Grapefruit Benefits – Why Should Grapefruits Be A Regular Part Of Your Diet?
A fruit that gratifies your sweet tooth, is low in calories, high in fibres & rich in nutrients! What more does a fruit need to qualify as a nutritious delicacy? Grapefruit benefits are pure gold and are enough to count it as nature’s blessing to mankind!
Let’s have a simple glance at how beneficial is grapefruit to our body & what is in this citrus fruit that makes it so healthy?
Table of Contents
Where Did Grapefruits Originate From? – The Untold Story!
You will be surprised to know that grapefruits are natural hybrids! They first originated in Barbados due to an accidental natural cross that occurred between two powerful citrus fruits – Orange and Pomelo!
But the fruits were forbidden and were seized by some people who believed that the grapefruit tree was the tree of good and evil, the fruits of which they believe should not be plucked.
Grapefruits were called ‘The Forbidden fruits’ for this reason!
Scientifically speaking, grapefruits belong to the family Rutaceae! The trees grow in subtropical regions bearing fruits that are relatively large carrying sweet, tart and bitter mixed taste
Grapefruit Benefits – What Happens To Your Body If You Eat Grapefruits Regularly Hereafter!
One of the prominent health benefits of grapefruits is that these are a rich source of vitamin A and Vitamin C which can boost your immunity! Strong immunity is a backbone for strong health.
Also, the presence of the major antioxidants like lycopene and beta carotene in grapefruits can prevent the chances of various types of cancer and the most common cardiovascular diseases.
They can protect your skin from sunburns, protect your brain from cognitive decline and a lot more!
Let’s have a deeper understanding of the health benefits of grapefruits
1. Grapefruits Keep You Hydrated
Countries that fall under tropical zone receive intense and direct sun rays for most of the year! Being excessively exposed to the sun if you reside in the tropical zoned country can deprive your body of water leading to some dreadful consequences!
Relying solely on the water for quenching your thirst might not help your body withstand the excruciating heat.
Consuming fresh, succulent and juicy fruits or preparing a delicious juice exclusively meant for summer like that of a fresh grapefruit juice might actually keep your body hydrated.
About 88% of grapefruit is filled with water. Also, enormous amounts of vitamin C present in the fruit can revitalize your body & keep you energized for long periods!
The Easiest Method Of Preparing Grapefruit Juice
- Grapefruit – 5-6 slices for one person (you can change the quantity accordingly)
- Water – One cup for one person
- Dates (seeds removed) – 3
- Agave syrup – One tablespoon
Ice cubes are optional. You can either add a couple of ice cubes while blending or you can refrigerate the drink soon after you blend a smoothie to relish the grapefruit juice cool and refreshing!
How to Prepare?
- Add in the required cups of water into the blender jar.
- Add grapefruit slices, along with the dates. Top these with a tablespoon of agave syrup.
- Blend the quantities well until a smoothie is formed.
- Relish the tasty, vitamin C enriched drink twice a day to enjoy the best benefits!
2. Grapefruit For Weight Loss
Most of the weight loss fruits and vegetables work because of their ability to reduce hunger, due to their lower calorie content & high fibre content.
What Is In Grapefruit That Reduces Your Appetite?
The fact that grapefruits are 88% water-filled makes it evident that they curb our appetite by keeping our stomach full and occupied.
Consuming a few grapefruits just before your meals might also nourish your body with some powerful nutrients apart from reducing your hunger levels.
Experiments conducted on grapefruit consumption have proved that the fruits can reduce the circumference of your waist, reduce the body weight and also reduce the Body Mass Index (BMI).1
Apart from the water content, it is the presence of fibre in grapefruit that keeps your appetite in control and assists in a healthy weight loss.
According to the American Heart of Association, the recommended intake of fibre is 25 grams per day 2 and grapefruit fulfil 15% fiber requirement (if 230 grams i.e. one cup) are consumed.
With more amounts of fibre, you can keep your gut clean, healthy and keep your gut away from the feed of harmful bacteria.
For someone looking for ways to lose weight, it is utmost important to count calories that are entering into the body!
The general rule of thumb is that the calories burnt should be more than the calories being consumed.
Grapefruit does not give you more than 42 calories for every 100 grams besides providing your body with some amazing nutrients.
3. Grapefruits Are Great Immunity Boosters
The striking plus point of grapefruits is the abundant amounts of vitamin C in them! Just a cup (230 grams) of grapefruit provides more than 100% of the vitamin C requirement.
Supplying your body with enough of vitamin C prevents the risks of respiratory and systematic infections.
It generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body which promotes microbial killing.4
The second best and abundantly present vitamin in grapefruits is Vitamin A which plays a crucial role in anti-inflammation because it can improve the defence mechanism against numerous infections! 5
Furthermore, Grapefruit is a good source of certain nutrients like Vitamin B6, folate, Iron and selenium, all of which contribute their role in boosting the immune system. 6
4. Cancer Preventing Properties Of Grapefruits
With the increasing global epidemic of various types of cancers, it is absolutely necessary for us to include more of cancer-fighting foods into the diet to put ourselves in a safe zone!
Grapefruit is richly packed with certain phytochemicals and plenty of vitamin C, which makes it one of the best anti-cancer foods!
Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk
According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, the presence of Naringenin, certain flavonoids, limonin, limonoids, beta carotene and lycopene especially in the pink and red varieties of grapefruits can help you stay away from cancer
Also, the research by the Institute says that the dietary fibre in the fruit can act in numerous ways in controlling the chances of cancer, especially – colorectal cancer. 7
Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk
Lycopene, a type of carotenoid present in grapefruit is known to reduce the risk of prostate cancer!
The potential benefits of lycopene in prostate cancer prevention can be supported by the facts the carotenoid can reduce oxidative stress, prevent the oxidative damage of DNA, decreased tumor cell invasion & proliferation and decreased the growth of prostate cancer cells.8
Reduces Gastric Cancer Risk
Experiments and research conducted on rats affected by gastric cancer proved that the administration of lycopene to the organisms resulted in the following
- A successful balance in the production of antioxidants and free radicals and
- The enhancement of the immune system both of which can show anti-cancer effect so as to reduce the chances of gastric cancer. 9
5. How Grapefruits Benefit Heart?
Grapefruits Can Control Blood Pressure
Grapefruits are a good source of potassium and studies have concluded it that a regular intake of potassium can keep the blood pressure in control since the mineral can counteract and balance the levels of sodium in the blood. 10
Lower blood pressure reduces the chances of heart strokes and coronary heart diseases.
Can Prevent Atherosclerosis
Grapefruit consumption is associated with the decreased risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries, thereby prohibiting the free flow of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all the other parts of your body.
The plaque is made up of cholesterol, fats and other components which narrows the blood vessel, depriving the heart of oxygen-rich blood.
Naringin, which is a major flavonoid plays a critical role in preventing plaque formation and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. 11
Eliminates Bad Cholesterol And Unhealthy Fat
Regular consumption of saturated and trans fats might unknowingly build LDL and fat cells both of which are terribly harmful to heart health.
While it is essential to keep a check on diet and reduce the consumption of trans & saturated fats as much as possible, it is also crucial to consume fresh antioxidant-rich fruits like grapefruits which can reduce serum triglycerides and bad cholesterol. 12
6. Benefits Of Grapefruit Juice For Diabetics
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Grapefruit juice is known to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is how effective the body’s cells are in response to the insulin hormone.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), the juice is so effective, it is almost equivalent to the reaction of metformin which is the first line medication for diabetes. 13
But, this does not suggest that you neglect the medication and rely on grapefruit juice for treating diabetes.
Regular consumption of grapefruit juice, along with the prescribed medication, and a regular exercise can prevent the condition from getting worse!
Low In Glycemic Index
Checking the Glycemic Index of each and every food is an advantage for diabetics! Glycemic index is the numerical value given to the food to indicate its rate to digest the carbohydrates into sugars so that there are no spikes in the blood sugar levels.
Foods that are low in glycemic index can slow down the rate of carbohydrate digestion which ultimately results in the slow and steady release of sugar into the blood!
So, the lower is glycemic index, more stabilized are the blood sugar levels.
The glycemic index of grapefruit is just 25 which is a huge benefit for diabetics!
7. Grapefruit Benefits Your Digestive Health
Prevents Dry Stools!
The fact that most of the grapefruit is filled with water proves that it can prevent the most common digestive disorder – constipation!
When the food enters the intestine, excess water is absorbed which leads to hard and dry stools.
A sufficient intake of water, fresh fruits and vegetables high in fibre might retain good amounts of water even after the absorption activity, leading to a smooth and healthy bowel movement.
Apart from being a rich source of water along with vital nutrients, grapefruits show laxative effect due to the presence of a flavonoid called naringenin in the fruit! 14
When food or fluid is classified as a laxative, it means that the respective supplement can regulate your bowel movement and prevent constipation.
Cleanses Your Gut!
The presence of fibres in grapefruit can cleanse your digestive tract and ward off stomach disorders.
Cutting down on processed food and feeding yourself with fibre rich diet is the best way to promote good bacteria in your gut and to keep your gut system healthy & clean! 15
8. Grapefruits Help In A Quick Wound Healing
Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing because of its ability to form collagen!
Research supports the statement that collagen synthesis is not only essential for healing wounds but also for restoring the strength of the wounds. 16
Also, Auraptene which is a naturally occurring coumarin present in Grapefruit is known to promote wound healing and reduce inflammation especially in certain cases like periodontal diseases. 17
9. Grapefruit Benefits For Skin
Grapefruits are undoubtedly beneficial for healthy skin but one fact that most of them are unaware of is that excessive consumption of these fruits might cause skin cancer (Melanoma) 18
The presence of vitamin C in grapefruits helps in eliminating free radicals from the skin which damage the skin’s healthy cells, thereby protecting the skin from damage.19
Vitamin C induces the production of collagen which helps in retaining the elasticity of the skin so that wrinkles and lines do not emerge at an early stage.
Consuming citrus fruits regularly can protect your skin from photosensitivity, thereby preventing sunburns!
Grapefruit benefits for skin are due to the presence of Vitamin C, lycopene and beta carotene in the fruit!
Grapefruit Nutrition Facts
Vitamins And Minerals
The most abundant vitamin in grapefruits is Vitamin C, which is followed by vitamin A, Folate, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin E.
Grapefruits are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc and Iron!
Calories In Grapefruits
Grapefruits offer 96.6 calories for one cup (230 grams). For every 100 grams of the fruit, you only get 42 calories.
Carbohydrates, Proteins & Fats
Total carbohydrates account to 24.5 grams for 230 grams (8% RDA), Proteins account to 1.8 grams for the same quantity with 4% RDA.
Total Fats are only 0.3 grams for 230 grams.
Fibres In Grapefruit
Fibres account to 3.7 grams for every 230 grams which fulfil 15% RDA.
One cup of grapefruits (230 grams) contains the following nutrients
|Vitamins||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
|Vitamin A||2645 IU||53%|
|Vitamin C||71.8 mg||120%|
|Vitamin E||0.3 mg||1%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg||6%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.6 mg||6%|
|Minerals||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets|
|Other elements||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets|
Grapefruits can protect your heart from atherosclerosis, reduce the blood pressure, benefit diabetics, help in a quick wound healing, prevent the chances of cancer, help in weight loss, keep your body hydrated, boost your immunity, benefit your digestive health and also beautify your skin.
However, excessive consumption of citrus fruits is associated with the risk of breast cancer and skin cancer which implies that you should only consume them in moderation to avoid the side effects!