Sun kissed yellow to ruby red, grapefruits have graced our breakfast tables offering a tantalizing sweetness paired with a sharp bitter acidity. Just the thing to wake up our taste buds in the morning, eating grapefruit anytime of the day is a good idea. Whether you gobble them up or slurp down fresh pressed juice, one thing is certain, the health benefits of grapefruit consumption offers a boost to your immune system, aids in weight loss, and packs a nutritional punch in one large, juicy citrus fruit.
Vitamin C In Grapefruit
Grapefruits, like all citrus fruits, are loaded with Vitamin C. A half of a Grapefruit contains a whopping 64% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin C. Just like its cousin, the ubiquitous orange, the grapefruit is a top-notch, diet superfood loaded with immune boosting power.
Vitamin C is effective in boosting your body’s immune system and has long been touted as the vitamin superstar to ward off colds. The antioxidant properties in Vitamin C help to protect your body cells from viruses and harmful bacteria. It is a powerhouse in preventing damage to cells that can lead to heart disease and cancer.
In the United States it is rare to see an outbreak of Scurvy (a Vitamin C deficiency), keeping your intake up of this important vitamin is vital to your overall health. According to Healthline, “The human body cannot produce or store Vitamin C. Therefore, it’s essential to consume it regularly in sufficient amounts.” The solution is, eat more citrus fruits, including grapefruit. By consuming whole food, you give your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to function at optimal levels.
Vitamin A In Grapefruit
One happy benefit of eating grapefruit is the copious amounts of Vitamin A it provides. Beta-carotene, which your body converts to Vitamin A, is thought to reduce the occurrences of macular degeneration and other eye related diseases. This vitamin is also a powerhouse when it comes to increasing your body’s immune function which helps fight inflammation.
The amount of A found in one half of a grapefruit is 28% of the RDI. When you chose to eat a grapefruit for it’s nutritionally packed gifts, you reap the benefits of getting your vitamins and minerals in their purest form. It is a more efficient method for your body to absorb the healthful goodies packed into the fruit in its perfect form.
Lycopene and Flavanones
We are discovering that Lycopene and Flavanones are a necessary part of the nutrient team to keep our body healthy and strong. Playing rolls in cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure, and keeping inflammation at bay, eating foods rich in these substances is beneficial to you overall well-being.
Lycopene plays a role in preventing prostate cancer. Researchers are also studying lycopene’s ability to slow tumor growth.
Flavanones have super anti-inflammatory properties. They are key in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol which reduces heart disease risk.
The health information associated with eating grapefruit and weight management shows a positive correlation. Adding a half of grapefruit to your diet, will aid in improving your overall weight loss goals. Sometimes just making a simple change in the way you eat can have a cascade effect and take you down the path to a healthy diet. Adding grapefruit to your daily menu is easy, and the health benefits are huge.
Since grapefruit is nutrient dense, low in calories, and loaded with fiber, it is an excellent tool in the fight for weight loss. Losing weight is a major contributor to controlling heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Grapefruit is an excellent alternative to eating highly processed foods which ultimately lead to weight gain. By opting for whole foods like grapefruit, you may successfully lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and help your body ward off diseases like cancer.
The beauty of adding the additional fiber and water found in grapefruit to your daily diet is it can help with keeping you feeling full which in turn, helps improve weight loss.
Other Heath Benefits Of Eating Grapefruit
Researchers have found the citric acid found in grapefruit may help prevent kidney stones. The citric acid binds with excess calcium and flushes it out of your body thereby reducing the formation of kidney stones.
Grapefruit is also a good source of Potassium at 5% RDI, Thiamine at 4% RDI, Folate at 4% RDI, and Magnesium at 3% RDI. Additional, grapefruit contains trace amounts of B Vitamins, Zinc, Copper, and Iron. All minerals required to boost your skin health.
Grapefruit may be key infighting insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes. In general, replacing fruit for a commercially prepared, sugary snack will improve your health and promote improved blood sugar control.
Eating grapefruit has been shown to improve your heart health by lowing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. By adding fruits and vegetables that contain fiber and antioxidants, you have the added health benefits of improving protection against heart disease and stroke.
Precautions To Consider
Grapefruit can have serious adverse reactions with some medications. Be sure to consult with your doctor about your grapefruit intake, particularly if you take medications for high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, cholesterol, anxiety, and other prescription medications. You want to avoid any potential adverse side effects between grapefruit and your medication. Check with your doctor before embarking on a new diet regimen.
A half of grapefruit contains only 51 calories and a mouth watering tasty goodness. For this reason, grapefruit is a go-to snack that is not just for breakfast anymore. Zero grams of fat, cholesterol, and sodium add to grapefruits charms. The nutritional stats round out with 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein making grapefruit a veritable citrus star. Not to mention its capacity for a stomach filling, high water content.
Making Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Squeezing by hand is a great workout, and you can use a traditional manual hand reamer if you are interested in adding a workout with your grapefruit juice preparation. However, if you are juicing grapefruit and adding in lots of other healthy fruits and vegetables to your diet, a high quality power juicer will be more practical.
Fruits and vegetables to squeeze with your grapefruits for healthy and tasty sippers include:
- Carrots and ginger
- Carrots and beets
- Ginger and spinach
- Cucumber and mint
- Apple and orange
You get the idea, juicing this plump citrus fruit works well with lots of other healthy foods. Don’t forget about a beautiful tall glass of grapefruit aide as a refreshing summer drink that is perfect for a healthy diet.
Grapefruit Juice Cocktails
If you are the type of person who likes a little kick to their fruit juice. Grapefruit juice makes an excellent addition to some classic cocktails. Whether that negates the health benefits of drinking the juice, we will leave you to decide.
The Spruce Eats page offers 11 Tart and Tasty Grapefruit Cocktails for your libation enjoyment. These cocktails will add interest to your bartending repertoire with very little effort.
To make a Paloma at home, add 2 ounces of your favorite tequila to 4 ounces of grapefruit. Squeeze in fresh lime juice to taste and enjoy. You can substitute grapefruit soda, but you will loose some of the powerful grapefruit antioxidants. As an alternative, use fresh grapefruit and add a splash of soda water for a bubbly and refreshing take.
Super simple and refreshing, the Greyhound is a snap to mix up. Take 2 ounces of your favorite gin or vodka, add 4 ounces of fresh squeezed juice and garnish with a lime or lemon. VoilÃ , you have the perfect summer patio cocktail.
Essential Oils and their uses are at the forefront of many health studies. As we learn more about the beneficial uses of these oils, we are adding to our healthy lifestyle arsenal.
Grapefruit essential oil is extracted by cold-pressing the peel of the fruit and gives off a fresh citrus aroma. Although the medical properties of essential oil use are still being studied. Grapefruit oil may offer some positive health benefits.
Grapefruit essential oil is under study as an appetite suppressant and the studies are yielding promising results. Another bonus effect is that the appetite suppressant properties can help promote weight loss. Additionally, studies are underway to confirm that inhaling citrus essential oils can have a long-term effect on lowering blood pressure and stress.
Adding a few drops of citrus oil to your diffuser regularly or using a carrier oil for dispensing any essential oil is good practice. Children and pets may have adverse reactions to some essential oils, take care to research before using.
Citrus Fruit – Grapefruit Style
Grapefruit is the long underrated citrus fruit. Relegated to the long abandoned breakfast table, grapefruit is making a comeback. Offering so many health benefits this fruit is becoming a favorite for everyone who is interested in improving their health, lowering blood sugar levels, and upping their consumption of important antioxidants.
Pomelo is the granddaddy of grapefruits. When a farmer in Barbados crossed a sweet orange with a pomelo, the classic grapefruit, as we know it, was born.
There are many different varieties of grapefruits grown commercially and in small orchards. You will find the classics in your local grocery store. Since grapefruits are in season during the winter, they can be found in the southern United States farmers’ markets. Look for fun and interesting new varieties to enjoy while you reap their many health benefits.
Some of the more common varieties include:
- Duncan Grapefruit is the classic large yellow fruit we associate with the Floridian crop. Sweet and juicy, this one has lots of seeds. It is the grapefruit you think of when you sit down to breakfast.
- Marsh Seedless Grapefruit or the White Marsh Grapefruit sports yellow fruit and has a good hit of acidity.
- Flame Grapefruit has a vibrant dark pink flesh. Juicy and sweet, it does not need any sugar making it a super choice for your morning shot of vitamin c
- Lavender Gem Grapefruit is a mini grapefruit. A cross between a tangelo and a grapefruit, it is perfect for juicing.
- Oro Banco Grapefruit is a re-cross between a pomelo and a grapefruit. Deliciously sweet and juicy.
- Melogold Grapefruit a pomelo/grapefruit hybrid is an extremely juicy fruit that eats like an orange.
Grapefruit Home Orchards
If you live in a warmer hardiness zone, 8-11, you should add your own grapefruit tree to your home orchard. There is nothing as satisfying as picking your morning grapefruit right off your own tree. When you plant your own trees, you will eat grapefruit more often.
Types of fruit plants you can readily find are the White Marsh Seedless Grapefruit , the Rosada Pink Grapefruit, and the Ruby Red Grapefruit.
Improving heart health, bolstering your immune system, aiding in weight management, decreasing the formation of kidney stones, and upping dietary fiber intake, the humble grapefruit needs to be elevated from the breakfast table and eaten as a tasty snack anytime of the day.
The bottom line – Eat more grapefruit and improve your health.
There are many reasons to eat grapefruit and include them as part of your overall healthy diet plan. They are tasty, low in calories, high in potassium, vitamins A and C, and improve your immune system. Grapefruit are a superfood and they taste great!
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