Upon seeing this juicy fruit in the produce aisle, your palate either salivates or cringes at the very sight of grapefruit. Why? It’s slightly bitter and sour taste make it not the nicest fruit to digest in one go. The pink, red, and white pulp varieties are filled with vitamins and minerals, which just add onto its many health benefits. This moon shaped fruit is rich with vitamin C and is brimming with some rather unexpected health benefits.
When you’re looking to lose weight, grapefruit is the fruit you should be reaching for. A high metabolism will continue to burn fat even when it’s resting. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2006 concluded that people who are just half a grapefruit before each meal, and didn’t make other dietary changes, lost on average around 3 and a half pounds over a 12 week span.
Lauren Blake, a registered dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said, “While grapefruit does not have any magical fat-burning properties, it is low in calories and is a good source of fiber, which helps keep us full for longer by taking longer to digest. … Grapefruit also has a high water content which can help you feel full and stay hydrated.”
Strengthens Immune System
It’s common knowledge that fruits rich in vitamin C strengthen and support one’s immune system, as it works with other micro-nutrients to help provide regular nourishment for the body. Therefore it is best to maintain good levels of vitamin C in order to reduce the severity of cold symptoms. This is crucial as it controls allergies since it works to reduce histamine levels. “Grapefruit is abundant in vitamin C which help supports the immune system,” Blake explains. “Half of a grapefruit provides about 78 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.”
Reduces Kidney Stones Risk
Naringenin is known for its bitter taste of grapefruit, but putting that aside, note that it has been found to successfully prevent the formation of kidney cysts. A report published by AlphaGalileo.org shows that the naturally occurring compound regulates the PKD2 protein which is the cause for the condition. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects help to prevent the formation of cysts, but also can reduce swelling in the kidneys that is caused by the fluid retention. If you drink up to a liter of grapefruit juice daily, it will help effectively block the formation of kidney cysts.
No one said you had to ingest grapefruit to enjoy its many benefits. Just the smell of this citrus fruit can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and depression. The Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study in 1995 where they discovered that a citrus fragrance restored stress-induced immunosuppression, and also induced calm behavior in mice.
Fights Gum Disease
Just two grapefruit a day can help to prevent, and even reverse, damage caused by gum disease. The British Dental Journal published a 2005 study where they proved that daily intake of grapefruit reduces gum bleeding in those suffering from gum disease. Those who participated in the study also showed an significant increase in their vitamin C levels, which helps to repair gums. According to Blake, vitamin C is crucial for healthy gums, which helps to keep our teeth firmly in position.
Protects Against Cancer
Now here’s an impressive health benefit. The antioxidant vitamin C in grapefruit has been found to decrease the risk of certain cancers. In 2006, a study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry where they found grapefruit helps to repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. Naringenin stimulates DNA repair in these particular cancer cells and helps to protect the body from developing cancer. “Diets high in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables such as grapefruit, had been linked to a reduced risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, bladder, breast, and esophagus,” said Blake. However she points out that these results are specific to foods rich in vitamin C and not just supplements.