One great choice to add to your diet or to replace all those holiday sweets with is grapefruit. This sweet and tangy citrus fruit has dozens of health benefits that you may be surprised to hear of.
While grapefruit may not seem that appealing, it is very healthy with many benefits. It is also in season this time of year and available in most produce aisles. While the tanginess is its only downfall, that can easily be fixed with sweetener. However, the more grapefruit you eat, the more you will discover how delicious it is on its own. Also, anything this healthy and beneficial can certainly become an acquired taste!
Grapefruit are tangy and tart and they also loaded with health benefits.
The average grapefruit contains 50% of the daily value of vitamin C and 15% of the daily value of dietary fiber. They are also rich in Vitamin A, Potassium, Folate and Vitamin B5. The Vitamin C helps support the immune system which is especially helpful during the holiday season and winter months when germs are so common. Also, Vitamin C prevents the free radical damage that is associated with asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The lycopene in grapefruit even has an anti-tumor effect! Lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals.
Limonoids, another nutrient found in grapefruit, have been shown to fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.
Grapefruit also lowers cholesterol through its component of pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that has been shown to slow down atherosclerosis.
Grapefruit lowers LDL or the “bad” cholesterol and red grapefruit lowers triglycerides.
Also, red grapefruit is twice as effective in influencing cholesterol levels, although both forms of grapefruit are highly effective.
The only concern with grapefruits is that they may increase the circulating level of several prescription drugs. When grapefruit interacts with statins or other prescription drugs, the toxicity may increase.
Another fabulous benefit of eating grapefruit is that it prevents kidney stones! Drinking grapefruit juice reduces the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Grapefruit also protects against lung and colon cancer.
Drinking 3 six ounce glasses a day reduces the activity of an enzyme that activates cancer-causing chemicals.
Grapefruit may also help prevent weight gain by lowering insulin levels.
Grapefruit also boosts liver Enzymes and increases the productivity necessary to prepare and eliminate toxic compounds.
The liver clears out toxins. During both phases of the detoxication process, Grapefruit helps to enhance the liver’s performance.
Grapefruit is also capable of repairing DNA. A flavonoid concentrated in grapefruit called Naringenin helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells.
Prostate cancer, which most men are at risk for, especially those over the age of 50 can be devastating. Grapefruit is one food that can help keep men healthy as well as help their bodies to restore the damaged DNA.
DNA repair is the main way in which the body defends itself from the development of cancerous cells. A recent study proved that enjoying grapefruit on a regular basis may prevent the progression of prostrate cancer. Grapefruits were first discovered in Barbados in the 1700s. Many botanists believe the grapefruit was originally a cross between the orange and pomelo.
The name “grapefruit” was coined in 1814 in Jamaica . It is reflective of the way it is arranged and how it grows in clusters much like grapes.
Grapefruit trees were first planted in the U.S. in Florida during the 1800s.
Currently, Florida , Arizona , California and Texas are the largest grapefruit producers in the United States .
Israel , South Africa and Brazil also produce grapefruits commercially.
When choosing grapefruit, avoid overly soft because they are most likely bruised or decayed. Choose fruits that are heavy and thin skinned. They should also be firm and slightly springy. Grapefruits are great eaten plane or combined in green salad.