With lots of different colors to choose from including yellow, pink, and red, this nutritious and delicious fruit can be enjoyed either as a drink, fresh, or even used as aromatherapy! We did a little research and compiled a list of all the benefits of eating grapefruit, as well as a few risks. Check it out:
1. Packed with Antioxidants
Apparently the color of a grapefruit matters! If a boost in antioxidants is what you’re looking for, be sure to pick the red or pink Grapefruits. “They have a higher antioxidant level, specifically beta carotene,” says Wesley Delbridge, R.D. when talking to Health.com. “They also have lycopene, another antioxidant.” The same source states that lycopene can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Healthline gives a great overview of all the antioxidants present in grapefruits and what they due. We’ll start with vitamin A which may protect cells from damage that could lead to heart disease and cancer. Next up, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin to reduce the risk of some chronic conditions, “including heart disease, cancer and eye-related disorders like macular degeneration,” says Healthline.
There’s also lycopene which prevents certain types of cancer by potentially slowing the growth of tumors and decreases the side effects of treatment. Lastly, grapefruits are loaded with flavaones. “Their anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.”
2. Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones
Anyone who’s experienced kidney stones knows that they can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. These stones develop when there’s a build-up of waste in the kidneys. “These waste materials are products of metabolism that are normally filtered through the kidneys and removed from the body in urine,” writes Healthline. The waste crystalizes which is what turns it into stones that can cause blockages in the urinary system.
The citric acid in grapefruits may be effective at preventing calcium oxalate stones which are the most common type of kidney stones, “by binding with calcium in the kidneys and flushing it out of the body,” explains the source. It can also increase levels of pH in the urine which reduces the risk of kidney stones in the first place.
3. Hydrating Benefits
Do you find it hard to drink the daily recommended amount of water each day? Try eating more hydrating foods like grapefruit! This tasty fruit has high water content. In fact, it has more than any other fruit, including melons!
According to Health.com, grapefruits are about 92-percent water which means they’re great for our overall health. “All of our body systems and process…require water,” says Wesley Delbridge, R.D., when talking to the source. “Proper hydration makes your body more efficient in everything you’re doing.”
4. Juice Up Your Immunity
It’s pretty much been ingrained in our mind that vitamin C is beneficial for the immune system. It’s why we’re told to stock up on it during cold and flu season. This is because vitamin C has antioxidant properties that can protect against harmful bacteria and viruses, says Healthline.
This source cites several different studies that have shown that vitamin C helps people recover faster from a cold. “Many other vitamins and minerals found in grapefruit are known to benefit immunity, including vitamin A, which has been shown to help protect against inflammation and several infectious diseases,” writes the source. It also contains zinc, copper, vitamin B, and iron, which all work to promote a healthier immune system.
5. Aids in Weight Loss
It sounds like some kind of magic trick, but studies have shown that eating grapefruits can help a person with their weight loss goals. The findings showed people who ate half a fresh grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice before each one of their meals, were able to lose more weight than those who didn’t.
Dr. Axe explains that research has found these results might be due to an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) “which appears to get activated by an organic compound in grapefruit called nootkatone.” This is the same enzyme that is activated during exercise. It encourages the “body’s energy-producing processes, like glucose uptake, for example, which helps boost metabolism,” writes the source. There have also been other animal studies (like the one published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism) that grapefruits could possibly prevent obesity.
6. May Protect Against Cancer
Cancer is so prevalent nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who it hasn’t affected whether it’s directly, or through a family member, friend, or just someone they know. Sometimes the fight against cancer seems hopeless, but there are ways we can protect ourselves. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of cancer is to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Certain foods like grapefruits are high in antioxidants, some of which can actually help protect us from cancer.
Dr. Axe looks at research from the American Institute for Cancer Research which found that “grapefruit’s phytochemicals naringenin and limonin have shown an ability to reduce the growth of the colon, mouth, skin, lung, breast and stomach cancers,” writes Dr. Axe. In addition to that, studies have shown that grapefruits can promote the self-destruction of cancer cells by “[decreasing] inflammation and increase enzymes that deactivate carcinogens.” They are also high in vitamin C which prevents harmful changes to DNA.
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