Fresh fruits are known to have plenty of benefits for the body. There are always arguments as to which ones reign most beneficial when it comes to the fruit kingdom. Some say an apple a day is all you’ll ever need; still others claim that bananas will make any sickness go away. Regardless, there are several truths to these claims, but one type of fruits might possibly rule above all others. No one can argue the many health benefits of citrus fruits, especially that of the grapefruit.
Grapefruits have long been known to have natural abilities to help the body heal itself. The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus fruit species that was the byproduct of an accidental cross between two other citrus species—the pomelo and the sweet orange. It was believed to have originated in Barbados and spread to other parts of the country in the 17th century. Currently, China is the world’s largest producers and exporters of the grapefruit along with the US and Mexico. Some of the most famous types of grapefruit include the Ruby Red, Star Ruby, pink grapefruit, and the white grapefruit among others. Much like other citrus fruits, grapefruits have a characteristic and distinct acidic taste combined with a hint of sweetness. Some varieties are sweeter than others. The most common way to eat grapefruits is by eating them on their own, with added salt, or dipped in sugar. Some like to incorporate grapefruits into salads, while others make sauces out of them. Also, some people like to make fresh grapefruit juices or add them into smoothies. No matter how they are consumed, grapefruits have wonderful benefits that anyone can enjoy.
Perhaps one of the most famous benefits of grapefruits is that they help lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that even one grapefruit a day can make a difference of almost 15% less in LDL cholesterol levels. This may be due to the high amounts of antioxidants present in all varieties of grapefruits, especially the deep red types. Low cholesterol levels mean lower risks for any heart and cardiovascular diseases. A regular helping of grapefruits help put heart attacks and strokes at bay.
When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to have your metabolism in proper order. Grapefruits can contribute to an overall higher metabolism in the body, and a high metabolism means the body will continue to burn fat even while it is in rest mode. This is the property that is attributed to the fat-burning characteristic of grapefruits. It is also full of fiber, which means that the stomach will feel fuller for longer periods of time. Even eating half a grapefruit before each meal can make a huge difference when it comes to shedding pounds.
Vitamin C for the skin
Much like other citrus fruits, grapefruits contain vitamin C but in much larger amounts also. The benefits of vitamin C are endless, and these benefits present themselves both inside and outside the body. When it comes to skin care, vitamin C helps keep the skin looking young and renewed. Grapefruits can help the skin this way whether it is eaten or rubbed directly on the skin. It can help fade sunspots and prevent future damage such as wrinkles that can be caused by the sun’s rays.
Vitamin C for immunity
It is well known that healthy doses of vitamin C are the number one defense against infections. Vitamin C works to enhance various functions of the immune system, and it can work to prevent several types of infections from affecting healthy cells or to relieve symptoms of infections such as fever, fatigue, or congestion. One 100mg serving of grapefruits covers a third of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Extra servings of grapefruit can also provide you with just the extra dose of vitamins you’ll need just when you feel you’re about to get sick or to recover from sickness altogether.
Grapefruits are also known to relieve inflammation. Eating grapefruits regularly can naturally relieve any swelling caused by fluid retention in organs or other parts of the body. In cases such as kidney stones, the addition of grapefruits to the diet can help in the prevention of stones. Naringenin, a flavonoid that exists abundantly in grapefruits, is a natural compound that has been shown to reduce damage to DNA caused by oxidation. It is a strong antioxidant, and it also gives grapefruits their slight bitter taste. Naringenin helps in the prevention of cyst formation in the kidneys that can eventually turn into kidney stones.
The smell of citrus fruits alone can provide benefits as well. Studies have shown that citrus scents have a positive effect on stress levels. It has also been shown to moderate anxiety levels and to induce a more calm disposition. Grapefruits have the potential to energize the body, which can help abate the symptoms of depression and even restore stress-induced immunosuppression in some.
It may be safe to conclude that eating a grapefruit a day can keep most illnesses at bay. From its anti-infection properties to its ability to boost the body to fend off stress and so many other problems, grapefruits can be categorized as one of the most potent and beneficial fruits around. Besides all these benefits mentioned here, grapefruits also contain a large number of other vitamins and minerals that have their own benefits as well. There are just so many ways that grapefruits can be good for you, as long as they are not eaten to an excess that your body ends up with too much ascorbic acid. As with everything taken in moderation, grapefruits in reasonably generous amounts can help you get to your healthiest state of body and mind.
- Buettner; P. Schieberle (1999). “Characterization of the Most Odor-Active Volatiles in Fresh, Hand-Squeezed Juice of Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfayden)”. J. Agric. Food Chem. 47 (12): 5189–5193.
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