Grapefruit Benefits – Sour But Definitely A Keeper!
Named for the way the way the fruit hangs in bunches (like grapes), the grapefruit is a nutritious member of the citrus family, generally recognized for its slightly bitter and sour taste. Grapefruit first came from sunny Barbados and is thought to be the result of the natural cross breading between the orange and the Asian pomelo. Nowadays the greatest quantity of grapefruits is produced by the United States, followed by China, then South Africa.
One thing is certain about grapefruit, and that is it is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals, and researchers are constantly adding to grapefruit’s long list of benefits.
Rich in Vitamin C
Being a member of the citrus family, grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C, which helps to support the immune system and can help reduce cold symptoms. As a prevailing antioxidant, vitamin C protects our bodies against oxidation stress and the inflammation linked with asthma and arthritis.
Prevents Arthritis and Works as an Antiseptic
Grapefruit contains salicylic acid that helps break down the body’s inorganic calcium which builds up in the cartilage of joints and may lead to arthritis, a health issue problem faced by so many people, especially the elderly.
Grapefruit seed extracts can be added to water to make an antiseptic spray for treating bacterial and fungal infections.
Helps in Cancer Prevention
Grapefruit is a rich source of Lycopene, a carotenoid pigment which is responsible for the rich red color of grapefruit. However Lycopene is also a strong agent that works against cancer and tumors as it acts as a scavenger of cancer-causing free radicals. Lycopene works best with vitamins A and C which are found in grapefruit.
A study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that Naringenin, a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit, helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying.
Helps Lower Cholesterol
A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was performed on 57 patients who had just gone through a coronary bypass surgery. The patients were divided into three groups, the first group was given red grapefruit to their diet, the second group was given blond grapefruit to their diet and the third group did not include any grapefruit in their diet.
It was concluded that the first group consuming red grapefruit had lowered their cholesterol and their triglyceride levels the most. Both groups consuming grapefruit had lowered the “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in a month dramatically, compared to the third group.
Helps with Weight Loss
Grapefruit, which itself is fat free, contains a number of fat-burning enzymes. Studies have shown them to alter insulin levels, thereby affecting metabolic rates, which in turn increases weight loss.
A research showed that the smaller amount of insulin in the blood after a meal, the more efficiently the body uses food for energy rather than storing it as fat. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss seeing as those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight regardless of the lack of fiber.
Grapefruit also contains a very high amount of vitamin A which combats skin damage caused by oxidation stress. Grapefruit helps preserve adequate moisture levels in the skin, protecting it from dryness, acne, psoriasis and wrinkles.
Consult Your Physician
However, grapefruit has a negative reaction against many prescription drugs such as those used in treating depression, allergies, seizures, impotence, high blood pressure, heart palpitations and even HIV. As with any kind of foods you would like to add in your daily diet, it is always best to consult your physician.
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Category: Food & Cooking