Named for the way the fruit hangs in bunches (like grapes), the grapefruit is a nutritious member of the citrus family. It comes from sunny Barbados and is thought to be the result of the natural cross pollenization between the orange and the Asian pomelo. Today the greatest quantity of grapefruits is produced by the United States, followed by China and South Africa.
Here are amazing health benefits of grapefruit that may make you want to include it in your diet on a regular basis.
Rich in Vitamin C
Being a member of the citrus family, grapefruit is also a great source of vitamin C, the great immune system supporter. As such, it is recommended against the common cold, for many studies have indicated that vitamin C relieves the severity of cold symptoms. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C protects our bodies against oxidative stress caused by free radical damage and the inflammation associated with asthma and arthritis.
Oxidative stress can also cause a number of other severe medical conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, and has been connected to a host of cancers, such as mouth, throat, lung, stomach and colon. Vitamin C also helps to replenish the amount of vitamin E in the body.
Prevents Arthritis and Works as an Antiseptic
Grapefruit contains salicylic acid that helps break down the body’s inorganic calcium, which builds up in the cartilage of joints and may lead to arthritis. If you have arthritis, try drinking grapefruit juice with apple cider vinegar. You will notice a reduction in your arthritis symptoms.
The salicylic acid in grapefruit also works as a powerful antiseptic. In addition, grapefruit seed extracts can be added to water to make an antiseptic spray for treating bacterial and fungal infections.
A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was performed on 57 patients who had had coronary bypass surgery. One group of participants added red grapefruit to their diet, another added blond grapefruit, and the third group didn’t add any grapefruit at all. The results showed that those who had the red grapefruit lowered their cholesterol the most and lowered their triglyceride levels, too. Both types of grapefruit lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in only a month, and dramatically more than the control group.
Prevents Kidney Stones
Grapefruit contains a compound called d-limonene that prevents the formation of and dissolves renal stones. One study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that women drinking a half a liter to a liter of grapefruit juice every day lowered the pH levels of their urine, thereby decreasing the risk of developing kidney stones. However, if you are already being treated for kidney problems, grapefruit juice may impede the effectiveness of any medications you may be taking.
Grapefruit is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, a powerful ally in the fight against free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with many different types of cancer. Studies have shown grapefruit juice to be effective against lung cancer by impeding an enzyme that activates cancer-causing chemicals. In colon cancer it encourages the suicide (apoptosis) of cancer cells and the production of healthy cells. Recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that Naringenin, a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit, helped repair damaged genetic material (DNA) in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying. Scientists noted that DNA repair by Naringenin might contribute to the cancer-fighting effects associated with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives grapefruit its red color and another antioxidant in its arsenal. A group of phytonutrients in grapefruits called limonoids help prevent tumors by promoting an enzyme that causes the liver to expel more toxins from the body. Many studies have also shown that limonoids aid against cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, and stomach. The pulp of grapefruits contains glucarates, a type of phytochemical that has been shown effective against breast cancer.
Grapefruit, which itself is fat free, contains a high number of fat-burning enzymes. Studies have shown them to alter insulin levels, thereby affecting metabolic rates. It’s not sure whether this explains how they cause weight loss, or if there’s something to them that satiates the appetite in some other way, but studies show they do work.
Researches belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge. Dr. Ken Fujioka from Scripps Clinic in San Diego conducted a 12-week study of 100 obese men and women and found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds with some participants losing up to 10 pounds. Individuals who ate the grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin in their blood, which the researchers speculate resulted in the weight loss. The smaller the amount of insulin in the blood after a meal, the more efficiently the body uses food for energy rather than storing it as fat. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss since those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight despite the lack of fiber.
The high amount of vitamin A in grapefruit endows it with powerful antioxidant properties to combat skin damage caused by oxidative stress. Grapefruit helps maintain adequate moisture levels in the skin, protecting it from dryness, psoriasis, acne, and wrinkles.
Grapefruit Benefits for Diseases:
- Appetite Loss: Grapefruit works as an excellent appetizer as compared to any other drug. It is said that smell of the grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger. This is the reason why people include grapefruit in their weight loss programs. High fiber contained by this fruit can satisfy hunger and thus, avoids any overeating temptation.
- Fever: The pulp or the juice of grapefruit provides assistance to the patient to recover easily from the fever. It reduces burning sensation that occurs during high temperature. It also cures several cases of cold and phenomena. Grapefruit juice, if combined with water, can quench the thirst.
- Fatigue: Grapefruit is beneficial in the treatment of fatigue. It helps you to dispel your fatigue and general tiredness caused due to the routine work. It can bring about a refreshing feeling in you when you drink equal amount of grapefruit juice and lemon juice.
- Influenza: Grapefruit is a valuable remedy for influenza as it helps to minimize acidity from the system. The bitter properties arising from an essence called ‘maringin’ in grapefruit tones up the system and the digestive swathe.
- Malaria: The juice or the fruit itself consists of valuable and natural ‘quinine’ which are advantageous for the treatment of malaria. The quinine can be easily extracted from the fruits by boiling a quarter of grapefruit and spraining the pulp.
- Acidity: The fresh grapefruit juice has alkaline reaction after digestion. The citric acid of the fruit is tarnished in the human body and thus, increases the effect of the alkalinity reaction after digestion. The juice extracted from the grapefruit is beneficial in preventing the acid formation and many other diseases that arise due to the presence of acidity in the body.
- Indigestion: Grapefruit is useful for solving the problem of indigestion. It is very light as compared to other food articles and thus, acts immediately on indigestion by easing the heat and irritation caused in the stomach. It improves the flow of digestive juices, thereby improving the digestive systems.
- Insomnia: A simple glass of grapefruit juice, if drunk before going to bed, can promote healthy and sweet sleep and thus, alleviates insomnia.
- Diabetes: A diabetic patient can safely eat a grapefruit. The consumption of this fruit can reduce the starches from the body. If a patient is diabetic, intake of grapefruit can facilitate you to fight with this health issue.
- Constipation: A glass full of fresh squeezed grapefruit in the morning is the best remedy to control the constipation. They result best in stimulating the colon and other parts of the body.
- Flatulence: 10 to 20 drops of grapefruit seeds in the juice, taken before the meals and three times a day, work as an appropriate pro-biotic and digestive enzyme.
- Urinary Disorders: Grapefruit juice is quite rich in potassium and vitamin C and thus, works as the best medicine in the case of scanty urination caused due to the liver, kidney or heart problems.