Grapefruit is a subtropical citrus fruit with a sour to semi-sweet taste. It has a smooth skin that it easily peel-able, however, it’s the color of the flesh inside which determines whether it is a pink, ruby, or white (blonde) grapefruit.
Grapefruits are delicious all by themselves or added to any kind of green salad or type of fruit. This fruit is also a unique and tasty addition to salsa.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. Grapefruit nutrition is really impressive, especially due to its high Vitamin C content. Following you can find some of the most amazing grapefruit health benefits:
- Stress Management
The smell of citrus, like grapefruit, could help relieve stress. A study published in the Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology showed citrus smell repaired stress-induced immunosuppression, and induced tranquil behavior in mice 2
3 . Moreover, grapefruit aroma in the morning to “energize and awaken” can help you get the day started with mental alertness and energy. So, next time you’re feeling stressed – simply sniff on the grapefruit smell in order to lower anxiety levels.
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- Cardiovascular Health
The potent nutrient combination of potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, choline, and lycopene in grapefruit all aid to maintain a healthy heart. A powerful study showed that a diet supplemented with fresh red grapefruits positively influence levels of blood lipid, especially triglycerides 4 . Scientists found that the addition of fresh red grapefruits to the diet can be helpful for people with atherosclerosis, wanting to reduce their high lipid levels, mostly triglycerides 5 6 .
In one research, people who took 4069 mg potassium a day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from heart disease compared with individuals who took less potassium (around 1000 mg daily).
High potassium intakes are also linked to protection against loss of muscle mass, reduction in the formation of kidney stones, reduced risk of stroke, and preservation of bone mineral density.
In accordance with the American Heart Association, consuming a higher amount of a compound found in citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges could lower ischemic stroke risks for women. People who consumed the highest amount of citrus had a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke than those who ate the least 7 .
Furthermore, increasing potassium intake is also significant for lowering blood pressure due to its great vasodilation effects.
- Weight Loss
Grapefruits may not be wonder weight loss food as touted in many previously famous fad diets, however consuming grapefruits as part of a well-balanced diet may just give you a slight boost.
The Scripps Clinic ‘Grapefruit Diet’ research, directed by Dr. Ken Fujioka, monitored the metabolic factors and weight of 91 obese women and men for exactly 12 weeks. Every contributor was randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups to take either grapefruit capsules along with 7 ounces’ apple juice, placebo capsule along with 8 ounces’ grapefruit juice, 7 ounces’ apple juice with placebo capsules, or placebo capsule with 1/2 of a fresh grapefruit 3 times per day before each meal 8 .
In the end, the group of placebo capsule had lost 0.66 lbs, the group of grapefruit juice had lost 3.3 lbs, the group of fresh had lost the most weight at 3.52 lbs, and the group of grapefruit capsule had lost 2.42 lbs. According to the scientists, there was also a great reduction in 2-hour post-glucose levels of insulin in the grapefruit group compared with the placebo group. 1/2 a fresh grapefruit consumed before meals was also linked to improved insulin resistance 9 .
Grapefruits are an extraordinary source of the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C plus other important antioxidants, which can help fight the formation of free radicals that usually cause cancer. In several studies, lycopene consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer 10 11 . Moreover, foods high in beta-carotene and Vitamin C have been proven to lower the risk of esophageal cancer in general.
Grapefruits are one of the most hydrating fruits, made up of 91 percent water (right below watermelon). This fruit is also rich in significant electrolytes, which make it an ideal snack to have on hand in order to prevent dehydration.
Due to its fiber and water content, grapefruits can prevent constipation and promote healthy digestive system.
- Asthma Prevention
The risk of developing asthma is lower in persons who consume a great amount of some nutrients. Vitamin C is one of these nutrients that is found in numerous vegetables and fruits, especially grapefruits.
Vitamin C, when applied topically or consumed in its natural form (in fresh fruits or vegetables as opposed to supplement form), can help to reduce wrinkles, combat skin damages caused by the pollution and sun, and improve overall skin texture. This vitamin plays an essential role in the collagen formation, the key support system of the skin.
Vitamin A and hydration are also vital for healthy looking skin, both of which grapefruit can offer.
However, it’s worth taking note of a research published in June 2015 that submits that drinking grapefruit juice in large amount might put you at greater risk of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer 12 .
Grapefruit Nutrition Facts
According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, ½ of a medium pink grapefruit, contains about:
- 52 calories
- 0 grams’ cholesterol
- 0 grams’ fat
- 0 grams’ sodium
- 1-gram protein
- 13 grams’ carbohydrate (including 2 grams’ dietary fiber and 8.5 grams’ sugar)
Consuming ½ a grapefruit daily will provide 64% of your Vitamin C requirements, 28% Vitamin A, 2% calcium, and 2% magnesium.
Grapefruit also contains a small amount of vitamin E, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, niacin, potassium, pantothenic acid, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese.
Not just are pink grapefruits high in essential vitamins and minerals, they also pack a strong antioxidant punch with beta-carotene and lycopene along with the phytonutrients naringenin and limonoids.
Studies have proven that fresh red or pink grapefruit has higher amounts of bioactive compounds and contains considerably higher antioxidant potential than yellow or white grapefruit.
Risks of Consuming Grapefruit
Certain drugs become more strong when combined with juice from the grapefruit. These drugs include the calcium-channel blockers (Cardizem, Norvasc, Procardia and others), immunosuppressant cyclosporine (Neoral, Restasis, Sandimmune), the antihistamine terfenadine (Seldane), the hormone estradiol, and the antiviral agent saquinavir (Invirase).
Individuals taking statins may want to avoid this fruit. Grapefruits cause a greater amount of statins in order to enter the circulatory system than would usually. This causes a buildup of statins, which could be dangerous and may cause a rare, serious health condition known as rhabdomyolysis.
People taking pharmaceutical drugs, principally statins, must consult a doctor before consuming grapefruits.
Grapefruits are popular citrus fruit and a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals. Grapefruit is well-known for its antioxidant- and immunity-boosting abilities as well as its cholesterol-lowering and digestive benefits. This fruit has been hailed as a famous diet food for decades because it’s widely thought to boost weight loss. While a grapefruit diet is very extreme, the fruit could be added to person’s diet for a healthy weight loss plan.