Grapefruits are cross between an orange and pomelo. It was first bred in the 18th century and was named so because it’s clusters were similar to those of the grape. It can taste acidic or sweet or even bitter. It also varies in color and can appear white, yellow, pink or red. In the US it is mainly grown in Florida and Texas between the months of November and June. The health benefits of grapefruits are many as they have a high nutritional value and provide the body with essential mineral and vitamins.
20 Health Benefits Of Grapefruit
1. Nutritional Value
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a half of a pink grapefruit in medium size contains- 52 calories, 0g sodium, 0g fat, 0g cholesterol, 13g carbohydrates and 1g protein while it contains the recommended daily dose for vitamin C is 64%, vitamin A 28%, calcium 2% and magnesium 2%. It also contains folate, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and zinc in smaller amounts. Thus, grapefruits are highly nutritious and can benefit a person in many ways.
2. Aids In Weight Loss
Studies have shown that when individuals eat grapefruits before their meals, there is an improvement in insulin resistance. This indicates that grapefruits can help individuals to lose weight as it contains lesser calories and also makes a person feel satiety. It stimulates the release of cholecystokinin which is a hunger suppressant hormone. This is one of the health benefits of grapefruit.
3. Improves Blood Pressure
Grapefruit benefits the body as it contains potassium. This potassium is important to lower the blood pressure levels in the body. Studies have shown that grapefruit helps in reducing the lipid levels in the bloodstream especially triglycerides.
4. Prevents Cancer
Grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. It also contains lycopene and beta carotene which is act as anti-cancer agents. Studies have shown where lycopenes may be able to decrease the risk of prostate cancer while beta-carotene and vitamin C rich foods may be able to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer.
5. Treats Influenza
Flavonoids present in grapefruits have anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial properties. They boost the immune system thereby, protecting the body against influenza and other such diseases. Naringin is the flavonoid which is mainly responsible in protecting against influenza.
6. Aids Digestion
Grapefruits contain good amounts of fiber and vegetable pulp that adds bulk to the bowel movements. It helps to aid in easy digestion without inflammation and damage to the colon or intestines. It helps to regulate bowel movement and thereby reduces the risk of irritable bowel syndromes and other conditions.
7. Aids In Sleep
One of the health benefits of grapefruit is that it contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that is important for a good sleep. People suffering from insomnia and other sleep problems should consider drinking grapefruit juice. This grapefruit juice benefits the body in sleeping well and improves mood.
8. Improves Diabetic Symptoms
Diabetics can benefit from grapefruits as they help to lower the level of starch in the body. They help in improving insulin resistance in the body and thereby, helps in regulating the blood glucose levels in the body. This is one of the important health benefits of grapefruit.
9. Relieves Constipation
Grapefruits act as a natural laxative to the body as it contains good amounts of fiber. Grapefruit juice benefits the body by stimulating the secretion of gastric juice to promote better digestion and thereby, regulating bowel movements.
10. Alkalizes The Body
Grapefruits although acidic in nature help in alkalizing the body. This is due to the presence of citric acid in the body that helps in preventing too much acid formation. This is highly beneficial for people that have acidity problems.
One of the health benefits of grapefruits is that it acts as a probiotic. It is helps in promoting digestion as well as promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. This helps in improving digestive health.
12. Provides Energy
Grapefruit juice benefits the body by dispelling tiredness or fatigue. Nootkatone is a compound in grapefruit that acts as an energy booster and thus can help you feel energized during the day or during workouts. This is a much better and healthier alternative to drinking sugary energy drinks.
13. Protects Against Fever
Grapefruits reduces inflammation or burning sensation that occurs when a person suffers from high temperatures. It also helps in supporting the immune system and helps the body in breaking fevers.
14. Protects Against Colds
One of the health benefits of grapefruit is that has a good amount of vitamin C which can help in fighting against common colds. It also keeps the body hydrated and helps to flush out the toxins in the body.
15. Treats Malaria
Grapefruits have a unique alkaloid known as quinine which is not found in many fruits. They have an advantage in treating malaria and other conditions like lupus.
16. Treats Kidney Problems
Grapefruits are high in potassium. Potassium is helpful in reduction of kidney stones. Thus, going on a grapefruit juice diet could be quiet beneficial.
17. Improves Heart Health
Grapefruits benefits the body by providing it with essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin C, lycopene and choline; all of which are highly beneficial to the heart. Studies have shown that red grapefruit lowers the lipid levels in the blood, especially triglycerides. Studies have also shown that high levels of potassium can lower the risk of ischemic heart disease by 49%. It also is a powerful vasodilator.
18. Improves Skin Health
Grapefruits have a rich source of vitamin C which helps to fight off skin damage caused by sun or pollution. It also helps in promoting collagen formation and thereby, reduces wrinkles and stretch lines. It also reduces pigmentation and restores hydration to the skin.
19. Prevents Asthma
People have found to have a lower risk of developing asthma when they consume grapefruit juice on a regular basis. Vitamin C further prevents the onset of respiration infections and thereby, further reducing the risk of asthma. This is one of the health benefits of grapefruit.
20. Benefits Pregnancy
Grapefruit juice benefits the body as it is rich in folate and vitamin C. It helps in proper bone formation, promotes cellular strength and also promotes tissue repair. It also helps in preventing neural tube deformities and promotes proper and well fetal growth.
Grapefruit Seed Extract Benefits
- Fights Candida Infection: Fungal infections such as Candida can affect males or females at any age and at any part of the body. They commonly occur on fingernails, toenails, ears, nose, vagina and gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that there is a component present in grapefruit seed extract that can help ward off this infection by killing the yeast cells as it has antifungal properties. This is one of the grapefruit seed extract benefits for the body.
- Treats Athlete’s Foot: Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs in between the toes. It is characterized by inflammation, discomfort and itching. By applying grapefruit seed extract to the area, it will get rid of the symptoms. This is one of the important health benefits of grapefruit.
- Treats Eczema: Eczema is a skin disorder that causes lesion over the skin, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and flatulence. Studies have shown when individuals consumed grapefruit seed extract capsules, the symptoms subsided over time.
- Fights Off Yeast Infections: Grapefruit seed extract benefits the body as it contains antimicrobial properties that help in fighting off yeast infections.
Grapefruits should not be picked before they ripen rather; they should be picked at the peak of their ripeness. This is because they do not ripen after they are picked like other fruits. You should consider buying grapefruits during the winter as it is the peak season. Buy the ones that are bulky and store them a normal temperature away from direct sunlight. They can be eaten as a snack or can be added to fruit salads. You can also take a few slices in your lunch as a healthy alternative snack.
Potential Risks Of Grapefruit
If you on medications like statin, calcium blockers or psychiatric drugs then you should consult your doctor before consuming them. This is because grapefruit may cause these medications to pass more quickly through your bloodstream quicker than normal. Grapefruits are also high in potassium and if you have kidney problems like they are unable to remove excess potassium, then consuming grapefruit would not be healthy for you. Thus, keeping all this in mind, consume a diet that is right and healthy for you.