Is it just me or is grapefruit a visually appealing fruit? It’s vibrant colors, it’s plump round shape and lets not forget that “bitter sweet”, feeling that makes you cringe. Similar to when you reminisce about that bad break up with an ex. But in all seriousness, I never realized how much I loved grapefruit until this morning. I woke up later than I wanted to and I felt like I had no energy. Usually I’ll spring up like a fish out of water. But today, I literally rolled out of bed and I felt more groggy than usual. When I walked into the kitchen, the sunlight started to beam in my eyes and my eyes darted towards this plump yellow fruit that I had no idea we had in the house. Turns out it was a grapefruit. Apparently my mother in law had bought a few the other day and boy was I glad she did. Without a second thought, I began to cut one open. The sun started to shine on its pinkish flesh as juice oozed out and I thought to myself, “Wow, this is really pretty”. A fruit this plump and colorful has got to be packing some serious antioxidants. So as I ate my grapefruit, I started to do research and this is what I found.
What is a Grapefuit?
Grapefruit is a sour and bitter citrus fruit that is a natural cross breeding between a Pummelo and a sweet orange. Although the exterior resembles an orange, the flesh comes in a white, pink or a reddish color. Grapefruit was given its name in 1814 in Jamaica because of the way it is arranged when it grows on trees; in clusters like grapes.
Grapefruits are jam packed with vitamin C , a strong antioxidant. Not only is it rich in Vitamin A, carotene and lycopene but it also contains moderate levels of Vitamin B complex such as folate, riboflavin, pyridoxine, thiamine and some resourceful minerals like iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus.
Grapefruits are very beneficial to your health in many ways, but with its distinct sour flavor and slightly bitter taste, it isn’t for everyone. However, it’s refreshing scent and high nutritional content makes up for that. Half of a grapefruit provides about 78 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. In fact, it is known as the “fruit from paradise” because it boosts the immune system and can even stop sicknesses from coming too.
Here are some more mind-blowing health benefits of grapefruit:-
1.) Aids in Weight Loss
Grapefruits are a natural fat burner because they are full of vitamin C, fiber, and water. The vitamin C helps the body burn fat while the fiber and water in grapefruit helps to lessen hunger pangs. Research reveals that grapefruit also helps to regulate and lower the level of starch and sugar in the body instead of storing it and converting it into fat. Your body ends up using the sugar as fuel instead, leading to weight loss. So whether you enjoy a glass of grapefruit juice or a half of grapefruit each day, it can really help you lose significant weight.
2.) Stabilizes Blood Sugar
The American Diabetes Association listed grapefruit as a diabetes superfood. This is because grapefruit is a low- glycemic food, and does not cause blood sugar to rise right after it’s eaten. Harvard Medical School states that grapefruit has a glycemic index of 25 to be exact. Also the flavonoid naringenin found in grapefruits raises the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and helps the body stay at a healthy weight.
3.) Helps Prevent Cancer
Grapefruit can help lower the risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, bladder, breast, and esophagus by destroying and prohibiting the growth of cancer cells when they form. The antioxidant property of grapefruit fights free radicals, which are bad for the cells and cause sicknesses like cancer.
A 2006 study found that grapefruits help fix ruined DNA in human prostate cancer cells. Naringenin helps fix DNA in these cancer cells and stops the body from getting cancer. Grapefruit is full of flavonoids, which help the body fight infections and keeps the body free from carcinogens that can cause cancer. Grapefruits also contain high level pectin, which acts as a bulk laxative and helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure to toxic substances in the colon. It not only kills cancer cells but also promotes the production of healthy colon cells too.
4.) Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones
Anyone that has suffered from kidney stones knows that it is extremely painful. According to a study, drinking grapefruit juice every day can help lessen the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Because grapefruits have so much citric acid they can stop stones from forming, and even break up small stones that have already formed. The abundant amount of citric acid in grapefruit juice also helps prevent kidney stones from forming in the urine. Grapefruits are not only good for kidney stones, but for overall kidney health too.
5.) Protects Heart Health & Reduces Stroke Risk
Grapefruits are extremely good for our heart health because it contains a powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, choline and vitamin C. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition imply that regular consumption of grapefruit could play an essential role in fighting heart disease. Grapefruits also have tons of potassium, which works as a vasodilator, which means that it helps the blood vessels and arteries relax. This lowers blood pressure and lessens the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
6.) Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Grapefruits have a few flavonoids. The main flavonoid hesperidin in grapefruits raises ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowers ‘bad’ low- density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. A 2006 study showed that eating only one grapefruit a day can help lower your LDL cholesterol levels by 15.5 percent and triglycerides by 27 percent.
7.) Natural Antihistamine
Grapefruits act as a natural antihistamine . Not only does it help strengthen the immune system, but it helps the body fight off infections and keep it safe from illness as well. The vitamin C in grapefruit is a powerful antioxidant that cleans out harmful free radicals. It also helps the body stay strong against pathogens that cause common colds, allergies and other infectious diseases. It even keeps infectious diseases at bay by helping to lessen their symptoms.
8.) Improves Skin Health
Grapefruit when eaten, provides the body with important nutrients essential for healthy skin. It’s loaded with Vitamin C, which stimulates the production of collagen that helps keep your skin youthful, plump and smooth. Grapefruit’s antioxidant properties also does a great job protecting the skin from harmful free radicals and other environmental hazards.
9.) Fights Gum Disease
We all know a healthy gum line is vital for strong and healthy teeth. Since grapefruits have an abundant amount of vitamin C, they have proved to be very helpful for tackling gum disease. A two-week study published in the British Dental Journal, showed that consuming two grapefruits a day significantly raised vitamin C levels for all participants and almost doubled for smokers. The increased blood levels of vitamin C, showed a reduction of sulcus bleeding in people with gum disease caused by free radical molecules.
10.) Cleanses the Liver
Grapefruits are your personal liver detoxifier. It can help clean out poisons, chemicals, pesticides and toxins from the liver because it has glutathione, a strong antioxidant that gets rid of free radicals. Grapefruits contain phytonutrients called limonoids that aid in the removal of toxins from the liver, making them melt from water. The flavonoid compound called naringenin (which gives the grapefruit it’s bitter taste) also helps the liver burn fat, instead of storing it after a meal.
11.) Improves Vision
Pink and red grapefruits have huge amounts of beta carotene that are necessary to keep your eyes and vision healthy. It also contains high levels of Vitamin C, that helps protects your vision by fighting free radicals and helping you absorb more trace minerals and nutrients. Grapefruits also have a good source of Vitamin A, lycopene, xanthin, lutein and flavonoid antioxidants such as naringenin and naringin. These antioxidant properties are all good for your vision. Just one grapefruit a day is enough to prevent the damages from eye strain and aging. Studies have shown that Americans are deficient in vitamin C & E, which helps prevent cellular mutations, repair damaged tissue and slows down inflammatory responses.
One long-term study found that among 3,000 adults (ages 43 to 86), cataracts was 60 percent less common among people who reported using multivitamins with both vitamin E or vitamin C.
As you can see the addition of fresh grapefruit to your diet could be very beneficial, however it can be just as harmful if it interferes with your medication. Medications can interact with all forms of grapefruit – the fresh fruit, juice or even the frozen concentrate can result in problems. Interactions may occur with commonly used drugs – such as those that lower cholesterol, treat high blood pressure, or fight cancer. If you drink grapefruit juice, always have your pharmacist check for drug interactions with any new prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drug.
ARE YOU CONVINCED?
Even though oranges and lemons are the most commonly used citrus fruits, grapefruits have proven to be just as great for your health. Not only is grapefruit refreshing and delicious, but it’s also a disease busting powerhouse that lives up to its name of the “Miracle Fruit.” With its distinct flavor, the powerful taste of grapefruit is not for everyone. But with its high nutritional content and refreshing scent, I think we can make an exception. Make sure to always buy grapefruits that are firm and springy to the touch. Also be sure to keep grapefruits stored at room temperature before juicing them to get the most out of them.
I for one never cared to eat grapefruits. My mom used to give them to me as a kid with sugar and I remember it being tasty but for some reason I never reached for it on my own. Well, that was until now. Now that I know what grapefruits are packing, I can’t go without it. I’m sure if you give it a shot, you will be addicted too.
Do you like grapefruits? If not, what fruits do you reach for instead? Does it have any shocking healing properties that encourages you to eat it more often than usual?
If so, list them down below and share your knowledge!