Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a sweet and sour flavour and striking colour. It contains a range of essential vitamins and minerals, which make it an essential food in your diet.
The grapefruit first appeared in the 18th century, as a result of a crossing between a grapefruit and an orange. People called it “grapefruit” because it grows in clusters, similar to grapes.
The nutrients contained in grapefruit can help maintain healthy skin and protect against various conditions. They can also help you stay at your ideal weight.
In this post we tell you why you should include grapefruit in your diet, detailing some of the benefits it brings to health.
Benefits of grapefruit
Grapefruit is low in calories, but very rich in nutrients. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
Below, we discuss the specific health benefits of grapefruit, and why you should include it in your diet.
Grapefruit has a low glycemic index. This means that it provides nutrients, but does not have a significant negative impact on blood sugar levels.
One study describes grapefruit as “significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.” The authors also note that grapefruit contains naringin.
They go on to say that naringin appears to have properties similar to an inhibitor that doctors use to improve glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes.
Some people claim that grapefruit is a miracle fruit for weight loss. In one study, researchers found no evidence to suggest that grapefruit helps with weight loss.
However, they concluded that grapefruit may help improve blood pressure and blood lipid (fat) levels. There is a link between high blood pressure, lipid levels and obesity.
Other studies may show that the nutrients in grapefruit have long-term benefits for weight management and obesity prevention.
According to a study, eating more flavonoids can reduce the risk of ischemic stroke among women. Flavonoids are compounds present in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit.
The risk of ischemic stroke was 19% lower among those who consumed the highest amounts of citrus fruits.
Blood pressure and heart health
The combination of fibre, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, and choline in grapefruit may contribute to heart health.
The above study encourages people to increase their dietary intake of potassium and reduce the amount of salt they add to food. This can help prevent high blood pressure and a variety of complications that can result from it.
The Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume about 4,700 mg of potassium per day. This means that a small grapefruit can provide about 6% of a person’s daily potassium needs.
Grapefruit is a rich source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C. These can help fight the formation of free radicals, which experts say cause cancer.
A small grapefruit can provide 68.8 mg of vitamin C. The recommended intake of vitamin C for adults is 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg for men.
A small grapefruit also contains 2,270 micrograms (mcg) of lycopene, which is another antioxidant.
A 2016 population study analyzed data from nearly 50,000 men. Its authors conclude that there is a relationship between the high consumption of tomato sauce, which contains lycopene, and a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Grapefruit contains water and fibre. Specifically, a small 200g grapefruit. contains 182g. of water and 2.2g. of fibre Both water and fibre can help prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Adults should try to consume 28 to 33.6g. of fibre per day, depending on your age and gender.
There is also evidence to suggest that a high intake of dietary fibre may help prevent colorectal cancer.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of the skin.
The authors of a 2017 study concluded that vitamin C could help protect against sun damage and ageing. They also note a link between a person’s vitamin C levels and their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C helps support the immune system in several ways. For example, a dietary intake of vitamin C can help prevent and treat respiratory and other infections.
In particular, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, and smokers should make sure they have an adequate intake of vitamin C. Grapefruit may be a good choice.
Here are some tips for buying and storing grapefruit:
- Buy grapefruit in the winter, as citrus ripens at this time and is more likely to be fresh.
- Buy grapefruits that are ripe, they will have a sweeter flavour and you will be able to get more juice.
- Store grapefruit at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
There are several ways to add grapefruit to your diet. To incorporate it into the diet:
- Add a few grapefruit slices to a salad for lunch or dinner and sprinkle with walnuts, crumbled cheese and balsamic vinegar.
- Serve half a grapefruit for breakfast or as a starter.
- Squeeze grapefruit juice for a refreshing drink. If the fruit is sour, combine it with orange juice.
- Add grapefruit to a fruit salad with strawberries, pineapple, tangerines and grapes.