Why is grapefruit so good for you?

The grapefruit was bred in the 18th century as a cross between a pomelo and an orange. It was given the name grapefruit due to growing in clusters, similar to grapes.

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Grapefruits vary in color from white or yellow to pink and red. They can range in taste from acidic and even bitter to sweet and sugary.

These fruits support clear, healthy skin, can help to lower our risk for many diseases and conditions, and may even help with weight loss as part of a healthy and varied diet. The juices, peels, and pulps all provide nutritional benefit.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is written by a registered dietitian and nutritionist, Megan Ware, and forms part of a collection of articles about the health benefits of popular foods
Fast facts on grapefruit

  • The grapefruit is a cross between an orange and a pomelo.
  • It can provide health benefits for the skin, blood pressure, heart health, and disease prevention.
  • Grapefruit contains high levels of vitamin C.
  • Store grapefruit in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Choose grapefruits that have reached their peak ripeness.

Benefits

Grapefruit carries a range of health benefits.

Grapefruits are low in calories but are full of nutrients, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Harvard Medical School states that grapefruit has a glycemic index of 25. This suggests that it does not significantly affect blood sugar and insulin levels.

Many studies have suggested that increasing the consumption of plant foods such as grapefruit decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while. It is also said to promote a healthy complexion, increased energy, and lower overall weight.

1) Weight loss

Some people claim that grapefruit is a miracle weight-loss fruit. However, this has been debunked by recent studies

With this in mind, these studies do show that grapefruit demonstrated improvements in blood pressure and lipid levels.

Blood pressure and lipid levels are connected to obesity, and further studies could demonstrate long-term benefits for weight control and obesity prevention.

2) Stroke

According to the American Heart Association , eating higher amounts of flavonoid may lower the risk of ischemic stroke for women. Flavonoids are compounds found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit.

The risk of ischemic stroke was 19 percent lower for those who consumed the highest amounts of citrus than for women who consumed the lowest amounts.

3) Blood pressure and heart health

The powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, and choline in grapefruit all help to maintain a healthy heart.

In one study, those who consumed 4069 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database , one grapefruit with a 3-to-3.5-inch diameter contains [139 mg of potassium. Grapefruit is an excellent option for helping to increase the daily intake of potassium.

Increasing potassium intake is also important for lowering blood pressure because of its powerful vasodilation effects. Vasodilation widens the arteries.

The DASH diet, designed to reduce blood pressure through dietary options, includes grapefruit as a recommended food.

4) Cancer

Grapefruit is a rich source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C. These can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer in several studies.

5) Digestion

Grapefruit, because of its water and fiber content, helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

6) Hydration

Grapefruit consists of 91 percent water. This makes it one of the most hydrating fruits available. Grapefruit is also full of electrolytes and a great snack to have available to prevent dehydration.

7) Skin

Grapefruit has been linked to healthy skin. However, caution is advised for people who spend a lot of time in the sun.

The antioxidant vitamin C can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture when eaten in food or applied to the skin.

Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of the skin. Regular hydration and vitamin A are also crucial for healthy-looking skin. Grapefruit provides both of these.

However, it is worth noting a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in June 2015. This study suggests the intake of large amounts of citrus fruit juice may place an individual at higher risk of melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer

More research is required, but the mechanism associated with this risk is likely due to this fruit being high in compounds believed to make the skin more sensitive to the sun. However, in the conclusion of the study, the authors stated that:

Source:Medical News Today