Grapefruit: Benefits, Risk Factors, Nutrition Facts

by admin_gothkm8c

Grapefruit is incredibly healthy food to include in your diet. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, making it the healthiest citrus fruit you can eat. Next to the orange, it is one of the most popular citrus fruit in the United States. Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a flavor that can range from bittersweet to sour.

It contains a range of essential vitamins and minerals. People can consume the whole fruit or as juice or pulp. The nutritious it may help promote healthy skin and protect against various conditions. They may also play a role in weight management.

Grapefruit was popularized as a diet food in the 1970s. Today, it can be found in other subtropical climates, including Texas, Arizona, and California. 

Nutrition Information:

A ½ medium grapefruit 120g contains;

Calories 40
Total fat 0.1g
Sodium 0
Carbohydrates 9g
Protein 1.2g
Vitamin A 16mcg
Vitamin C 46mg
Calcium 18mg
Iron 1mg
Vitamin E 0.1mg
Thiamin 0.05mg
Riboflavin 0.03mg
Niacin 0.1mg
Vitamin B6 0.05mg
Folate 11mcg
Phosphorous 10mg
Magnesium 10mg
Zinc 0
Potassium 156mg
Choline 15.4mg
Lutein and Zeaxanthin 12mcg

Lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A and C all act as antioxidants.

Types of Grapefruit:

The pulp of grapefruit varies between shades of Pink and Red. There are at least 10 known varieties of grapefruit, including;

  • Ruby Red
  • Red blush
  • Sweetie
  • Triumph
  • Duncan
  • Thompson
  • Foster
  • Paradise navel
  • Marsh
  • Oroblanco

Benefits of Grapefruit:

Grapefruit is low in calories and rich in nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin A and C.

1. Control diabetes:

Drinking grapefruit juice improved insulin sensitivity in mice, regardless of their diet  (in people, reduced insulin sensitivity can be a sign of impending diabetes). Grapefruit juice lowered blood sugar as effectively as metformin, a drug widely used to treat people with type 2 diabetes. Grapefruit is low on the glycemic index. This means that it provides nutrients but does not have a significant negative impact on a person’s blood sugar level.

2. Aids in weight loss:

A half grapefruit or a glass of its juice before meals may help fill you up, so you will eat fewer calories at meals and potentially lose weight and lower irregular cholesterol levels. Fiber and antioxidant-rich fruits like it may help protect against heart diseases and stroke. Fiber-rich content in grapefruit may also help you feel fuller which may help in weight loss.

Further studies could prove that the nutrients in grapefruit have long-term benefits for weight control and obesity prevention.

3. Prevent stroke:

Flavonoids are thought to improve blood vessel function and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Researchers found that women who got most of their flavonoids from citrus fruits had a lower risk of ischemic or blood clot-related, strokes. The risk of ischemic stroke was 19% lower among those who consumed the highest amounts of citrus fruits.

4. Lower blood pressure and improve heart health:

Citrus fruits including grapefruit, oranges, and lemon may have powerful blood pressure lowering effects. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may help keep your heart healthy by reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure. The combination of lycopene, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and colin in it could all contribute to heart health. The DASH diet, which health professionals designed to reduce blood pressure through dietary options, includes grapefruit as a recommended food.

5. Reduce the risk of cancer:

Grapefruit contains a variety of nutrients and phytocompounds that show potential to protect against cancer in laboratory studies. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. In lab studies, it protects cells’ DNA by trapping free radicals and it helps renew the antioxidant ability of vitamin E. Lycopene lower the risk of prostate cancer. A high intake of dietary fiber can help prevent colorectal cancer.

6. Improve digestion:

It contains water and fiber. Both water and fiber can help prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.        

7. Skin:

Grapefruit rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, transforms dull, dehydrated complexion and leaves your skin beautifully radiant. It also contains lycopene which is known to reduce redness and inflammation of the skin, helping to even out skin tone for a smooth complexion. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of the skin. The author of the 2017 study concluded that vitamin C could help protect against sun damage and aging.

8. Boost immune system:

It is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A that have been proven to help immune function. A dietary intake of vitamin C may help prevent and treat respiratory and other infections.

9. May promote brain functions:

Grapefruit has shown positive effects in protecting neurodegenerative conditions with naringin having significant antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties. Drinking a glass of grapefruit juice may help in regulating the secretions of insulin in your body.

10. Speed up wound healing:

Vitamin C helps form healthy scar tissue and new blood vessels, both of which help return your body to a healthy state. Vitamin C speeds up wound healing post-surgically, says Chiasson.   

Risk Factors:

Grapefruit is not suitable for everyone to consume. Risks are;

  • Drug interaction; some medications that grapefruit can affect include;
  • Statins
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Some psychiatric drugs
  • Anticoagulants
  • Anxiety medications
  • Some corticosteroids
  • Excess potassium damage the kidneys
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

References:

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280882
  • https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/grapefruit-nutrition-benefits-types-side-effects-more/
  • https://www.health.com/food/grapefruit-facts

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