When it was first discovered in the Caribbean, grapefruit was called the forbidden fruit. Indeed, there are plenty of reasons for you to be tempted by it. The benefits of grapefruit are neither mysterious nor mythological. They get support from proven studies and evidence. We’ll present 10 proven benefits of grapefruit and show you why grapefruit might truly be the only citrus fruit you’ll need.
Before we do, let’s take a closer look at grapefruit. Let’s see where it came from and the nutritional effects it has on your body.
What Is Grapefruit?
It might seem ridiculous to ask this question at first glance. After all, everybody knows what a grapefruit is. You probably recognize it a softball sized orange. But it is doubtful that you know its origin. The grapefruit was an accidental hybrid produced on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean. It came from cross-pollination of the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo. When the fruit was first encountered, it was called forbidden fruit. But later became known as grapefruit because the fruits tend to grow in clusters like grapes.
Grapefruit retains some of the flavors of each of its ancestors. But the combination also helped to produce its own unique sweet and sour flavor as well. Grape fruit diet plans are popular and well known. This is due to the fact that the nutrients packed in this tropical hybrid are many. In ½ of a medium grapefruit there are:
• Calories 52;
• Protein 1g;
• Fiber 2g;
• Vitamin C 64% of daily value (DV);
• Vitamin A 28% DV;
• Potassium 5% DV;
• Thiamine and folate 4% DV each;
• Magnesium 3% DV.
These nutrients have a significant effect on the development of tissues as well as hormone and antibody production. But it is the other collection of compounds like: lycopene, quinine, mookatones and naringenin, which give grapefruit its unique potency.
We’re going to focus on the benefits of grapefruit which you consume. However, it can also be a powerful agent for topical wound healing. You can even use it as a replacement for harsh chemical cleaners around the house. These are added benefits that you ought to look into as well.
Top 10 Proven Benefits of Grapefruit
Weight Loss Aid
Its efficacy as a weight loss aid is at the top of our list of the benefits of grapefruit and the reason it is a popular diet food. A University of Minnesota study lists it as one of the top fruits for weight loss due to its high fiber content.
Boosts Immune Function
Another of the awesome benefits of grapefruit is the way that it boosts your immune function. An Italian study praises vitamin C, abundant in grapefruit. It is a major contributor to immune response and a reduction of chronic inflammation.
Prevents Insulin Resistance and Advanced Diabetes
Preventing insulin resistance and the advance of diabetes to a more critical stage is one of the potential lifesaving benefits of grapefruit. This is according to the Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Research in La Jolla, California.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Another among the lifesaving benefits of grapefruit is its applications toward improved cardiovascular health. University of London studies point to potassium, found in grapefruit. It is an essential mineral involved in improved cardiovascular health.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York points to lycopene, also found in grapefruit, as being associated with inhibiting cancer growth, especially as related to prostate cancer. This is is yet another of the lifesaving benefits of grapefruit.
Reduced Risk of Kidney Stones
Those who are prone to the painful occurrence of kidney stones will be thrilled that reducing their risk is another of the benefits of grapefruit. Italian studies look at compounds found in grapefruits that discourage kidney stone development.
Great for Staying Hydrated
One cup of grapefruit sections (230g) contains 203 grams of water (almost 90%), according to Nutrition Data. This makes staying hydrated another of the great benefits of grapefruit.
Treatment for Influenza
The flu doesn’t have to get you down thanks to the compound naringenin, found in grapefruits. According to Chinese studies of naringenin, defense against various types of influenza is another of the benefits of grapefruit.
Cure for Malaria
A publication in the International Journal of Pharmacology looks to quinine, found in grapefruit. It is not only a viable cure for malaria, but also in the treatment of arthritis and lupus; just more benefits of grapefruit.
Relieves Urinary Tract Infections
Don’t throw away those seeds. The last of the benefits of grapefruit isn’t related directly to the flesh of the fruit, but to its seeds. According to Nigerian researchers, grapefruit seeds are particularly effective at treating antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections.
A Note of Caution
There are some cautions about the consumption of grapefruit that you need to know. The most common issues with grapefruit is in how chemical compounds, like naringenin, interact with certain prescription drugs. There is a tendency for grapefruit to inhibit the metabolism of certain drugs or to block its absorption in the intestines. In either case, grapefruit either decreases the effectiveness of the drug or encourages adverse reactions. Here is a list of grapefruit drug interactions you should consider.
The presence of citric acid in grapefruit can cause it to be pretty harsh on tooth enamel. You can use the following tips to prevent this from happening:
• Do not suck on or press grapefruit directly to your teeth.
• Rinse your mouth after eating grapefruit. Then, brush your teeth 30 minutes afterward.
• Eating cheese with grapefruit can help neutralize the acidity in your mouth.
As with any food used as a therapeutic treatment, consult a health care professional. This will help you learn about precautions, adverse reactions and recommended amounts.
Wrapping It Up
The forbidden fruit of old is the wonder fruit in our modern age. With so many powerful nutritional benefits of grapefruit, it might really be the only citrus fruit you’ll ever need.
It has hard evidence to back up the health claims. So you will be eager to add more grapefruit into your diet in order to prevent or cure one or more of the health concerns above. Be sure to share your experiences with grapefruit in the comments section below.
The images are from pixabay.com.