The Health Benefits of Grapefruit

Health Benefits of Grapefruit 1 – Grapefruit for Cancer

A study found that naringenin, a flavonoid found in grapefruit, stimulates DNA repair in prostate cancer cells.

Pink or deep red fleshed grapefruit are an excellent source of lycopene, the phytochemical which is found abundantly in tomatoes. Scientific evidence is strong for the protective effect of lycopene against cancer of the prostate, stomach, and lung. It may also offer protection against cancer of the breast, cervix, pancreas, mouth, colon, rectum, and esophagus.

Grapefruit is also rich in D-limonene, which has well-established anticancer activity against many types of cancer. D-limonene inhibits tumor formation by promoting the formation of the detoxifying liver enzyme. This  enzyme, known as glutathione-S-transferase, sparks a reaction in the liver which assists in making toxic compounds more water-soluble for excretion from the body.

The pulp of citrus fruits such as grapefruit also contains, compounds known as glucarates, which could help in preventing breast cancer by helping the body get rid of excess estrogen.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit 2 – Grapefruit for Cholesterol

In a 16-week double-blind study of 27 individuals with high cholesterol levels, it was concluded that cholesterol can be significantly reduced with grapefruit pectin. Grapefruit pectin supplementation reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 10.8%, plasma cholesterol by 7.6%, and the low-density lipoprotein to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio by 9.8%.

In another study of 57 individuals who had bypass surgery, those who ate one red grapefruit a day for thirty days had a reduction in LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit 3 – Grapefruit for Kidney Stones

Research has shown that grapefruit juice consumption reduces the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation. Urinary excretion of calcium is significantly increased with grapefruit juice when compared to drinking just mineral water.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit 4 – Grapefruit for Weight Loss

Although the Hollywood grapefruit diet fad was found to be nutritionally incomplete, adding grapefruit to a healthy diet may be a valuable tool in achieving an optimal weight. One study revealed that obese individuals consuming a half a fresh grapefruit before meals for 12 weeks lost a significant amount of weight.

Researchers have shown that a citrus extract of grapefruit, orange and red orange significantly reduces body fat in overweight individuals.

Nutrients in Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a fantastic source of vitamin C. Grapefruit is also a good source of calcium, potassium, folic acid and vitamin A in red grapefruit. Grapefruit also contains  phytochemicals such as flavonoids, liminoids, glucarates and lycopene.

History of Grapefruit

Grapefruit was first discovered in Barbados and was introduced to Florida in the nineteenth century, where it became an important commercial crop. Other countries that commercially produce grapefruit are South Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Israel.

Warnings for Grapefruit

The naringin in grapefruit can interfere with the absorption rate of many medications. Check with your doctor, a pharmacist, or a registered dietician to see if grapefruit should be avoided.

How Grapefruit Juice Affects Some Medicines Infographic

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