Let’s talk about Grapefruit – The Good Things You Need To Know
Grapefruit is the most popular fruit of our time. The tropical citrus fruit is known for its sweet and somewhat sour taste.
The richness in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber make it one of the healthiest citrus fruits you can eat.
As a matter of fact, research reveals it has some powerful health benefits, which include a reduction in risk of heart disease and weight loss.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit.
1. It’s High in Nutrients, hence Low in Calories
It gives an adequate amount of fiber, in addition to more than 15 useful vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the major nutrients seen in half of a medium-sized grapefruit:
- Calories: 52
- Carbs: 13 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 64% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 28% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Thiamine: 4% of the RDI
- Folate: 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 3% of the RDI
Equally, it is a rich source of some great antioxidant plant compounds, which are hopefully responsible for many of its health benefits.
2. It May Benefit Your Immune System
Consuming grapefruit daily may be helpful for your immune system.
It’s valued for its great vitamin C content, which has antioxidant qualities known to protect your cells from dangerous bacteria and viruses.
In addition, several studies have proved vitamin C to be useful for helping people recover more instantly from the common cold.
Several other vitamins and minerals discovered in grapefruit benefit immunity, including vitamin A, which has been shown to help protect against inflammation and several infectious diseases.
In other words, grapefruit also provides small amounts of B vitamins, copper, zinc, and iron, which all work together in the body to promote immune system function. They also help maintain the integrity of your skin, which acts as a protective barrier to infection.
Grapefruit holds a decent amount of fiber, 2 grams in half of a medium-sized fruit.
The study confirms that a diet high in fiber-rich fruits is beneficial for inducing feelings of fullness. The reason that fiber slows the rate at which your stomach empties, increasing digestion time.
Thus, eating adequate amounts of fiber may instantly help you eat fewer calories throughout the day by keeping your appetite at bay.
4. It Has Been Revealed to Aid Weight Loss
Grapefruit is a weight loss-friendly food. It has several properties linked to weight loss, especially its fiber content, which helps promote fullness and reduce calorie intake.
Additionally, grapefruit contains few calories but lots of water, which is another characteristic known to help with weight loss.
In a study, 91 obese subjects found that those who consumed half of a fresh grapefruit before meals lost significantly more weight than those who didn’t.
Additionally, those in the group that ate fresh grapefruit lost an average of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over 12 weeks, while the participants in the group that didn’t eat grapefruit lost less than 1 pound (0.3 kg) average.
In other studies have discovered similar weight-reducing effects. For example, one study observed that participants experienced a reduced waist size when consuming grapefruit daily with their meals.
This isn’t to say that grapefruit will produce weight loss on its own, but adding it to an already healthy diet may prove beneficial.
5. Grapefruit May Help Prevent Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Consuming grapefruit daily may have the potential to limit insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
Insulin resistance happens when your cells stop reacting to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates many processes in your body.
For instance, it’s involved in many aspects of your metabolism, but it’s most commonly known for its role in blood sugar control.
Insulin resistance ultimately leads to higher insulin and blood sugar levels, two primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Eating grapefruit may help control insulin levels and thus have the ability to reduce your likelihood of becoming insulin resistant.
In one study, subjects who ate half of a fresh grapefruit before meals experienced a significant reduction in insulin levels and insulin resistance than the group that didn’t eat grapefruit.
Furthermore, eating fruit as a whole is generally associated with better blood sugar control and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Regularly consuming grapefruit is thought to improve heart health by reducing risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
In one study, people who ate grapefruit three times daily for six weeks experienced significant reductions in blood pressure over the course of the study. They also showed improvements in total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
These effects are likely due to the important nutrients that grapefruit contains, which play a role in keeping your heart functioning properly.
First, grapefruit is fairly high in potassium, a mineral responsible for many aspects of heart health. Half a grapefruit provides about 5% of your daily potassium needs.
Adequate potassium intake is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure. Additionally, it has been shown to lower the risk of death from heart disease.
Second, the fiber in grapefruit may also boost heart health, given that a high fiber intake is associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Overall, researchers claim that including fiber and antioxidant-rich fruits like grapefruit as part of a healthy diet helps protect against heart disease and stroke conditions.
7. It’s High in Powerful Antioxidants
Grapefruit contains a few different antioxidants that provide various health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases.
Antioxidants protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body.
Here’s an overview of the most important antioxidants in grapefruit:
- Vitamin C: A powerful, water-soluble antioxidant that is present in high amounts in grapefruit. It may protect cells from damage that often leads to heart disease and cancer.
- Beta-carotene: It’s converted into vitamin A in the body and thought to help reduce the risk of some chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and eye-related disorders like macular degeneration.
- Lycopene: Known for its potential ability to prevent the development of certain types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. It may also help slow the growth of tumors and decrease the side effects of common cancer treatments.
- Flavanones: Their anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
8. May Reduce the Risk of Kidney Stones
Consuming grapefruit may reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, which result from a buildup of waste materials in the kidneys.
These waste materials are products of metabolism that are normally filtered through the kidneys and removed from the body in urine.
However, when they crystallize in the kidneys, they become stones. Larger kidney stones may cause a blockage in the urinary system, which can be incredibly painful.
The most common type of kidney stones is calcium oxalate stones. Citric acid, an organic acid found in grapefruit, may prevent them by binding with calcium in the kidneys and flushing it out of the body.
Also, citric acid has the ability to increase the volume and pH of your urine, producing an environment that is less favorable to the formation of kidney stones.
9. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Grapefruit requires little-to-no preparation, so it’s fairly easy to add to your diet.
Even if you live a busy, on-the-go lifestyle, you can still enjoy grapefruit regularly without worrying about it taking up too much of your time.
Here are some ways you can enjoy grapefruit:
10. Very Hydrating
Grapefruit contains a lot of water and is, therefore, very hydrating. In fact, water makes up most of the fruit’s weight.
There are almost 4 ounces (118 ml) of water in half of a medium grapefruit, accounting for about 88% of its total weight.
While drinking lots of water is the best way to stay hydrated, eating water-rich foods can also help.
There are a few reasons why some people may need to avoid eating grapefruit.
For some people, consuming grapefruit and its juice may lead to medication interactions.
This is because it contains substances that inhibit cytochrome P450, an enzyme your body uses to metabolize certain medications.
If you eat grapefruit while taking these medications, your body may not break them down, which could cause an overdose and other adverse effects.
The medications most likely to interact with grapefruit include:
- Most calcium channel blockers
- Some statins
If you are taking any of these medications, talk with your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.
Tooth Enamel Erosion
In some cases, consuming grapefruit may lead to tooth enamel erosion.
Citric acid, found in citrus fruits, is a common cause of enamel erosion, particularly if you consume it in excess.
If you have susceptible teeth, you may need to avoid acidic fruits. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to preserve your tooth enamel while still enjoying grapefruit:
- Never suck on grapefruit or other acidic fruits, and avoid putting them directly against your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating the fruit and wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth.
- Eat cheese with the fruit. This helps neutralize the acidity in your mouth and increase saliva production.