A lot of people hate the taste of grapefruit, but I find it strangely addictive. Like the taste of sour worms or the tart taste of lemon, it has a hold on me that often sees me buying it by the box and doing a mini grapefruit binge!
Fortunately, grapefruit has many health benefits as well, including:
- A boost to your immune system
Grapefruit is chock full of Vitamin C, which helps prevent or fight colds and flu. Grapefruit juice also combats free radicals that can cause cancer, stroke and heart attack.
The bitter taste of grapefruit comes from a naturally occurring compound called Naringenin — which has been found to prevent the formation of kidney cysts and can also reduce swelling in kidneys caused from fluid retention. You can reap these benefits by drinking up to a liter of grapefruit juice a day. Before you panic at the thought of so much grapefruit – grapefruit can be juiced with other fruits and vegetables (see recipe below) if you can’t handle that sour-sweet taste!
The legendary grapefruit diet promised dramatic weight loss if you drank grapefruit before and after every meal). While drinking grapefruit juice is not going to make you skinny, it can actually help you with weight loss, being low calorie and high in fiber (especially if you blend it rather than juice it) which keeps you full for longer. Its high water content also helps you feel full and keeps you hydrated. The Journal of Medicinal Food published a study in 2006 that found that people who ate half a grapefruit before a meal, without any other dietary changes, lost an average of 3.5 pounds over 12 weeks.
Grapefruit also speeds up your metabolism, helping you to lose weight. When you have a raised metabolism, fat continues to burn even as you rest. So you can lose weight faster and maintain a healthier weight more easily.
Grapefruit is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants such as Vitamin C. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that grapefruits can even help repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. That same bitter compound we’ve come to know and love, Naringenin, encourages DNA repair in these cancer cells and protects the body from developing cancer. Drinking grapefruit juice daily can even help reverse the harm done to the lungs by smoking.
LDL and Triglycerides, the baddies of cholesterol, can be lowered by up to 17% with regular graepfruit consumption – with results being seen after only a month. Beats taking a pill any day! Blond grapefruit, in this case, was found to be more effective than red.
Simply eating (or drinking) two grapefruit a day can prevent and reverse damage caused by gum disease – found a study published in the British Dental Journal. Researchers found that participants had reduced gum bleeding and an increase in Vitamin C levels, which help repair gums and keep our teeth firmly in place. If left untreated, gum disease can result in oral cancer and even damage the heart!
So, now you have six great reasons to drink grapefruit, let’s learn a little more about this fruit, which grows in clusters similar to grapes – hence the name!
Grapefruit Kiss: Simple Grapefruit Juice Recipe
Featured recipe from Vanessas Juice Club
Fun facts about Grapefruit Juice
- Grapefruit was first discovered in Barbados and many studies imply it was the result of accidental cross between sweet orange and a pomelo.
- When found, it was called the ‘forbidden fruit’.
- February is National Grapefruit Month.
- Grapefruit trees can reach heights of up to 30 feet tall.
- Grapefruit are handpicked – no mechanical harvesting is used.
- Grapefruit can come in several colours, including pink, red, white and golden.
- The red grapefruit has the highest content of healthy antioxidants and is thus considered to be the healthiest variety.
- Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice can be stored covered in the fridge – retaining 98% of its Vitamin C content for up to a week.
- The United States is the top producer grapefruits, supplying over 60% of the world.
- A grapefruit is made up of 75% juice. One medium grapefruit will give you 2/3 of a cup of freshly-squeezed juice. Florida grapefruits are juicier than those from California and Arizona.
- In 1993, the Texas Red Grapefruit became the official fruit of Texas.
- Grapefruit is one of the highest fiber fruits – half a grapefruit contains six grams of fiber.
- The tradition of putting salt on a grapefruit is meant to make it taste sweeter!
Grapefruit extract has antifungal properties, which is used to protect wooden tools against mold. It’s also used in natural medicine for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.