Grapefruit Benefits

There are so many obvious benefits to grapefruits, but still merit mention as healthy living should never be taken for granted.

Grapefruit is a nutritional storage unit with many nutrients and phytochemicals, an excellent source of vitamin C, the fibre pectin and the antioxidant lycopene. Some of the research done on benefits of grapefruit have shown it lowers cholesterol and because of its low glycemic index, has been promoted widely as a great way to lose weight with the “Grapefruit Diet”.

Grapefruit seeds are amongst the best antioxidants foods (antioxidant benefits) as well and the extract touted as having excellent anti-microbial properties.

grapefruit benefitsOne half a grapefruit will give you as much or more fiber than a whole orange, apple or banana, and we know fiber is vital in a healthy digestive system and intestinal tract. As with most fruits, the grapefruit’s fiber is half insoluble which promotes good bowel movement and helps to avoid constipation, and the other half is soluble which helps lower cholesterol. Grapefruit juice however does not contain any fiber so if you want to really take advantage of all the health benefits of grapefruits you might want to take it from the fruit itself, and not the juice you might buy at a local store.

Other grapefruit benefits for your health include:

  • Anti-aging properties. Research is being conducted regarding a polyamine called spermidine present in large quantities in grapefruits. This spermidine is necessary for cell growth and maturation and has been found to prolong life spans in lab tests.
  • Increased metabolism
  • Helps production of liver enzymes promoting liver detoxification.
  • Helps fight prostate, colon and lung cancer
  • Helps reduce fever
  • Helps reduce indigestion

Studies have shown a correlation between drinking grapefruit juice and kidney stones. One such study showed a 44 % increased risk for stones by drinking just one 8 ounce glass a day.

Eating grapefruit has also been show to markedly increase the absorption of some drugs and depending on your medication can increase risk of side effects. This is due to a neutralization of enzymes affecting the absorption rates. Among these drugs are calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, immunosuppressants, estrogens and short acting sedatives.

If you take any medication, it is always best to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor or pharmacist before embarking on any major additions or changes. However, taking advantage of the grapefruit benefits is rather risk free unless you somehow decide to start eating an excessive amount of it!

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