Grapefruit, also known as ‘chakotra‘ (Hindi) is a subtropical citrus fruit which has a sour and slightly bitter taste. It was first cultivated in Barbados in West Indies as a hybrid fruit from a cross between Pomelo and sweet orange. Grapefruit was named after grapes because it grows like clusters similar to grapes.
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Grapefruits are widely cultivated in China, United States particularly Florida, California and other semi tropical southern states .The fruit has a slightly thick and tough skin than that of oranges and inside, the flesh is segmented like oranges. The fruit is very juicy and acidic varying in colours ranging from white, pink and red. Some varieties are seedless and in some, there may be as many as 50 seeds of half inch in length.
Nutritional Value Of Grapefruit:
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.14 g||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.70 g||4%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.262 mg||5%|
|Vitamin A||1150 IU||38%|
|Vitamin C||31.2 mg||52%|
|Vitamin E||0.13 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
Grape fruit is rich in Vitamin A, carotene and lycopene. It is often revered as the “fruit of paradise” for its health promoting benefits as well as disease healing properties. Pink and red grapefruits are rich in beta carotene. It is also a storehouse of polychemicals such as flavonoids, terpens and limonoids. Pink grapefruit contains a carotenoid called lycopene Folate. In addition to being rich in Vitamin C, grapefruits are also rich In Vitamin A, fiber, potassium and magnesium. Additionally it contains moderate levels of Vitamin B complex such as Folate, riboflavin, pyridoxine and thiamine in addition to some resourceful minerals such as iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus.
The fruit provides a number of health benefits owing to its huge content of essential vitamins and minerals.
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A.Grapefruit Health Benefits
1. Grapefruit For Weight Loss:
- Grapefruits and grape juices are proven to help people lose fat and maintain a healthy weight. Popular dieticians and nutritionists always recommend including grapefruits in daily diet chart because there is scientific evidence that eating grapefruit on a regular basis helps to lose weight significantly. Doctors have found that eating grapefruits lowers insulin, thus instead of storing sugar and converting them to fats, it uses it as a fuel that leads to weight loss.
- Grapefruit is very low in calories and consists of only 42 calories per 100 grams. Thus it is a good option for people who want to lose weight and health benefits of grapefruit are many. Foods with fiber leave you feeling full and grapefruit is rich in water soluble fiber. Like watermelon, grapefruit has a high water content which makes you feel full.
- Grapefruits help to block the absorption of carbs in the body. Drinking grapefruit juice will help you to burn the stored fat. Eating one grapefruit a day will help you to regulate your body and correct weight problems.
- Grape fruits are high in enzymes which help to cut down the fat. It is also low in sodium and has high water content which will keeps you full. It also increases the metabolism of the body.
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2. Grapefruit For Cancer:
- Grapefruit is full of flavonoids which help the body fight infections and keeps the body free from carcinogens that can cause cancer.
- Grapefruit contains high level of pectin which acts as a bulk laxative and helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure to toxic substance in the colon. Drinking 6 ounces of grapefruit juice daily helps to prevent colon cancer. It not only kills the cancer cells but also promotes the production of healthy colon cells. Pectin also improves digestion.
- Vitamin A is required to maintain healthy mucous membranes and skin. Consumption of fruits rich in flavonoid and vitamin A helps to protect from lung cancer and oral cancer.
- Naringenin helps to repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cells. DNA repair and contributes to cancer prevention as it impedes the reproduction of cancer cells.
- Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that gives the red colour to the grapefruit. It is a powerful agent against tumours and cancer acting as a scavenger of cancer causing free radicals. Lycopene works best with Vitamin A and C and grapefruit contains both in regular amount.
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3. Grapefruit For Vision:
- Pink and red grapefruits have huge amounts of beta carotene that are necessary to keep the eyes healthy and improve the vision. Just one grapefruit a day is enough to maintain the vision and fight the ravages of eye strain and ageing. The fruit contains good level of Vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants such as naringenin and naringin and is also a good source of lycopene, beta carotene, xanthin and lutein. These anti-oxidant properties are good for vision.
4. Grapefruit For Arthritis:
- Grapefruit contains salicylic acid that helps to break down the body’s calcium which builds up the cartilage of joint paints which may lead to arthritis. Drink grapefruit juice along with apple cider vinegar for best results.
5. Grapefruit For Infections:
- The flavonoid content in grapefruits help the body to fight off infections and keep the body safe from illness and diseases. Eating a grapefruit every day or drinking grapefruit juice daily provides immunity against cardiovascular diseases. The flavonoid and vitamin C and minerals present in grapefruit makes it a disease busting powerhouse that tastes great too.
6. Grapefruit For Cholesterol Problems:
- Antioxidants present in grapefruit also helps to reduce cholesterol level in a person. Millions of people suffer from cholesterol problems which can lead to dangerous consequences. Doctors always recommend dietary changes for people who want to reduce cholesterol. It is advisable to include grapefruit in your diet if you suffer from cholesterol problems. It is particularly helpful for those people who abstain from taking medication. Eating grapefruits can decrease cholesterol level up to 15 %and can decrease triglyceride levels up to 17%. Grapefruit also boosts heart health and reduces heart disease.
7. Grapefruit As Liver Cleanser:
- Grapefruit contains a number of liver detoxifying and cleansing agents, among them are various antioxidants and phyto nutrients called limonoids that help to excrete toxic from the liver by making them more water soluble. As mentioned earlier, grapefruit also contains naringenin which causes the liver to burn fat rather than store it.
8. Grapefruit For Gum Problems:
- Eating two grapefruits a day help to reduce gum bleeding. Grapefruits also increase plasma vitamin C levels and help to manage periodontal disease.
9. Grapefruit For Respiratory Problems:
- Vitamin C has been proven in numerous studies to lessen respiratory issues and prevent asthma. Vitamin C rich foods also reduces wheezing symptoms in children and aids in treating asthma, chronic cough, shortness of breath and even runny nose. The presence of several vitamin and minerals in grapefruit also helps to boost immunity and lessens the duration of cold.
10. Grapefruit For Kidney stones:
- People who drink 1 litre of grapefruit juice daily reduce their risk of developing kidney stones. Because of the high content of Vitamin C, the juice helps to increase urinary pH and hasten the rate at which citric acid is secreted. This reduces the risk of calcium stones forming.
B. Grapefruit For Skin care:
11. Grapefruit contains high amount of Vitamin A and C, minerals and anti-oxidants that benefit the skin through the grapefruit consumption or a homemade mask.
12. The vitamin C and the antioxidant effects protect the skin from environmental hazards. It also stimulates the production of skin collagen that brings smoothness and elasticity to the skin. The retinol antioxidant gives your skin softness and, renews damaged skin and treats skin pigmentation.
13. The potassium present in the grapefruit helps to smooth wrinkles and age spots and provides a protective shield against UV rays.
14. Grape fruit refreshes the skin and the amino acid present in the grapefruit makes the skin more firm and soft.
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C. Grapefruit For Hair:
15. Grapefruit and its extracts are a good source of Vitamin C. Adequate consumption of Vitamins is imperative for health and growth of hair. Vitamin C has strong antioxidant properties that helps to enhance the immunity system and strengthens the connective tissues within hair follicles and protects their integrity.
16. Our hair follicles often get clogged due to dandruff and dry flaky skin. This can damage the hair follicles if not treated and also inhibits hair growth. Grapefruit seed extracts can help to fight the bacteria on the scalp. It helps to soothe the skin and ward off the dandruff. This helps to get rid the follicles debris and encourage new hair to grow.
17. Grapefruit juice is loaded with vitamin C and Vitamin A which is imperative for hair’s health. It boosts blood circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth.
How To Eat Grapefruits?
There are a lot of ways to incorporate grapefruit in your diet on a regular basis.
- Sectioned grapefruits work great in salads.
- Grapefruit juice is also a good option, only if it is freshly squeezed and not loaded with extra sugar.
- Grapefruit juice can also be used to sweeten cookies, cakes and breads while baking.
- You can also use grapefruit juice as a topping for your ice cream instead of sugary syrups.
Grapefruit Seed Extracts Benefits:
- Grape seed extract comes from the fruit of grapefruit tree. Grapefruit seed extract is a liquid substance extracted from the seeds of grapefruit. This extract has a number of healing properties and can help to get rid of bacteria and infections. It also promotes the overall health of the immune system which is imperative for the growth of hair. Just like the grapefruit, its seed extract is also rich in many nutrients. Grapefruit seed extract is also available in dietary supplement form.
With all these health benefits of grapefruits, it’s no wonder that grapefruits are so popular. Last thing which you need to remember while incorporating grapefruit in your diet is to check with your doctor before eating grapefruit as many medications mix badly with this fruit. Grapefruits contain a compound named fuanocoumarins which is known to spark negative outcome when combined with medicines.