benefits of grapefruits

Grapefruit, sometime referred to as shaddock is a citrus fruit. It comes in many varieties which are determined by colour and the most popular varieties cultivated today are red, white, pink and hues. Like bananas, grapefruits are available throughout the year except two varieties namely Florida and Texas.

These two are seasonal and available between the months of November – June. Grapefruits have different tastes – acidic, bitter sweet and sugary. The essential nutrients of grapefruit are vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, folic acid and phosphorous.

Health benefits of grapefruits

Cardiovascular disease

Grapefruit contains the powerful combination of potassium, fibre, lycopene, and vitamin C. All these nutrients helps our body to maintain a healthy heart. It regulates the cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Consumption of grapefruit can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Red grapefruit influences blood lipid levels and reduces triglycerides, a form of cholesterol which is a primary cause for heart disease. But if you are taking medications for any heart issue, then get your doctor’s advice to consume grapefruits.

Grapefruitjuice2

Helps digestion

Grapefruit juice helps to promote digestion. Eating the fruit along with the spongy white tissue is important to get extra fibre that aids bowel movements. It hence helps your digestion to be smooth.

Though it has a sub-acid taste, its juice has an alkaline reaction after digestion that helps in the treatment of acidity in the digestion system.

Weight loss

Just eating half a grapefruit or its juice before every meal helps in weight reduction, and hence works well for breakfast. As already discussed, grapefruit is loaded with fibre that keeps you free of hunger for a longer time. The compounds present in grapefruit, reduces insulin levels converting food into energy swiftly without converting it into fat. Grapefruit is hence an ideal choice of snack for those who are looking to shed a few pounds.

Influenza

Influenza is a viral infection that causes sudden fits of high fever. Grapefruits are rich sources of flavonoids, especially naringin. They have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti inflammatory qualities that protects from influenza and many other serious conditions.

Grapefruit
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Malaria

Grapefruits are a good home remedy to treat malaria. Grapefruit contains quinine which is a natural medication for treating malaria. Quinine is extracted by boiling a quarter of grapefruit, straining the pulp. Daily consumption of grapefruit thus protects you from malarial fever.

Diabetes

Raw grapefruits are suitable for any diabetes meal plan. Grapefruit has a low glycemic index due to which it is a safer carbohydrate option compared to other high glycemic index foods like white rice, bread and potatoes.

It has a glycemic index value of 25 and the value below 55 being considered as best for diabetes. Grapefruit juices are however not the best choice for those with diabetes.

Insomnia

The food we eat affects our night’s sleep. Foods containing carbohydrates, calcium, tryptophan, is low in protein and is also ideal for good sleep.  A glass of grapefruit juice can alleviate the irritating symptoms of insomnia. The component of tryptophan helps brain to build sleep-inducing substances.

grapefruit and juice
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Foods to be avoided before 3 hours prior to bed:

  • Avoid meals
  • Fatty or spicy food
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt and onion
  • Alcohol

Constipation

Grapefruit is one of the best remedies to cure constipation. To prevent constipation you must take at least 8 glasses of water per day and ensure you continue this at least for a few weeks. You can complement this along with diluted grape juice.

Drink a glass of plain grapefruit juice on an empty stomach. Drinking before breakfast is highly recommended. Wait for at least half an hour before you have your breakfast. I suggest you do not add sugar to the juice.

Prevent dehydration

Grapefruit contains 91 percent of water as a result, giving a lot of hydration benefits. Grapefruit juice greatly helps in controlling appetite which in turn helps you lose weight. It is a very healthy snack to prevent dehydration. The large amount of water content also helps cleanse the body of toxins.

Asthma

Consuming high amounts of vitamin C nutrients results in reduction of risk of asthma disease. Grapefruits are excellent sources of vitamin C and this nutrient is also a powerful antioxidant that helps improve the general function of the lungs.

It has certain other benefits such as –

  • Solves indigestion and related problems
  • Boost your energy level
  • Controls acidity
  • Controls urinary disorder
  • Treats skin disease

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.