The health benefits of grapefruits are wide-ranging and nearly unmatched by any other fruit. A glass of chilled grapefruit juice, especially in winter, helps seriously boost your levels of vitamin C, which gives grapefruits a high place amongst various citrus fruits. It’s packed with the benefits derived from various nutrients and vitamins, including potassium and lycopene. Along with these, it also contains calcium, sugar and phosphorous. In terms of its culinary value, it is considered a wonderful appetizer, and is regularly included for breakfast as a refreshing and energizing start to the day.
Grapefruits are high in fiber and low in calories, and they contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and the formation of tumors. Grapefruits increase the body’s metabolic rate, lower insulin levels and give you a feeling of fullness and normality. It assists the human body in fighting various conditions like fatigue, fever, malaria, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, urinary problems, excess acidity and many more.
There are plenty of major health benefits of grapefruits, which are also known to be powerful drug/poison eliminators. It works as a natural antiseptic for external wounds, and it functions as a liver tonic. It contains a high water content, which helps in changing the complexion of the skin and increasing the body’s metabolic rate. The pulp and fiber of grapefruits supply healthy bulk to our food intake, which aids bowel movements and reduces chances of colon cancer. It also helps to quench thirst and thus, reduces the burning sensation that arises during fever. The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the intake of grapefruit reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Health Benefits of Grapefruits
Appetite Loss: Grapefruit works as an excellent appetite suppressant as compared to many other substances and foods. It is said that smell of the grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger, which is the reason why people often include grapefruit in their weight loss programs. The high amounts of fiber contained in this fruit can also satisfy hunger and help people avoid the temptation to overeat, since it is a bulky food, and stimulates cholecystokinin to be released, a hormone that regulates digestive juices and acts as a hunger suppressant.
Influenza: Grapefruit is a valuable remedy for influenza, since it helps to minimize acidity in the system. The bitter properties arising from an essence called ‘naringin’ in grapefruits tones up the system and the digestive process. Naringin is also considered a flavonoid, which are powerful antioxidant sources in the human diet. They also have antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory qualities, making them one of the most important lines of defense in the immune system, protecting against influenza as well as many other serious conditions.
Malaria: The juice, or the fruit itself, contains valuable and natural ‘quinine’ which is advantageous for the treatment of malaria. Quinine is an alkaloid with a long history of treating malaria, as well as lupus, arthritis, and nocturnal leg cramps. It is not an easy component to find in many foods, so grapefruits are a beneficial and rare example. The quinine can be easily extracted from the fruits by boiling a quarter of grapefruit and straining the pulp.
Fever: The pulp or the juice of grapefruit helps patients recover quickly from fevers, and it reduces the burning sensation that occurs when the body reaches a high temperature. It is also known as a way to boost the immune system against colds and other common illnesses. Grapefruit juice, when combined with water, can quench thirst very quickly and can keep you hydrated longer. Most of these benefits come from the high content of vitamin C in grapefruits, which acts as a general immune system defense system and can help the body fight to break fevers.
Fatigue: Grapefruits are also beneficial in the treatment of fatigue, so it can help you to dispel your general tiredness caused from routine or boring work. Drinking equal amounts of grapefruit juice and lemon juice can be a refreshing and delicious way to quickly boost your energy levels. Nootkatone is a very rare and important compound found within grapefruits, and is probably its most valuable component in terms of extracting as an aromatic substance. Nootkatone improves energy metabolism in the body through AMPK activation. This results in higher endurance and energy, increased weight loss, and a reduction in the the chances of developing diabetes.
Indigestion: Grapefruit is useful for solving the problem of indigestion. It is very light as compared to other foods and thus, acts immediately on indigestion by easing the heat and irritation caused in the stomach. It improves the flow of digestive juices, which eases the movement of the bowels and keeps your excretory system regulated. This is due to the presence of fiber and vegetative pulp in grapefruits, that adds bulk to the bowels and regulates your excretory schedule, and grapefruit extract is also often used in modern medicine for these same reasons.
Insomnia: A simple glass of grapefruit juice, if drunk before going to bed, can promote healthy sleep and alleviate the irritating symptoms and repercussions of insomnia. This is due to the presence of tryptophan in grapefruits, the chemical we often associate with becoming sleepy after big meals. The levels of tryptophan in grapefruit juice lets us nod off peacefully to sleep.
Diabetes: Diabetic patients can safely eat grapefruit, because consuming grapefruit can reduce the level of starch in the body. If a patient is diabetic, intake of grapefruit can help them to regulate the flow of sugar in their body, effectively handling the disease. recent studies have shown this beneficial relationship between diabetes and grapefruits to be due to the flavonoid content of grapefruits, along with a number of other healthy benefits from those compounds.
Acidity: Fresh grapefruit juice creates an alkaline reaction after digestion. The citric acid of the fruit is contained in the human body and thus, increases the effect of the alkalinity reaction after digestion. The juice extracted from the grapefruit is beneficial in preventing acid formation and many other diseases that arise due to the presence of excess acidity in the body.
Constipation: A glass full of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the morning is a great remedy to control constipation. The juice stimulates the colon and other parts of the body relating to the digestive system. This is due to the stimulating effect of fiber on the secretion and stimulation of gastric juices that ease the constriction of the digestive tract and induce a bowel movement.
Flatulence: 10 to 20 drops of grapefruit juice, taken before all three meals of the day, can work as an appropriate pro-biotic and digestive enzyme, and will relieve excess flatulence and stomach discomfort. Further research needs to be done on the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon, but again, people believe it relates to flavonoid content in citrus fruits like grapefruits.
Urinary Disorders: Grapefruit juice is quite rich in potassium and vitamin C, so it is one of the best treatments for dangerously reduced urination that is often caused by liver, kidney or heart problems. Furthermore, its high potassium content works as a vasodilator, meaning that blood vessels and arteries relax, reducing blood pressure and lessening the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Also, increased levels of potassium have been associated with higher cognitive function because of increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain!
Consumption of Grapefruit is Better than Many Other Medicines
Grapefruits are natural sources of medicine that help the body fight off various diseases. This fruit is readily available in any season. It is completely natural and much better than consuming artificial pharmaceuticals to relieve some of your most basic health conditions. It enables the human body to regulate your cholesterol, which means that it minimizes the risk of various cardiovascular diseases caused by cholesterol issues. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consumption of grapefruit can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), as well as hazardous triglycerides.
A Few Words of Warning: Despite all of these health benefits, and the fact that sometimes grapefruits can be superior to other medicines in their efficacy, you must be very careful taking medicine and consuming grapefruit juice at the same time. Certain chemicals in grapefruits, like naringin, and other less common compounds can negatively interact with various drugs and cause damage to your organ systems. Be sure to consult your doctor in terms of drug interactions with grapefruit juice in your diet before beginning any new treatments! You want to improve your health, but sometimes doing it in too many different ways can hurt you!
References: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Agricultural and Food Chemistry