Grapefruit is a tangy fruit that looks like an orange or sweet lime in its appearance. It’s a citrus fruit with a little hint of sweetness.
It is named grapefruit due to the way it grows – in bunches like grapes. They have fleshy interiors that are often found in pink, red or white color.
It is considered to be a new, radical fruit as it is the result of cross-fertilization between two fruits – orange and Pomelo. It is usually big in size and it can range between four and six inches in diameter.
The bigger varieties of this fruits are sometimes larger than the human head. It has a green skin as its outer covering which becomes golden yellow as it ripens.
The thick outer covering is followed by a layer called the albedo, which is the white net under the skin. In its outer appearance, it looks like an orange, but the color varies on the inside.
Sometimes, it is also bitter in taste. It comes in both seeded and unseeded varieties.
Grapefruit occupies an esteemed position amongst the citrus fruits because of its flavor, nutrition, and beneficial properties. The taste of the fruit is refreshing in nature.
It is native to the countries of India, China, Thailand and Malaya. Over decades, with an increase in international trade and commerce, it has traveled to other parts of the world and is being cultivated in warm and humid regions. It is now grown in West Indies, Israel, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and even in the United States.
The grapefruit consists of the same properties as that of members of its family. The seedless variety is preferred over the seeded variety because it contains a greater amount of sugar, and many other minerals and vitamins.
It is often eaten in salads and combination with other fruits and vegetables. It also makes for an excellent flavoring agent in the desserts and sweets.
Scientific name: Citrus Paradisi.
Grapefruit Nutritional Value
Grapefruit is a very juicy fruit and contains over 90% water that is one of the highest in fruits.
This delicious fruit is a powerhouse of Vitamin C and, therefore, makes an excellent anti-oxidant.
The Following nutrition chart displays the complete composition of Grapefruit for every 100 grams of serving.
|Dietary Fibre||1.1 gms|
|Vitamin B1||0.037 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.02 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.269 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.23 mg|
|Vitamin C||33.3 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.13 mg|
Grapefruit is healthy fruit. It contains all nutrients in moderation that fulfill only about 1% to 3% of our daily requirement.
It is only Vitamin C in grapefruit that fulfills about 40% of our daily need, but since Vitamin C is water soluble, there is hardly a chance of consuming an excess of it through dietary sources.
Grapefruit also contains citric acid, natural sugars, essential oils and numerous vitamins and minerals.
See also: 45 Healthiest Fruit List On The Earth
Grapefruit Health Benefits
Grapefruit is gifted with many nutritional and health benefits as enumerated by the nutrition chart.
This article provides you with some of the benefits you can derive from this fruit.
1. High level of Antioxidants
Grapefruit contains a high concentration of Vitamin C as it’s a citrus fruit. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant.
The high amount of antioxidants in grapefruit fight the damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Thus, it protects from skin cancer and gives a youthful appearance to the skin by stunting the aging process.
Also, grapefruit nourishes skin to protect from many skin disease. (5)
2. Prevents Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arteries which is marked by the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other compounds in the inner lining of arteries.
The accumulation of these deposits is harmful to the flow of blood to the other parts of the body from the heart and transportation of oxygen to the heart itself.
This condition also makes the arteries inflexible due to the plaque. If this condition remains undiagnosed for long then, it can lead to fatality.
The presence of the ingredient Pectin in grapefruit is known to reduce this accumulation or deposits in the arteries.
Studies have also shown that it is the Vitamin C content in the fruit that also strengthens the arteries. (6)
It has also been proven to be beneficial in retaining the elasticity of the arteries which leads to better blood transportation through the body.
3. Protection from Tumors and Cancer
Grapefruit contains a high amount of lycopene that is carotenoid phytonutrient and has anti-tumor property.
Lycopene protects from free radicals as it actively fights to neutralize it. (7)
Pink Grapefruit contains a high amount of lycopene than any other variety. So including pink grapefruit in daily diet will help to fight prostate cancer.
Grapefruit is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and flavonoid that make it highly beneficial to protect from cancer.
Free radicals are produced due to oxidative stress and are the leading cause of cancer. These free radicals damage DNA of cells which turns it into a cancerous cell.
But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and acts as a shield to protect DNA.
Also, grapefruit contains Naringenin that helps in restoring and healing damaged DNA. Thus, it becomes more efficient to prevent cancer.
How does it protect from breast cancer?
Sometimes, a major contributor to the incidence of breast cancer is the excess amount of estrogen in the body.
Estrogen is a hormone that is present in the female body.
The bioflavonoids present in grapefruit help in draining the excessive collection of estrogen from the body. Thus, it lowers risk of developing breast cancer.(10)
4. Protect from Inflammation
Grapefruit is a rich source of antioxidants like Vitamin C that protects from inflammation.
Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen that repairs and heals blood vessels, tendons, joints, and bones. (11)
This way it protects from inflammation and pain caused due to the severity of inflammatory conditions. Its function makes it a valuable aid in the treatment of osteoporosis and arthritis.
It controls the severity and degeneration of bones which is a characteristic of arthritis.
5. Reduces Cholesterol
LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein is termed as bad cholesterol whereas HDL, the High-Density Lipoprotein is considered good cholesterol.
Though grapefruit has no cholesterol in its composition, compounds present in grapefruit helps in the reduction of LDL cholesterol and increase the levels of HDL cholesterol.
Studies have conclusively shown that Red grapefruit followed by white grapefruit are very useful in improving the cholesterol levels and balance in the body.
But this is not an overnight process. It shows results only when regularly consumed over a long period
6. Alleviates Acidity
Acidity is a gastrointestinal disorder that is often made worse by unhealthy food habits. Acidity usually occurs if you go without food for a long time.
Every time food is digested in the stomach; it produces acids to digest more food. The acid in our stomach is Hydrochloric acid.
If food is not consumed and the stomach is made to wait for a longer period, then the acid lying ideal in the stomach begins to erode the inner lining of Stomach.In some cases, it can even cause painful ulcers. ( 12, 13)
Grapefruit has a sub-acid taste, but the PH factor of its acid is lower than the acid in our stomach. Thus, its juice neutralizes the excessive acid in the stomach because it has an alkaline reaction after digestion.
Acidity leads to a whole range of other disorders. So, next time if you suffer from severe symptoms of acidity, make sure you eat a grapefruit or consume its juice.
7. Lowers your Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease increasingly becoming common in the middle-aged population.
Nowadays even children are falling prey to the condition called Juvenile diabetes or type I diabetes.
Type I diabetes occurs in newborn infants or younger children and requires massive external insulin supplementation.
Type II diabetes occurs more often in people who are much older. It begins at the age of about forty years and can be controlled by maintaining healthy active lifestyle and managing diabetes-friendly diet.
Diabetics cannot eat a majority of fruits because of their high sugar content. The good news is that they can safely eat grapefruit and, in fact, increased consumption helps to reduce and burn the starch and sugar content in the body. (14, 15, 16)
Even if you are not diagnosed with diabetes, but have a family history that makes you vulnerable to it, then you should include grapefruit in your diet.
8. Cures Sore Throats and Coughs
Sore throats and coughs are often symptoms of an attack of cold which usually fails people with weak immune system. Frequent bouts of a violent cough often result in sore throats and itchy throats.
A good way to get rid of sore throats and reduce fits of a cough is by consuming grapefruit, mixed with warm water and honey. It soothes the throat and provides instant relief to the patients.
Grapefruit reduces the inflammation of the throat and with warm water and honey, it soothes the inner lining impressively.(17)
However, it is better to dilute with little warm water to reduce the acidic proportions of this fruit that can burn an inflamed throat further.
Also, it is recommended that grapefruit juice is consumed at the onset of the cold and sore throat when the damage to the throat is strictly limited.
9. Repairs DNA
Free radicals are responsible for damage to DNA of our cells.
These damages change properties and functionality of cells, and these cells multiply uncontrollably invading the healthy cells eventually destroying them as well.
Due to this regular cells also turn cancerous. But Naringenin which is a potent antioxidant helps in repairing this damaged DNA of cells. Thus, grapefruits are effective in preventing DNA damage.(19)
10. Scanty Urination
The juice of grapefruit is extremely rich in vitamin C and potassium. It can, therefore, be beneficially used as a medicine in scanty urination caused by liver, kidney and heart disorders.
It can help in flushing out the impurities in the blood and optimizes kidney and bladder function.
People suffering from Urinary tract infection are specifically recommended the juice of a grapefruit. (20)
The anti-inflammatory properties of grapefruit juice further relieve the pain caused due to stones and infection in the abdomen.
11. Cures fever fatigue
A fever is again your body’s indication that it is facing fatigue and needs to relax.
Drinking plenty of grapefruit juice relieves you of the high temperature your body is in when you have a fever.
Fatigue, which is also a result of being overworked can be cured by drinking a glass of grapefruit at the end of a tiring day.
Lemon juice and grapefruit juice may be mixed in equal parts for better results and diluted with some water so that the acid does not harm your teeth.
To avoid the tangy taste, add a spoonful of sugar or mix a spoonful of honey to this mixture.
Consuming this will help you get rid of all the symptoms that result from fatigue. The antioxidants help your body fight the infections and fever better. (21)
12. Helps with Insomnia
Insomnia is a disorder that involves lack of sleep at night times. People suffering from insomnia try all possible ways to induce sleep, but without any positive results from it.
13. Aids in weight loss
This fruit has a fat-burning enzyme that ensures the reduction of starch and sugar content in the body.
Fiber content makes you full and reduces the damage of dieting. The high content of water in this fruit also makes up the fluid and electrolyte loss while exercising. (25)
Therefore, if you are looking at losing the unhealthy weight, then carry some grapefruit or its juice along to your exercise sessions.
Plant Compounds That Make It Special
Grapefruit Juice Ranked among Those Highest in Antioxidant Activity.
- Naringenin: It helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. (26)
- Naringin: It is polyphenolic compound found in citrus fruit inhibits tumor growth. (27)
- Lycopene: It protects skin from dangerous UV rays and also from prostate cancer. (28, 29 )
- Beta-carotene: It also protects from prostate cancer. Also, it is beneficial for complete eye health.
- Lutein: Research found that Lutein protects from age-related macular degeneration(AMD) and cataracts. (30,)
- Xanthin: It is a powerful antioxidant that protects from free radicals and other harm caused due to it.
- Limonoids: It inhibits tumor growth. It has an anti-carcinogen property that protect from cancer. Also, it promotes optimal health by improving blood flow, heart health and much more. (31)
How to Eat Grapefruits?
Grapefruits are often peeled and eaten raw, just like oranges and sweet limes.
While peeling, make sure that you retain as much as the albido or the white, fibrous matter just beneath the rind of the fruit.
It is because the albido is the most nutritious part of the fruit and has highly beneficial properties as it is high in fiber and antioxidants.
Alternatively, you could extract its juice. You should be careful with juice because that if it is left unconsumed or unrefrigerated for a long time, it might turn bitter.
So consume it as quickly as possible. Grapefruit juice is best-served cold with a few chunks of ice.
Some people also use it as a citrus agent in everyday cooking. It adds an extra zing and flavor to the dish being prepared.