Grapefruit is incredibly healthy food to include in your diet. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre, making it the most nutritious citrus fruit you can eat. Next to the orange, grapefruit is one of the most popular citrus fruit in the United States. Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a taste ranging 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 grapefruit may help promote healthy skin and protect against various conditions. They may also play a role in weight management.
Grapefruit was popularised as a diet food in the 1970s. Today, found in other subtropical climates, including Texas, Arizona, and California.
A ½ medium grapefruit 120g contains;
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin||12mcg|
Lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A and C are antioxidants.
Types of Grapefruit
The pulp of grapefruit varies between shades of Pink and Red. There are at least ten known varieties of grapefruit, including;
- Ruby Red
- Red blush
- Paradise navel
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. It means that it provides nutrients but does not significantly negatively impact its blood sugar level.
2. Aids in weight loss
A half grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit 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. Fibre and antioxidant-rich fruits like grapefruit may help protect against heart diseases and stroke. Fibre-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 intense 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, fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and colin in grapefruit 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 various nutrients that can 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 fibre can help prevent colorectal cancer.
6. Improve digestion
Grapefruit contains water and fibre. Water and fibre can help prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Grapefruit rich in antioxidants beta carotene transforms dull, dehydrated complexion and leaves your skin beautifully radiant. It also contains lycopene, which reduces 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 primary support system of the skin. The author of the 2017 study concluded that vitamin C could help protect against sun damage and ageing.
8. Boost immune system
Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, 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, and naringin has significant antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. Drinking a glass of grapefruit juice may assist regulate insulin secretions 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 speed up wound healing post-surgically, says Chiasson.
Grapefruit is not suitable for everyone to consume. Risks are;
- Drug interaction; some medications that grapefruit can affect include;
- Calcium channel blockers
- Some psychiatric drugs
- Anxiety medications
- Some corticosteroids
- Excess potassium damage the kidneys
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease