Grapefruits are low in calories, and contains a number of vitamins and minerals that contributes to a healthy and active lifestyle if consumed as a part of healthy diet. It does not significantly affect blood sugar and insulin levels. They are excellent sources of Vitamins C and A, and contain a number of minerals, and also antioxidants. Grapefruits contribute significantly towards weight loss when taken as a part of a healthy and balanced diet. They help to maintain a healthy skeletal structure, muscle mass, skin quality, and reduces our risk towards many diseases and conditions including obesity, blood pressure, and even cancer.
Grapefruits are citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges, and occurs in various colours, ranging from white and yellow to pink and red. They also vary in taste, most are acidic and sour, but some can be sweet & sugary and some even bitter. They grow throughout the year, although are most abundant in winter. Florida is said to be the world’s largest grapefruit growing region. They are popular fruits and are so named because they grow in clusters like grapes.
Grapefruits provide essential macro and micronutrients with very little calories. Abot half of a medium pink grapefruit contains approximately 52 calories, with zero fat, sodium, and cholesterol about 13gm of carbohydrates, 2gm dietary fibres, and 1gm of protein. This half grapefruit also provides you with 64% of Vitamin C, 28% of Vitamin A, and 2% of calcium and magnesium each. It also provides trace amounts of vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper. It also contains high antioxidant content, namely beta carotene and lycopene, apart from other phytonutrients.
Consuming grapefruit as a part of a balanced diet provides a significant thrust towards any weight loss attempts you make. It contains very little calories, and the antioxidants in them also help. Research shows a significant reduction in post glucose insulin levels afer consumption of grapefruit, and half of a grapefruit eaten before meals contributes to reduced insulin resistance, making it a great food to combat obesity & associated disorders.
Grapefruits, apart from having zero fat & cholesterol, also contains Vitamin C and other compounds that contribute to lowering the risk of fat deposition & ischemic stroke.
Grapefruit contains a combination of Vitamin C, Potassium, Lycopene, and dietary fibers, each of which helps to maintain a healthy heart. It reduces blood lipid content and prevents accumulation of triglycerides, helping to combat atherosclerosis. Potassium also causes vasodilation, thereby improving blood flow & lowers blood pressure.
Vitamin C present in the grapefruits helps to improve overall skin texture, prevents wrinkles, and fights skin damage caused by sun and pollution. It also helps in the formation of collagen, the supporting structure of skin, to maintain a healthy skin tone. Vitamin A also contributes to bright and healthy looking skin.
High water content and presence of dietary fibers helps to improve bowel movement, prevents constipation, and maintains a healthy digestive tract.
Being made up of about 91% water along with a large quantity of electrolytes, grapefruit taken as snack helps to keep you hydrated and feeling fresh all day.
Large amounts of antioxidants and other trace minerals along with Vitamins C and A helps to prevent the development of asthma in people belonging to high risk categories, including those living in polluted areas.
Potassium and calcium present in grapefruits helps to maintain a healthy bone density, reducing the risk of development of osteoporosis and arthritis, and helps to develop a healthy bone structure in children.
Trace elements and minerals found in grapefruit helps to maintain muscle integrity and prevents loss of muscle mass.
High water content, antioxidants, and minerals prevent the formation of kidney, gall bladders, or urinary bladders.
High content of antioxidants including Vitamin C and Lycopene, grapefruit helps prevent accumulation of free radicals causing cancer. Lycopene causes reduction in the risk of prostate cancer, while beta carotene lowers risk of oesophagal cancer.
Grapefruits may be consumed either directly or fruits, or you can make fruit salad combining it with other citrus fruits easily available in winter. They are also a great addition to any salad because of their taste. You can also make & consume grapefruit juice yourself, free from sweeteners & preservatives.
In spite of the significant health benefits, grapefruits may have some side effects. Intake should be avoided if certain medications are taken, as they can bind to enzymes, and can affect the uptake of medicine from your gut to your bloodstream. In people suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux disease, there may be an increase in symptoms like heartburn or vomiting, although this varies from person to person. Also, people with a current kidney condition are advised against the consumption of grapefruits, as improper filtration of potassium by kidneys can lead to its accumulation in blood, which may be fatal.
Grapefruits were first bred in the 18th century as a cross between orange and pomelo. They are cultivated all over the world, including USA, China, India, Mexico, Argentina, Israel, Thailand, South Africa, Sudan, Ghana. They may be cultivated throughout the year, but mostly done in winter.