The grapefruit is a large citrus fruit that comes in three different types and is well-liked for its tangy taste. It is a popular breakfast fruit and a common ingredient in mixed fruit juices as well. However, in addition to being delicious, it is also good for your body in lots of interesting and powerful ways. Read on to discover the eleven main ways in which incorporating more grapefruit into your diet could improve and extend your life.
1) It promotes good cardiovascular health:
Grapefruit is a great source of pectin, which is a type of fiber that can help to reduce the speed and severity of arterial hardening. For example, one study conducted on animals showed that those with a diet high in cholesterol displayed 45% narrowing of their arteries, while those fed the same diet alongside regular pectin consumption only displayed 24% narrowing of the arteries.
2) It has antiseptic properties:
Grapefruit is rich in salicylic acid, which is a potent antiseptic. Some people add grapefruit seed extract to water in order to make an antiseptic spray that can be applied to the site of bacterial or fungal infections.
3) It reduces your risk of developing many different forms of cancer:
Grapefruit contains limonoids, which are phytonutrients that have been shown to inhibit the formation of tumors by promoting detoxification. Research projects on the anti-carcinogenic influence of limonoids have thus far shown that they are effective in fighting cancers of the stomach, colon, lungs, and mouth. In addition, some studies suggest that eating the pulp of grapefruit is linked to a reduction in the risk of breast cancer due to the presence of glucarates.
4) It helps to prevent kidney stones:
One study conducted in the United Kingdom has shown that people who drink at least half a liter of grapefruit juice each day have less acidic urine. This means that they are reducing their risk of developing calcium oxalate kidney stones.
5) It lowers your cholesterol levels:
Recent studies have shown that grapefruit is capable of reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol (i.e. ‘bad’ cholesterol) in your body. Red grapefruit is thought to be particularly effective at lowering cholesterol levels. One research project revealed that eating red grapefruit for just one month left test subjects with 16% lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
6) It can help to reduce inflammation levels:
Since grapefruit is rich in vitamin C, it can help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in your body. These free radicals trigger inflammatory responses, thereby increasing the severity of symptoms experienced by sufferers of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and asthma. A reduction in free radical damage, then, will lead to a reduction in unwanted inflammation.
7) It can help to repair damaged DNA:
Grapefruit contains a particular antioxidant called naringenin, which can help your body to repair damaged DNA. This reduces your likelihood of developing tumors, and will also slow the reproduction of any cancer cells that are present in your body.
8. It helps you to maintain a healthy prostate:
In one particularly interesting scientific study, it was shown that men who drink lots of green tea and eat lots of lycopene-rich foods like grapefruit have a much lower risk of developing prostate cancer. The impact is significant, as the men who drank the most green tea or consumed the most lycopene turned out to be as much as 86% less likely to develop prostate cancer. Since then, other studies have suggested that combining green tea and grapefruit consumption has an even more profound cumulative impact on the likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
9) It may help to protect you against disease:
Grapefruit contains more vitamin C than most fruits, and studies have repeatedly shown that high vitamin C consumption is linked to having a more effective immune system. As a result, regularly eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice might make your body better able to fight cold and flu symptoms.
10) It can help to soothe a sore throat:
Many people find that drinking grapefruit juice helps to reduce the sharp pain of a sore throat, and it is also reported to decrease the severity of coughing during upper respiratory infections.
11) It may be able to help you lose weight:
Grapefruit contains a large amount of water, very little sodium, and some particular enzymes that help to burn fats. As a result, it has been theorized that eating grapefruit temporarily boosts your metabolism and makes your body burn more calories at a faster rate.
As is obvious from the above health benefits, grapefruit is an ideal addition to your diet if you want to increase your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. However, it is important to note that grapefruit is not suitable for everyone. It can interact with certain prescription drugs, including medicines prescribed to treat high blood pressure, heart palpitations, allergies and depression. In addition, those who take medications containing statins (in order to lower cholesterol levels) are at increased risk of muscle toxicity if they eat excessive amounts of grapefruit.