Eating grapefruit is amazing. The health benefits of grapefruit can save you free from several diseases. Several findings support the idea that grapefruit has lots of health benefits. It fights against serious ailments such as heart disease, cancer, fatigue, fever, diabetes, constipation, and urinary problems.
It also aids bowel movements, reduces the chances of colon cancer, and increases the body’s metabolic rate. The list is endless.
You will find in this post a description of grapefruit, its nutritional content, how to drink grapefruit juice to lose weight, other health benefits, dosage of grapefruit, safety and side effects, special warnings, precautions, and drug interactions.
What is Grapefruit?
Grapefruit is a crossbreed between pomelo and orange. It is a citrus fruit whose fruit, oil, peel, and seed extract are found to be very useful in curing many ailments. It is tart with a peculiar sweetness.
Although grapefruit is available throughout the year, it is seasonal and at its peak from winter to early spring. Its flesh could be pink, ruby, or white (blond), while its skin color is yellow or pinkish-yellow. Its diameter often ranges between four and six inches. Some are with seeds, while others are without seeds.
Nutritional Value of Grapefruit
The USDA National Nutrient Database reports that half a medium pink grapefruit (about 3 34 diameter) contains approximately 13 grams of carbohydrate (including 8.5 grams of sugar and 2 grams of dietary fiber), 52 calories, 0 gram of fat, 0 gram of sodium, 0 gram of cholesterol, and 1 gram of protein.
Eating half a grapefruit per day will provide you with 64% of vitamin C, 28% of vitamin A, 2% of magnesium, and 2% of Calcium. Grapefruit contains some amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, niacin, folate, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, and pantothenic acid.
Pink grapefruit is very high in common minerals and vitamins. They contain lots of powerful antioxidants, including lycopene, beta-carotene, phytonutrients, naringenin, and limonoids.
Findings have shown that a medium of fresh pink grapefruit (128 grams) has 41 calories, 59% of vitamin C, 7% of copper, 4% of vitamin B1, 4% of biotin, 5% of potassium, 6% of Fiber, 7% of pantothenic acid, and 7% of vitamin A.
The above breakdown gives a picture of the many health benefits you stand to gain when you consume grapefruit. But do not just take grapefruit; see the special warning and precautions to make sure you are doing the right thing health-wise because grapefruit interacts with medications.
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Top Health Benefits of Grapefruit
1. Lowers Cholesterol levels
Grapefruit has a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in animals to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. This great ingredient—pectin—narrows the arteries of animals fed a high-cholesterol diet by 24%, while animals fed a high-cholesterol diet without pectin have a narrowing of 45%.
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Red and blond grapefruit can reduce blood levels of LDL, known as bad cholesterol, but red grapefruit lowers triglycerides in addition to reducing the bad cholesterol.
Israeli researchers recently found in a study that consuming a grapefruit daily, especially the red variety, can have a positive impact on preventing heart disease. The scientists discovered that individuals who were given one grapefruit per day experienced a notable reduction in cholesterol levels compared to those who did not consume grapefruit. This finding is significant as chronic high blood cholesterol is recognized as a major risk factor for heart disease.
Several researchers have shown that red grapefruit’s performance in cholesterol reduction is due to the synergetic effect of phytonutrients, including lycopene. Thus, researchers conclude that to lower cholesterol levels in the body, more red grapefruit should be consumed.
2. Prevents Kidney Stones
Grapefruit is one of the best natural remedies for reducing the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. If you want to prevent kidney stones, start drinking enough grapefruit juice. According to the British Journal of Nutrition, women who drink 12 to 1 liter of grapefruit, apple, or orange daily have their urinary PH value and citric acid excretion increased, thereby reducing their risk of developing calcium oxalate stones.
Also, according to the National Center or Biotechnology Information, Orange juice can offer some protection against the formation of stones, but it is important to consider its high sugar content. Studies have shown that grapefruit increases the risk of kidney stone disease (KSD), yet smaller clinical studies have suggested a potential protective role in stone formation.
Lemon juice, on the other hand, has been found to raise levels of urinary citrate, providing a protective effect, but it does not significantly affect the pH of urine to make it more alkaline. While citrus fruit juices, in general, have shown some protective properties, more extensive studies with additional clinical data are required to gain a comprehensive understanding of how citrus fruit juices impact urinary risk factors associated with stone formation.
3. Protects against Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the serious health challenges that men face all over the world. The risk of cancer cells in men in the U.S. increases with age; thus, the older a man gets, the higher his risk of developing prostate cancer, which arises from DNA mutations.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the flavonoid content—naringenin—present in grapefruit is found to help repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is one of the primary defence mechanisms against the development of cancer cells. This is what grapefruit does.
Naringenin helps to restore the damaged DNA by initiating two enzymes that repair the DNA at the replication stage. These enzymes, which are involved in the DNA base excision repair pathway, are 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase 1 (hOGG1) and DNA polymerase beta (DNA poly beta).
One challenging issue with prostate cancer is that its growth is gradual at first and often goes undetected for a very long time. This is not the case with other forms of cancer. Drinking grapefruit may be a healthy and natural way to prevent the development and progression of prostate cancer cells in men’s bodies.
4. Protects against Lung and Colon Cancer
A fresh finding presented at the 228th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society revealed that grapefruit protects against lung and colon cancer. Drinking three 6-ounce glasses of grapefruit juice a day was found to reduce the activity of enzymes that activate cancer-causing chemicals present in tobacco smoke.
Grapefruit juice, or pulp, helps patients recover quickly from fevers. It also reduces the burning sensation that occurs when your temperature is very high. Drinking grapefruit is a great way to boost your immune system against the common cold and other related illnesses.
When you combine grapefruit juice with water, it can quench your thirst and keep you hydrated for a longer period of time. This kind of health benefit arises from the rich content of vitamin C in grapefruit, which generally acts as an immune system booster against several forms of disease.
Grapefruit pulp or juice contains natural and invaluable quinine, which is very helpful in the treatment of malaria. Quinine is an alkaloid with an extensive history of treating malaria, arthritis, nocturnal leg cramps, and lupus.
Quinine is a rare healthy element to find in other foods. This makes grapefruit a rare and useful healthy food that must be added to your menu. If you want to extract the quinine content from the fruits, simply boil a quarter of the fruit and strain the pulp.
Grapefruit can help you solve the problem of indigestion. It is very light when compared with other forms of food and works on indigestion by easing the heat and stomach irritation. It boosts the flow of digestive juices, which facilitates bowel movement and helps regulate your excretory system.
This healthy effect on indigestion is due to Grapefruit’s fiber and vegetative pulp, which add bulk to the bowel and regulate the excretory schedule. In modern medicine, grapefruit extract is very useful in aiding indigestion.
A glassful of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the morning is a very potent remedy for constipation. The juice rouses the colon and other parts of the body towards free and easy bowel movement. Why? Because its fiber has a stimulating effect on the secretion of gastric juices, which promotes the constriction of the digestive tract and causes bowel movements,
If you want to say goodbye to insomnia, take a glass of grapefruit juice before going to bed. This will promote healthy sleep and ease the irritating symptoms and repercussions of insomnia. What makes this possible? The presence of tryptophan in grapefruit, a chemical that is often associated with sleepy feelings after big meals, is responsible for this calming effect on your body. Thus, the levels of tryptophan in the juice of this great fruit make you nod peacefully to a soothing sleep.
Grapefruit is very helpful in the treatment of fatigue. If you often have a busy day, taking this healthy fruit will help rid your body of general weakness. Drinking equal amounts of grapefruit juice and lemon juice provides you with a refreshing boost to your energy levels.
A great compound found in grapefruit, Nootkatone improves energy metabolism in the body by activating AMPK. In the end, you will have greater energy and endurance, increased weight loss, and your chances of developing diabetes will be greatly minimized.
If you are diabetic, you can eat grapefruit because it is certain to help you reduce starch in your body. Taking grapefruit will also help to regulate the flow of sugar in your body, thereby handling the disease in one of the healthiest ways. A recent study showed that the flavonoid content in grapefruit is responsible for this health benefit.
12. Regulates Acidity
Eating grapefruit will help to balance the acid-alkaline level in your body since it creates an alkaline reaction after digestion. The citric acid in the fruit helps to increase the alkalinity of the body. It also prevents the formation of acid and other diseases that may arise due to excess acid in the stomach.
13. Urinary Disorder
Grapefruit juice is a very rich source of vitamin C and potassium, which are essential for the treatment of urinary disorders arising from heart, liver, and kidney problems. It works as a vasodilator because of its high potassium content. This means that blood vessels and arteries relax, thereby reducing blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Taking grapefruit will lead to increased cognitive function because of increased blood and oxygen flow in the brain.
Do you need probiotics and digestive enzymes for colon and stomach health? Take 10 to 20 drops of grapefruit juice before all three meals of the day. This will increase relief from excessive flatulence and stomach discomfort.
15. Acts as a hunger suppressant.
The smell of grapefruit is said to reduce hunger. This is why grapefruit is one of the best healthy foods for weight loss programs because it has a good appetite suppressant. The quantity of fiber contained in the fruit can satiate hunger, help reduce the danger of excessive eating with its bulky pulp, and stimulate cholecystokinin, which is a hormone that controls the release of digestive juices and serves as a hunger suppressant.
Grapefruit reduces the acidity of the body, making it a great remedy for influenza. The ‘narigin’ content in this fruit tones up the system as well as digestive processes because it’s a remarkable antioxidant in the diet.
Grapefruit also has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it one of the most important healthy foods that fire the immune system against several diseases.
Grapefruit prevents arthritis and functions as an antiseptic. It contains salicylic acid, which helps break down inorganic calcium that builds up cartilage in joints in the body. You can actually quit paying the hospital bill for arthritis treatment when you begin to drink grapefruit juice with apple cider vinegar.
The American Heart Association reported that eating higher amounts of a compound found in citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges may lower ischemic stroke risk for women. The report further revealed that those who ate the highest amount of citrus had a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke than other women who ate less.
Why? A study revealed that people who consumed 4069mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death arising from ischemic heart disease compared with those who ate less. High potassium intake is linked with a lower risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, and prevention of bone mineral density. And grapefruit is a very rich source of potassium.
19. Blood pressure and Heart Health
To maintain a healthy heart, you need to eat a sufficient quantity of grapefruit. Grapefruit has lots of powerful nutrient combinations—lycopene, vitamin C, choline, fiber, and potassium—which are essential to maintaining a healthy heart. Increasing potassium intake helps lower blood pressure because of its remarkable vasodilation effects.
A recent finding shows that a diet supplement with fresh red grapefruit has a positive effect on blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides. Thus, researchers assert that adding fresh red grapefruit to the diet could be very helpful for people with atherosclerosis who want to lower their high lipid levels.
When you consume any food with vitamin C in its natural form, you are helping your skin glow because this healthy skin ingredient fights skin damage caused by pollution, reduces wrinkles, and enhances overall skin texture.
Vitamin C is a very active ingredient in the formation of collagen, which is a major skin support system. To boost the glow and health of your skin, you can intensify the consumption of vitamins and hydration because they are essential for healthy-looking skin.
Grapefruit is known for its rich vitamin C content, which offers protective effects against sun damage, aging, and inflammation when it comes to the skin. Vitamin C is commonly utilized in serums to promote skin healing, diminish dark spots, and achieve a smoother skin texture.
Moreover, research suggests that incorporating more vitamin C into your diet through fruits like grapefruit may assist in addressing concerns such as hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and signs of aging. The presence of vitamin C in grapefruit also stimulates collagen production in the body, which has demonstrated positive effects on skin hydration and the reduction of wrinkles.
The correct dose for grapefruit is dependent upon many factors, which include health, age, etc. At the moment, there is no scientific data on the quantity of grapefruit that should be taken by a child, adolescent, or adult.
One good thing about grapefruit is that it’s natural. And natural products are often safe. But you must ensure that you follow directions on product labels and consult your physician, pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional before you use this great fruit.
Side Effects of Grapefruit
The grapefruit is likely safe in the amount conventionally used as food and, importantly, safe when taken by mouth for medicinal purposes. It is perhaps unsafe when taken in large quantities. If you are on medications, consult your healthcare provider before adding this fruit to your diet.
Special Precautions and Warnings
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Not much is written about the use of grapefruit during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Because of this, it is important to maintain a safe mode.
- Breast Cancer
There is a serious concern about the safety of consuming too much grapefruit juice. Some new findings report that postmenopausal women who take one-quarter gallon or more of grapefruit juice daily have a 25% to 30% increased chance of developing breast cancer.
Grapefruit juice lowers the breakdown of estrogen in the body, and this might increase levels of estrogen in the body. More research is indeed needed to confirm this. It’s always important to avoid indulging in excess consumption.
Drug Interactions and Grapefruit
Drug interactions with grapefruit are well documented. Some drugs may become better when combined with grapefruit, while the compounds in the juice of this fruit, including naringenin, slow down the usual detoxification and metabolism processes in the liver and intestine, which ultimately hinder the breakdown and elimination of drugs.
The interactive drugs, according to findings, include calcium channel blocker drugs and immunosuppressant cyclosporine. Some of these drugs include nifedipine, verapamil, and felodipine. Other drugs with which grapefruit can boost its bioavailability include the antihistamine terfenadine, the hormone estradiol, and the antiviral agent saquinavir.How to Drink Grapefruit Juice to Lose Weight
One of the health benefits of grapefruit is that it aids in weight loss. It will not only provide you with the required amount of vitamin C and potassium, but it will also help you slim down and lose weight if you take it in the right proportion. Remember that grapefruit may interfere with certain medications; ensure that you ascertain from your doctor what is necessary.
Type of Grapefruit Juice to Drink
If you want to lose weight with grapefruit juice, you need to stick to the unsweetened variety of the fruit. The sweet one may make a good juice because of the taste, but it has higher calories. A cup of unsweetened white grapefruit juice has 94 calories, while the sweet one has 115 calories per cup.
When to Drink
Do you know the quantity of grapefruit juice that will be sufficient to make you lose weight? Have you heard of preloading? The reason for drinking the juice is that you take it before meals so that it fills you up, thereby helping you consume fewer calories at meals. This saved-up calorie count would add up to a small amount of weight loss. Regular intake of this juice will help you prevent weight gain and lose weight by lowering insulin levels.
Grapefruit is a wonderfully medicinal, healthy food and fruit that you can use to cure or prevent several diseases. But it must be used with caution to maximize its health benefits with minimal side effects.
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