The benefits of grapefruit!
Let’s talk about a special little fruit, called grapefruit! Grapefruit has many amazing health benefits and it's one you should consider adding to your diet if it isn’t already in it. First, it is a citrus fruit, which can alkalize the body like lemons and limes do. You could add slices to your morning glass of water or eat it whole, of course.
Like many fruits, it is an excellent source of the fibre, pectin, which forms a gel-like substance in the intestines and can help excrete fats and cholesterol. It is important to consume adequate fibre in your diet to avoid constipation and digestive issues. Pectin is also a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the good bacteria in your gut to promote a healthy microbiome.
Grapefruit is also very beneficial this time of year to boost your immune system due to its high levels of vitamin C and A. These vitamins are antioxidants that help protect your cells from free-radical damage and can reduce the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Moreover, certain phyotnutrients in grapefruit, called limonoids can help the body to make a very powerful antioxidant, called glutathione-S-transferase. This can protect the body from various carcinogens and toxins and help to eliminate them from the body.
Grapefruit also contains various flavanones that help to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. In one study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was shown that 11.5 oz of grapefruit juice a day improved arterial stiffness in post-menopausal women. Improving the flexibility of arteries leads to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, grapefruit can help to control insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of insulin resistance and help in maintaining a healthy weight – which will also help prevent heart disease.
Here's the kicker though – although grapefruit is so beneficial for reducing heart disease symptoms, it can't be consumed by anyone taking heart medications. Grapefruit can enhance the effects of these drugs leading to increased side effects. This is true of medications for cancer, auto-immune conditions, Crohn's, and many others. Such a shame since it can benefit so many people who are on these medications!
Grapefruit is also a good source of pantothenic acid (B5), which helps the body to relax and control stress as well as boost energy along with the other B vitamins (Mateljan 394). Managing your stress level is one of the most important things you can do for your body! Other high sources of B5 are beef, chicken, fish, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, lentils, avocados, and sunflower seeds.
So, if you are not on any medications and aren't already doing so, consider adding this healthy and delicious fruit into your diet. It's versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, in delicious drinks, salads, main dishes, or desserts. Try this grapefruit and goat cheese fennel salad from Punchfork with a skinny Paloma from Eating Bird Food and enjoy all the benefits that this citrus fruit has to offer.
In addition, we will be sharing some of our own recipes and ideas for enjoying this special fruit!
Mateljan, George. World's Healthiest Foods, Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. 2007