour or simply peel away it’s thick rind and separate the juicy flesh of the segments from the skin, which you will want to discard, and pop the flavor burst right into your mouth. I enjoy the slightly sweet tangy segments on their own , not just for the taste but also for the health benefits.
Just one pomelo will supply you with four times the daily recommended Vitamin C, as well as a variety of other vitamins and nutrients. That single fruit will give you Protein, Carbs and Fiber as well as Riboflavin, Thiamine, Copper and Potassium as well as the Vitamin C.
Let’s break it down further. The fiber in a pomelo is about 1/4 of your daily recommended fiber intake. You might already know that fiber aids in digestion, but did you know that fruit fiber has also been shown to benefit bone density and a decreased risk in some chronic diseases. Combine the fiber with the protein and you will feel fuller longer, which can aid in weight loss or simply keeping calories low and maintaining gut health. Antioxidants, which are also associated with anti-aging, will fight the damage caused to your cells by free radicals and can therefore decrease your risk of cancer. Free radicals compounds that are found in the environment and in foods. As mentioned, a single pomelo will provide over 400% of your daily Vitamin C, but the main antioxidants in pomelo are naringenin and naringin.
…naringenin — one of the main antioxidants in pomelo — has been shown to kill prostate and pancreatic cancer cells, as well as slow the spread of lung cancer in test-tube studies.
Still, more research in humans is needed to fully understand pomelo’s effect on cancer. (National Library of Medicine, pubmed.gov)
The anti inflammatory antioxidant Lycopene is also present in pomelos. Eating them may also benefit heart health. A study in rats has shown a reduction of triglycerides and LDL, bad cholesterol in your blood. However, if you are prescribed statins, seek the advice of your physician as pomelos, like grapefruit, can interfere with your metabolism of statins.
So the next time you see what appears to be a giant grapefruit, don’t overlook it. If citrus is not restricted from your diet, give a pomelo a try. They are most commonly found in your Asian markets but often, especially during the Lunar New Year, you will easily find them everywhere. If you don’t see it in your produce section, just ask. That’s pom-uh-loh… Enjoy!