13 Amazing Health Benefits of Grapefruit

grapefruit

The internet is all a buzz about the benefits of drinking lemon water as well it should be. Drinking warm water and lemon juice offers numerous benefits; it assists the digestive system, helps eliminate toxins from the body and can even help with normal bowel function. But warm water and lemon is not the only healthy drink with such benefits.

There are numerous studies that suggest that eating grapefruit can decrease your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other illnesses, while also promoting overall lower weight and increased energy.

Grapefruits vary in color from pink, red, white and yellow. Some are more acidic in taste, while others are sweet. This wonderful fruit is low in calories, high in water content (91%) and provides an excellent source of vitamin A and C. The red and pink varieties have the additional health benefit of lycopene, white and yellow varieties lack this important nutrient. So when choosing grapefruit, red or pink varieties will give you more of a nutritional boost, than its lighter colored counterpart.

 

Consider these amazing benefits of eating grapefruit

1. Asthma-Individuals with asthma have significantly lower vitamin C levels. The risk for developing asthma is lower in people who consume high levels of nutrients including vitamin C, found in grapefruit and other fruits and vegetables.

2. Hydration-Grapefruit rates just below watermelon for hydration, as its composition is 91% water.

3. Regularity & Digestion-Due to its fiber and water content, grapefruit can help prevent constipation and promote regularity in the digestive tract.

4. Cancer-Red and pink grapefruit is a wonderful source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. They also contain the carotenoids lycopene and beta carotene. Lycopene intake is linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Foods high in beta carotene have also been shown to lower the risk of esophageal, lung, stomach and mouth cancer. (PLEASE NOTE: Lycopene is only found in pink and red grapefruit. White and yellow grapefruit do not provide this carotenoid.)

5. Heart health/Cholesterol levels-The combination of potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, fiber and choline found in grapefruit all help to maintain a healthy heart. Researchers found that consuming fresh red grapefruit would lower high lipid levels, especially triglyceride levels.

6. Stroke- The American Heart Association states that consuming flavonoids found in citrus fruits, may actually lower the risk for ischemic stroke in women. Comparing woman who ate the highest amount of citrus, to women who ate the least, showed that women who ate the higher amounts had a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke.

7. DNA Repair-In a 2006 study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Naringenin found in grapefruit was found to stimulate DNA repair in cancer cells as well as protecting the body from cancer.

8. Gum Disease-A 2005 study published in the British Dental Journal found that consuming 2 grapefruits a day can reverse and prevent damage caused by gum disease. The study also showed a reduction in bleeding gums for individuals who suffer from gum disease.

9. Immune System-It is common knowledge that vitamin C will support and strengthen your immune system. Maintaining excellent vitamin C levels can reduce the severity of cold symptoms and other illnesses. Eating half a grapefruit provides your body with about 78% of RDI of vitamin C.

10. Metabolism Booster-A 2006 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that people who ate half a grapefruit before each meal lost an average of three and a half pounds over 12 weeks, without making any other dietary changes.

11. Kidney Stones– According to scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London, Naringenin found in grapefruit also successfully prevents the formation of kidney cysts.

12. Osteoarthritis-Vitamin C and other antioxidants limit damage done by free radicals. People whose diets include foods rich in vitamin C are less likely to be diagnosed with arthritis.

13. Macular Degeneration-Vitamin C, beta carotene, zinc and vitamin E protect the eyes from developing macular degeneration.

 

Incorporating Grapefruit into Your Diet

1. Eat grapefruit for breakfast.

2. Make grapefruit juice or infused water.

3. Make a Grapefruit Juice Liver Cleanse drink.

4. Add grapefruit to a fruit salad

5. Add grapefruit to your smoothie

 

Grapefruit Recipes

Grapefruit Infused Water

Place 1 thinly sliced organic grapefruit in a pitcher. Add 2 quarts of water. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours to allow the grapefruit to infuse.

 

Grapefruit Liver Cleanse

These ingredients stimulate the liver and the gallbladder and encourages a gentle detox of these two organs

Ingredients:

1 pink grapefruit, squeezed

1/2 lemon, squeezed (about 2 Tb juice)

1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stir and enjoy!

 

Grapefruit Smoothie

1 grapefruit, peeled and seeded

1 orange, peeled and seeded

1 mango, peeled and pitted

2 C. spinach

6-8 ounces of water or coconut water

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend till smooth and enjoy.

 

Important Note about Grapefruit and Medications

Phytochemicals in grapefruit decrease the enzymes that breakdown several prescription drugs, which can raise drug levels in the body. This can be dangerous, so check with your healthcare provider about eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice if you take any prescription medicines.

 

References:

1.  Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk

2.  Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables

3.   Cellular Mechanisms Underlying the Laxative Effect of Flavonol Naringenin

4.  American Institute for Cancer Research Foods That Fight Cancer

5. Red grapefruit positively influences serum triglyceride level

6.  American Heart Association

7.  Naringenin stimulates DNA repair in prostate cancer cells.

8.   Vitamin C intake and periodontal disease

9.  Vitamin c and colds

10.   The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance

11.  Component of citrus fruits found to block the formation of kidney cysts

12.   University of Maryland-Vitamin C

13.  ibid

 

 

 

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My Health Maven offers information on a wholistic approach to healthy lifestyle choices.

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