If the benefits of grapefruit convince you to try it for the first time, the experience may be somewhat unpleasant: not as sweet as an orange, not as acid as a lemon, and mildly sour. Firstly, this original mixture of flavors may seem odd; however, everyone eventually gets accustomed to it.
Grapefruits are the largest of all citrus fruits. It is also one of the most researched fruits today. Because of its structure and medicinal properties, this fruit continues to perplex scientists who attempt to find the secrets to the many health benefits of grapefruit.
The Benefits of Grapefruit: Preparations and Dosage
- Fresh: It is beneficial to eat the whole grapefruit, including the white layer below the peel and between the segments, thanks to its fiber-rich pectin.
- Benefits of grapefruit juice: The juice is an excellent alternative to the orange or lemon, or combined with either one. You can sweeten your drink with honey if you like.
- Grapefruit treatment: You can do this with the whole fruit or the juice. The treatment starts by eating a grapefruit with an empty stomach (entire fruit or the juice), two doses the next day, and so forth up to five doses. When you reach five a day, lower the amount by one each day until you get to one. Continue eating one grapefruit a day for the next five days until you complete the two-week treatment course.
There are varieties of grapefruit with yellow, orange, and even pink pulp. The latter two have the additional advantage of being incredibly rich in carotenoids of preventative action against cancer.
The juice of this fruit is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids; however, it contains a lot less pectin (soluble fiber) than the entire fruit. People suffering from arteriosclerosis should eat the whole fruit with its pulp for the best results.
- Scientific synonyms: Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr., Citrus decumanus L.
- Synonyms: Marsh grapefruit, Shaddock;
- French: Pamplemousse, pomelo;
- Spanish: Pomelo
- German: Grapefruit
- Description: The grapefruit is the fruit of the tree’ Citrus paradisi’ MacFad., from the botanical family Rutaceae. It is shaped like an orange, although somewhat more massive, and is lemon-like in color. Some varieties are pink or green.
- Habitat: Originally from Southeast Asia, its cultivation has spread to Israel, Mediterranean countries, Caribbean islands, and the North American states of Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas.
Benefits of Grapefruit: Medicinal Properties and Indications
The pulp of grapefruit comprises a modest amount of carbohydrates and very few lipids and proteins. C is this fruit’s most prominent vitamin, although less than the orange or the lemon. When it comes to mineral salts, its virtual lack of sodium is notable, as is its addition to a certain sum of magnesium and calcium.
Since its nutritional content is relatively low, most grapefruit benefits result from its non-nutritive components. These additional substances, which you can find in all plant-based foods and do not form part of any specific groups of nutrients, are precisely those that stimulate the most curiosity within the scientific community.
Though grapefruit contain hundreds of non-nutritive components like the orange, the function of only a few is understood. These components include carotenoids, limonoids, flavonoids, and pectin.
PECTIN: Pectin is a soluble vegetable fiber that you can find in various fruits such as apples and citrus. Because of the medicinal properties, vegetable fiber was amongst the first non-nutritive components studied. You can find grapefruit pectin in the fiber that forms the fruit’s pulp and between the whitish layer’s secretions just below the skin. This fiber contributes to grapefruit’s health benefits because of its ability to protect the arteries and its anti-cholesterol effects.
FLAVONOIDS: These consist of a collection of non-nutritive components called phytochemicals. These chemicals are glycosides, and they are prevalent in plant-based foods, which continue to amaze scientists because of their medicinal properties. Naringin is the main glucoside that you can find in grapefruit, and it converts into naringenin within the body. It improves blood flow and possesses anticarcinogen as well as antioxidant properties.
CAROTENOIDS: Pink grapefruit is an excellent source of beta-carotene, the forerunner to vitamin A. This particular grapefruit also contains a variety of other substances called carotenoids. These substances act similarly and facilitate the antioxidant effects of vitamin C as well as flavonoids.
LIMONOIDS: Limonoids are terpenoids that give citrus fruits their essence. Grapefruits are extremely rich in one particular terpenoid, and that is limonene. It is responsible for the fruits’ bitter taste and a large portion of the proven anticarcinogenic properties.
The grapefruit’s non-nutritive and nutrient components explain the many benefits of grapefruit:
- Cardiocirulatory disorders
- Excess uric acid
- Depurative treatments
- Weight loss
- Protection against cancer
Grapefruit Nutrition Facts and Composition
|ENERGY||32.0 kcal = 134 kj|
|VITAMIN A||12.0 ug RE|
|VITAMIN B1||0.036 mg|
|VITAMIN B2||0.020 mg|
|NIACIN||0.283 mg NE|
|VITAMIN B6||0.042 mg|
|VITAMIN C||34.4 mg|
|VITAMIN E||0.250 mg a-TE|
|TOTAL FAT||0.100 g|
|SATURATED FAT||0.014 g|
Provided by 100 g of this food: Benefits of grapefruit
How to Prepare a Grapefruit
To prepare this fruit to take full advantage of the benefits of grapefruit and its nutritional properties, you will need to hold on to the white layer below the rind. This particular area is the richest in pectin, which is a soluble fiber.
- Use any peeler of your choice to remove the thin yellow rind.
- Cut all of the pulp into thin slices.
- You can sweeten with honey.
Warning About Grapefruit Side Effects
According to health experts, certain phytochemicals of the flavonoid group in grapefruit, particularly naringin, inhibit the activity of enzymes responsible for metabolizing certain medications. These enzymes, which are found primarily in the liver, belong to a system referred to as cytochrome P450. To date, there are two known types of drugs that interact negatively with grapefruit:
- Calcium channel-blocking agents: (nifedipine and similar drugs) used in cases of coronary heart disease and hypertension
- Cyclosporine and immunosuppressant used in organ transplant cases, particularly of the kidney
When one eats grapefruit, these medications metabolize more slowly, remain longer in the bloodstream, and, as a result, have a more intense effect. Those who regularly eat grapefruit and require treatment with these medications should consult with their physician to adjust for optimal dosage.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 93-96. Print. [benefits of grapefruit]