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Nutrition Facts on the Pomelo

written by: Dr. Kristie Leong • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 3/14/2011

The pomelo is a citrus fruit first cultivated in Southeast Asia, but it's making inroads into the American market. Is it good for you? Find out more about pomelo fruit nutrition.

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    It looks like a giant grapefruit, but it has a somewhat sweeter taste than the typical grapefruit many Americans enjoy in the morning. The pomelo, a citrus fruit that comes from Southeast Asia, is gaining a following for those who are lucky enough to find it at their local supermarket or produce stand.

    Most people are more familiar with a relative of the pomelo fruit, the tangelo, a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo, but the pomelo fruit has a character all its own. Is this juicy fruit good for you? Find out more about pomelo fruit nutrition, and why you should add it to the breakfast table.

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    Pomelo Fruit Nutrition: It Has Antioxidant Power

    The pomelo fruit is chock full of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin that helps build healthy collagen and keep cells healthy. It may not prevent the common cold as Linus Pauling thought, but too little vitamin C almost certainly increases your risk for infection, and it can lead to a serious vitamin C deficiency disease called scurvy.

    The pomelo fruit offers almost twice the daily recommended requirement of vitamin C, so it’s a good substitute for the morning grapefruit or orange. The peel of the pomelo is a good source of bioflavonoids, although few people eat the fruit, but some use it to make marmalade. According to a study published in the journal Food Chemistry, pomelos are a good source of antioxidants, falling between the kiwi and the lemon on the antioxidant scale.

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    Pomelos Are a Little High in Carbohydrates

    Pomelos are higher in carbohydrates than most fruits. One cup of this sweet citrus fruit has around 18 grams of carbohydrates. The good news is it also contains almost two grams of fiber, which is a little less than the three grams of fiber in a similar serving of grapefruit. From a carbohydrate standpoint, it’s much like the grapefruit, but the pomelo has slightly more vitamin C.

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    Pomelo Fruit Nutrition: Other Nutritional Benefits

    A one cup serving of pomelo fruit has 1.4 grams of protein and modest amounts of certain B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. It’s an excellent source of blood-pressure lowering potassium. Pomelo fruit also has modest amounts of magnesium, phosphorus and copper.

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    How Many Calories Are in the Pomelo Fruit?

    As with most fruits, the pomelo fruit is not high in calories. One cup of this tastebud titillating fruit has only 72 calories. It’s a guilt-free breakfast food or snack as long as you’re not on a low-carb diet.

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    Pomelo Fruit Nutrition: The Bottom Line?

    Pomelos are a tasty substitute for grapefruit in the morning, and many people appreciate its milder, sweeter taste. One word of warning. If you’re taking medications, talk to your doctor before eating pomelos, since, like the grapefruit, it can alter the metabolism of some medications. Enjoy this exotic citrus fruit.

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    References

    Food Chemistry. Volume 76, Issue 1.

    Harvard Medical School. “Does Pomelo Juice Affect Drugs the Same Way Grapefruit Juice Does?”

    Self Nutrition Data. “Pomelo”