8 Reasons You Should Be Eating Grapefruit
by MSTY Staff Writers
Updated June 1, 2018
Grapefruit…what could possibly be so great about it? After all, it makes juicy messes, it’s bitter, and it tends to be so sour that it scares many people away after the first taste. If you've ever had it, you know the flavor.
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It Boosts Your Metabolism
You may be familiar with a fad diet that involves eating nothing but grapefruit and drinking only grapefruit juice. There is some validity to why it continues to receive high marks from some of its followers.
Dieters claim that the grapefruit boosts metabolism which supports melting fat. Although you should not make it your sole meal choice for a day, it can be a positive addition to your dietary routine.
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Trying eating half of a fresh grapefruit as a snack or before meals. A study conducted in 2006, which was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, shows that eating just half of a grapefruit on a regular basis can effectively assist with weight loss. This fruit has very few calories, and it is loaded with fiber as well as beneficial antioxidants.
It's Heart Healthy
Grapefruit contains several nutrients including fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Research has found that these nutrients actually work together to maintain the health of our heart. They positively influence the lipid levels within the blood—particularly triglycerides.
It is common to find a high amount of triglycerides in the blood of individuals who consume excessive amounts of carbohydrates and fats without burning them. Grapefruit controls these triglycerides, reducing your risk of heart disease and other conditions such as atherosclerosis. Additionally, the high amount of potassium found in grapefruit can lower blood pressure.
It's Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential for our bodies because they undo a large amount of damage done to the cells as a result of radiation, DNA damage, chemical exposure, UV damage, and the natural breakdown of the body over time.
Also, antioxidants prevent new damage from occurring. This potency allows them to be extremely effective in preventing conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, dementia, and premature aging. That’s why foods like grapefruit that are high in antioxidants are such a crucial part of your diet.
Grapefruit are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant essential in overall immune system health. It keeps minor illnesses at bay while preventing inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It also plays essential roles in heart health, fighting cancer, and youthfulness.
In addition to protecting and healing the body’s cells, the grapefruit’s antioxidants further aid the body in ridding itself of fat.
Naringenin, the chemical responsible for the grapefruit’s bitter taste, is actually a powerful antioxidant that assists the liver in breaking down fat and is potent enough to protect us against conditions such as diabetes while keeping the liver healthy.
It Fights Cancer
While vitamin C is effective in resisting cancerous growths, pink and red grapefruits also contain another powerful cancer-fighter known as lycopene. Lycopene prevents the growth of tumors by inhibiting unnatural activities within the cells. This capability makes it one of the most powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants out there.
You might think the sour taste would be counter-intuitive to relieving thirst, however grapefruit is one of the most hydrating fruits on the planet, as it is 91% water! It’s also full of electrolytes (yes, the same electrolytes you’ll find in sport drinks such as Gatorade) so it’s a great snack or drink to keep available during a workout or on a hot day.
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It Fights Gum Disease
Vitamin C, as it turns out, is able to keep your gums strong and healthy, and grapefruit is full of it.
It Reduces Stress!
Many people believe in the mentally healing powers of aromatherapy, which is said to promote a therapeutic state of well-being. The aromas of many plants, such as lavender and sandalwood, are used to enhance meditation because of their calming effects. The aromas of many citrus fruits such as grapefruit can have similar effects. The aroma of grapefruit can support efforts to elevate mood and mental clarity.
It's Good for Your Skin
Grapefruit is high in vitamins A and C, which are excellent for your skin. Both vitamins protect the skin from all kinds of cellular damage that may have resulted from sun exposure, natural aging, harsh chemicals, stress, or pollutants. Additionally, these vitamins stimulate the production of collagen, which allows skin to retain its elasticity and youthfulness. The amino acids in the grapefruit itself make skin firmer and give it a healthy glow. It’s no wonder grapefruit seed extract is such a common ingredient in topical skincare products.
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Shopping for Grapefruit
Grapefruit doesn't have to be overwhelmingly sour and bitter…you just have to know how (and when) to pick it! Grapefruit is available year-round at most grocery stores, but it’s at its peak early winter through spring. Grapefruits can have pink, red, or white flesh which, contrary to popular belief, doesn't really affect how sweet it is. Each variety will taste sweeter if it’s picked later in the season, and it will be sour if it’s picked too early.
To pick the best grapefruit, look for one that feels firm and heavy to the touch. The fruit should have clean, glossy skin. Grapefruits with “mushy” patches of flesh that can be felt through the outer skin should be avoided. The shape of the fruit itself also plays a part—lumpy or uneven-looking fruits are probably overripe. Instead, choose one that has a smooth, even look. It should be well-rounded and look no different from a large orange.
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