Grapefruit, whose botanical name means “fruit of paradise,” is a relative of the orange, with segmented, juicy flesh and a clean, tangy flavor. These fruits are categorized as red, pink or white by their interior color. While all colors of grapefruit carry a wealth of health benefits, red grapefruit may be most beneficial of all. Low in calories, high in fiber and phytonutrients, grapefruit is a healthy dietary choice. If you take prescription medications, especially statin drugs, avoid undesirable interactions by consulting your doctor before eating grapefruit.
Grapefruits are fruits that are high in fiber and low in calories (source: USDA), and they contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and the formation of tumors. Grapefruits increase the body’s metabolic rate, lower insulin levels, and give you a feeling of fullness. They assist the human body in fighting various conditions like fatigue, fever, malaria, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, urinary problems, excess acidity, and many more.
There are plenty of health benefits grapefruits have, which are also known to be powerful drug/poison eliminators. These fruits work as a natural antiseptic for external wounds and also function as a liver tonic. They contain a high amount of water, which helps in changing the complexion of the skin and increasing the body’s metabolic rate. The pulp and fiber of grapefruits have a healthy bulking action to our food intake, which aids in bowel movements and reduces the chances of colon cancer. Grapefruits also help to quench thirst and thus, reduce the burning sensation that arises during fever. The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the intake of grapefruit reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
More Benefits of Grapefruits
1) Weight loss
Some people claim that grapefruit is a miracle weight-loss fruit. However, this has been debunked by recent studies. With this in mind, these studies do show that grapefruit demonstrated improvements in blood pressure and lipid levels. Blood pressure and lipid levels are connected to obesity, and further studies could demonstrate long-term benefits for weight control and obesity prevention.
2) Reduced Stroke Risk
According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of flavonoids may lower the risk of ischemic stroke for women. Flavonoids are compounds found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit. The risk of ischemic stroke was 19 percent lower for those who consumed the highest amounts of citrus than for women who consumed the lowest amounts.
3) Healthy health
The powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, and choline in grapefruit all help to maintain a healthy heart. In one study, those who consumed 4069 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium. Grapefruits are an excellent option for helping to increase the daily intake of potassium.
4) Reduced risk of cancer
Grapefruit is a rich source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C. These can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer in several studies.
Grapefruit, because of its water and fiber content, helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Grapefruit consists of 91 percent water. This makes it one of the most hydrating fruits available. Grapefruit is also full of electrolytes and a great snack to have available to prevent dehydration.
Grapefruit has been linked to healthy skin. However, caution is advised for people who spend a lot of time in the sun. The antioxidant vitamin C can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture when eaten in food or applied to the skin. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of the skin. Regular hydration and vitamin A are also crucial for healthy-looking skin. Grapefruit provides both of these.
More research is required, but the mechanism associated with this risk is likely due to this fruit being high in compounds believed to make the skin more sensitive to the sun. However, in the conclusion of the study, the authors stated that: “At this time, we don’t advise that people cut back on citrus but those who consume a lot of grapefruit and/or orange juice should be particularly careful to avoid prolonged sun exposure.”