Science-Based Benefits of Grapefruits
Grapefruit is actually a hybrid of an orange and a pomelo (or shaddock), a large citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. Because of their genetic origins, grapefruits are closely related to oranges and have similar properties.
Grapefruits were first discovered in Barbados in the 18th century and were called “the forbidden fruit” because they grew wild. In the 19th century, they were given the name we know them today: “grapefruits.” Today, they are grown commercially in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, and other parts around the world.
Grapefruits are a delicious and nutritious treat. They’re also a great way to start the day! A recent study found that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice before meals were linked to weight loss.
Grapefruit is also high in vitamin C, which can help keep your immune system strong and healthy. However, there’s more to this citrus fruit than meets the eye: it’s full of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make it a fantastic addition to any diet.
Here are some science-based benefits of grapefruits:
- Helps with weight management
Grapefruit has been shown to reduce insulin levels, which can help people lose weight if they follow a low-carb diet like keto or Paleo. It also contains fiber, which helps slow down digestion, so you feel fuller for more extended periods after eating it than other fruits or vegetables with less fiber content; therefore, you’ll be less likely to overeat throughout the day because your body won’t have time after consuming grapefruits (or other foods high in fiber).
- Reduces your risk of cancer
Grapefruits may also have other surprising benefits: they contain lycopene, the same pigment that makes tomatoes red, which has been linked to decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.
- Improves heart health
Grapefruit is high in potassium, vitamin C, and some B vitamins—all of which help keep your heart healthy and blood pressure under control (which make it a perfect choice for anyone with diabetes).
- Prevents kidney stones
It also has been shown to help reduce the likelihood of developing kidney stones. The citric acid in grapefruit inhibits calcium from binding with other substances in the urine.
- Lowers cholesterol
Grapefruit also helps lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL), thereby preventing heart disease and strokes. It does this by reducing insulin levels in the blood, which causes triglycerides to break down and LDL to decline significantly.
- Improves digestion
The high content of water present in grapefruit makes it an ideal remedy for constipation. Also, if you consume grapefruit before meals, it will help you get fuller faster so that you eat less food overall. This is beneficial for people who want to lose weight or those who suffer from digestive problems like gastritis or ulcers because they often need time between eating more than three small meals per day instead of big meals
- It may benefit your immune system
Eating grapefruit regularly may be beneficial for your immune system. It’s prized for its high vitamin C content. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties known to protect your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses. Additionally, studies have shown vitamin C to be beneficial for helping people recover more quickly from the common cold.
Many other vitamins and minerals found in grapefruit are known to benefit immunity, including vitamin A. Vitamin A has been shown to help protect against inflammation and several infectious diseases. Grapefruit also provides small amounts of B vitamins, zinc, copper, and iron. These all work together in the body to promote immune system function. They also help maintain the integrity of your skin, which acts as a protective barrier to infection.
- Grapefruit may help prevent insulin resistance and diabetes
Eating grapefruit regularly may have the potential to prevent insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when your cells stop responding to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates many processes in your body. It’s involved in many aspects of your metabolism, but it’s most commonly known for its role in blood sugar control.
Insulin resistance ultimately leads to higher insulin and blood sugar levels, two primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Eating grapefruit may help control insulin levels, meaning it may have the ability to reduce your likelihood of becoming insulin resistant.
- It’s high in powerful antioxidants
Grapefruit contains a few different antioxidants that provide various health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body.
Here’s an overview of the most important antioxidants in grapefruit:
- Vitamin C. This is a powerful, water-soluble antioxidant that is present in high amounts in grapefruit. It may protect cells from damage that often leads to heart disease and cancer.
- Beta-carotene. It’s converted into vitamin A in the body and is thought to help reduce the risk of some chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and eye-related disorders like macular degeneration.
- Lycopene. This is known for its potential ability to prevent the development of certain types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. It may also help slow the growth of tumors and decrease the side effects of common cancer treatments.
- Flavanones. Their anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Grapefruit has hydration benefits
Grapefruit contains a lot of water and is, therefore, very hydrating. In fact, water makes up most of the fruit’s weight. There are almost 4 ounces (118 ml) of water in half of a medium-sized grapefruit, which accounts for about 88% of its total weight. While drinking lots of water is the best way to stay hydrated, eating water-rich foods can also help.
- Grapefruit has benefits for the skin
Grapefruit contains vitamin C, which helps protect the skin against sun damage, aging, and inflammation. Vitamin C is often used in serums to heal the skin, brighten dark spots, and smooth the skin surface. However, studies also show that an increased intake of vitamin C through foods like grapefruit may help with hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and signs of aging
Vitamin C helps the body produce more collagen, which has been shown to benefit skin hydration and wrinkles. Grapefruit also contains citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. These are all different types of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are often used in skincare products due to their variety of benefits, including improved skin texture and elasticity.