Even though the beneficial and healthy Grapefruit is usually avoided because of its tart, astringent, and sour taste, the action and the beneficial effects it has on the body compensates and rewards those who consume it! Grapefruit is part of the citrus family and it is most certainly part of the Mediterranean Diet.
Its size varies depending on the species and growing conditions and the flesh is yellow, pink or red. Grapefruit’s low calories and high contents of vitamins A, B and C and minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, make it a necessary part of our diet!
We will present 7 key reasons which essentially “enforce” the grapefruit as a key part of our daily diet!
The pink and red grapefruit are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid phytochemical known for its antioxidant action and prevention of the prostate cancer. A study has showed that men who eat fruits and vegetables (such as grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon, etc.) rich in lycopene, have less chance to be affected by prostate cancer than those who consume less foods rich in lycopene. In another study, the results showed that the bioflavonoids contained in grapefruit may even prevent the spread of cancer cells in breast cancer cases, helping the body to get rid of the harmful oestrogens.
Moreover, phytochemicals known limonoids which are abundant in citrus fruits have been proven to help protect us against lung, colon and skin cancer. The daily consumption of three portions of 175ml of grapefruit juice has been shown to reduce the activity of an enzyme that activates cancer activity due tobacco smoke. At this point we should note that the Mediterranean Diet dictates that fruits and juices should be consumed daily.
Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber, capable of reducing the rates of cholesterol, removing it from the body and greatly reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. Bad Cholesterol is one of the main causes of heart diseases and the blockage of arteries, thus eating a grapefruit on regular basis reduces these risks.
Contributes to weight loss
Grapefruit contains sodium which is a substance which increases the feeling of fullness, making us consume less food and thus fewer calories. For this reason it is the favourite fruit of all those who pay special attention to their diet. The high content of fat-soluble fiber helps us, in a significant way, to feel full for more hours during the day. The high sodium content helps the body to eliminate the excess water it takes from sodium-enriched foods. Furthermore, the large amount of water it contains, improves our metabolism.
Make a note of this: A glass of grapefruit juice or half a grapefruit before each meal reduces significantly calorie consumption. So make it a habit for your own health.
Strengthens the immune system
The high content of grapefruit in vitamin C enhances protection against infections caused by microbes such as parasites, bacteria, viruses etc. Half a grapefruit contains 80% of the recommended amount of vitamin C your body needs to take on a daily basis.
Healthiness of the gastrointestinal system
One of the major benefits of grapefruit is that it helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system. The high fiber helps fight constipation while at the same time helps in proper functioning of the bowel.
Insomnia sufferers may consume a glass of grapefruit juice or orange juice, just before going to bed and this will help them to sleep easily.
Fights gum disease
The content of grapefruit in vitamin C seems to be the reason as to why the consumption of the fruit helps fight chronic gingivitis, gum disease, and reduces the risk of tooth loss.
A word of Caution: Patients taking drugs should inform their doctor if they regularly drink grapefruit. Depending on the case, the doctor will adjust your dosage. The reason is that the fruit contains substances which interfere with the action of certain drugs.
Grapefruit as it is the case of all the fruits is part of the Mediterranean Diet and fruits due their beneficial effects should be consumed on a daily basis. You can enjoy the benefits of fruits in many ways, eating them fresh, drinking their juice or even using them in salads or in cooked foods.