Stay Healthy and Lose Weight with the Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Since its discovery in 18th century Barbados, the citrus fruit has been around for ages. It’s history aside, grapefruit is one of the healthiest fruits known to man. It is grown in a host of countries.
The United States is the largest known grower of grapefruit. China, South Africa, Mexico, Israel, Cuba, Argentina and India are some of the other growers of grapefruit.
There are different varieties of grapefruit, identified by color of the pulp. The fruit’s color is as a result of the pigmentation that depicts its condition of ripeness.
Common colors are pink, red and white. Their flavors also range from very acidic and bitter to sweetly tart. The fruit has a distinctive smell, owing to the effect of the organic compound known as grapefruit merchantman (a terpene substance).
Weight loss and nutritional properties
Grapefruit has a number of nutritional values derived from the variety of nutrients it contains. It is abundant in phytochemicals, which are the largest collection of antioxidants. Studies have shown that grapefruit is useful for weight loss, for instance, a research study by a San Diego clinic about the effect of grapefruit on weight loss revealed that including the fruit in your daily diet helps to lower insulin levels in blood, which naturally triggers weight loss.
Since insulin levels influence the amount of blood sugar, it is thought that hunger reduces with low insulin levels. In addition, low insulin levels are believed to facilitate the rapid breakdown of fat in the body because sugar is metabolized more efficiently.
However, no study has revealed the extent to which grapefruit influences the lowering of insulin in blood. Other sources indicate that grapefruit has enzymes capable of directly breaking down fat.
The citrus fruit has a high water content and less sodium, thus, it helps to increase metabolism
Grapefruit contains vitamin C, the fiber pectin and the antioxidant lycopene, mainly found in the pink and red varieties. Research has suggested that grapefruit greatly lowers cholesterol levels in blood, reducing the risk of heart-related disease.
Grapefruit seeds as well have been shown to have antioxidants. The fruit is rated low on the glycemic index and as such, it is a core element of the ‘grapefruit diet’. the theory is that it helps to boost metabolism, hence the body can burn more calories.
Having said that, its worth noting that grapefruit diet or grapefruit juice can not be taken as a diet of its own. It is unhealthy to eat a low calorie diet with grapefruit juice alone in a bid to lose weight. Rather, it’s more advantageous to have grapefruit or its juice as a supplement to a more inclusive, healthy diet that contains all the healthy foods in appropriate portions.
Grapefruit has a number of drug interactions and greatly increases the potency of many drugs it interacts. Potential fatalities have been reported due to ‘overdosing’. The overdose is as a result of the increased bioavailability of the drugs in the body. If you are considering adding grapefruit to your diet, seek proper medical advice.
Although grapefruit is a healthy inclusion in any diet, caution should be exercised for people on medication.