9 Incredible Health Benefits Of Grapefruit

The benefits and properties of grapefruit for health are numerous: it helps to stay hydrated, strengthens the immune system, prevents cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, prevents premature aging and others that we will explain below.

When we talk about grapefruit, many of us draw in our minds a tropical landscape illuminated with a radiant sun and in our hands a refreshing juice of this fruit. And indeed, this fruit from the tropical areas of our planet is an excellent rehydrating option and is also a source of many nutrients capable of contributing to a healthy diet.

grapefruit

Grapefruit with its pink and red hues contains antioxidants that are beneficial to our health as it protects us from many diseases. Below we will detail how this fruit works wonders in our body, but also what care must be taken so that what this fruit brings us is only health. Take note and follow our advice.

Health benefits of grapefruit

1- Helps to stay hydrated

During the summer season it is common for the consumption of iced beverages to increase, many of them high in sugar, or for ice cream to be used as an option to cool off from the intense heat. However, many do not know how fabulous fruits can be, especially those with a high percentage of water.

The grapefruit contains a percentage of water of 90%, that is to say, it is clearly water. Grapefruit juice is an excellent ally to stay hydrated and avoid drinking beverages that give us excess calories.

2- Strengthens the immune system

Grapefruit is a source of vitamin C , covering what we need during the day with a glass of juice. This vitamin is essential for protection against infections, as it strengthens the immune system, keeping our body protected against diseases.

It is also a valuable antioxidant that protects our cells from environmental damage or that caused by improper lifestyles .

Another function of vitamin C is the intervention in the production of collagen, important for the health of our skin, hair and bones.

3- Prevents cancer

Grapefruit contains substances called naringin and naringenin, both of which are in high concentrations in this fruit. The function that these substances perform in our body is to prevent the development of cancer cells.

These substances act by protecting our DNA from free radical damage caused by an unhealthy diet, stress and harmful habits (tobacco, alcohol).

Thus, it is attributed an effect in the prevention of cancers such as liver, colon and lung.

In this article you can learn about other anticancer foods.

4- It is a natural diuretic

Grapefruit, due to its potassium content, has a diuretic effect on our body. This helps us eliminate excess fluid that we are accumulating. In addition to favoring the regulation of blood pressure.

5- Help in the post menopausal stage

When women enter a post-menopausal stage, we must devote special emphasis to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, which become frequent in this stage.

Grapefruit has anti-inflammatory, protective of our arteries, antihypertensive and insulin regulating properties when consumed regularly.

All these properties produce an improvement in the function of our cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .

6- They prevent infertility and testicular cancer

In the environment and in our daily life there are agents with a toxic potential for some of our cells. In the male case, some of these agents can generate testicular cytoxicity which can manifest as infertility or even testicular cancer.

Grapefruit has been studied in the scientific community, finding in it a substance called bergaptol that acts against toxicity towards these cells typical of the entire male gender.

7- Prevents diabetes

Grapefruit has been used in diets for people with diabetes or those with a tendency to suffer from it. The benefits that this fruit gives us is a reducing effect on the concentration of glucose in the blood.

The danger of having high glucose is the progressive damage to functions such as vision, kidney function deteriorates and the blood vessels in the feet do not have adequate circulation.

In this article you can learn about various foods to lower blood sugar.

8- Reduction of blood cholesterol

The characteristic bitter taste of grapefruit hides an antioxidant substance with a lowering effect on blood cholesterol levels.

This substance in grapefruit acts at the level of our liver, helping us with the metabolism of fats and reducing the known “bad cholesterol” in our blood ( LDL cholesterol ).

In this article you can learn about other foods to lower cholesterol.

9- Protects the skin and prevents aging

Grapefruit has been widely studied in this regard, as it has substances called polyphenols that are effective in preventing skin alterations caused by ultraviolet radiation (solar radiation).

Ultraviolet radiation causes redness on the skin as it encourages our body to release inflammatory substances, when this becomes constant due to frequent sun exposures, the morphology of our cells changes and skin cancer develops.

For this reason, the practice of using sunscreen in cream or spray is widely spread. However, a little-known topic is photoprotection from a dietary approach, which can constitute a support measure. Several foods have been included in this group, among the most important are those that have compounds such as phenolic acid, flavonoids and polyphenols.  

The scientifically proven positive effects of regular grapefruit consumption is the reduction of inflammation produced by the sun’s rays, the reduction of the depth of wrinkles, and the increase of elasticity.

Ideas for your daily consumption

We recommend some of the following options that will enhance the juices you prepare with nutrients:

  • Grapefruit, papaya and pineapple juice

With this juice we enhance the protective properties of the skin, the antioxidant properties and those that promote proper gastrointestinal functioning.

  • Grapefruit, raspberry and strawberry juice

In addition to being a juice with a good contribution of vitamin C to our diet, it has diuretic properties.

  • Grapefruit and pineapple smoothie

A refreshing drink for the hottest times of the year, in addition to guaranteeing the vitamin content of grapefruit and pineapple, it also provides calcium by adding milk and / or yogurt. Prefer skim milk, unsweetened yogurt, so that if you are on a weight loss regimen, this drink will be your ally.

  • Carrot extract and grapefruit juice

This mix of nutrients (vitamin A and vitamin C) is an excellent ally to strengthen our immune system. Suitable for the consumption of adults and children. Remember that it is important to prepare the little ones so that in the winter they do not suffer from inclement weather, and this is a good option.

It is also important to remember that juices replace the important meals of the day (breakfast, lunch or dinner), but are a complement so that your daily diet has the necessary fruit intake to stay healthy.

What care should be taken with grapefruit?

It is common that when a food has so many nutritional properties, people tend to attribute more benefits to it than it has, giving it a magical power, which are called myths and that they deserve to be careful since they give us false information.

To this are added some recommendations for special cases, remember that each human being is unique and if we want to promote health with the recommendations, we must be careful with these exceptions:

Does grapefruit help you lose weight as it dissolves fat?

There is a lot of publicity about it. They talk about reducing diets, fat burning diets and diets that erase cellulite only with the consumption of grapefruit. To think that the dissolution of body fat is a magical effect of grapefruit is a mistake.

We know that body image, the desire for slim bodies, and the fear of gaining weight is a collective thought in our society, and this has led to the proliferation of myths and errors about weight loss . Among the most widespread errors and myths with less scientific evidence are those that include regimens based on the exclusive consumption of grapefruit or other fruits.

These miraculous diets that lose many kilos in a few days cause more harm than good, their fame lies in the loss of weight, which is not the same as saying fat, because initially they cause dehydration and decrease in muscle mass.

The main tools available to fight obesity are adequate nutrition, the basis of the slimming diet, education and modification of unhealthy habits, increased physical activity, the fight against sedentary lifestyle and less therapy. possible pharmacological.

Is grapefruit healthy for everyone?

It is wrong to think that no matter how healthy a food is, it is favorable to everyone. There are conditions in which the grapefruit can be an enemy rather than an ally.

One of those situations is when a person suffers from some kidney disease, when they are allergic to citrus fruits or when they receive some type of medication that is not compatible with this food.

Medicines and grapefruit

There are some medications that grapefruit does not get along with. Currently there are 85 drugs with proven incompatibility, which makes it necessary to suggest not consuming grapefruit during treatment. Many of the drugs that interact with grapefruit are essential for the treatment of major or common diseases.

Grapefruit has the property of raising the doses in our blood of the drugs consumed. This means that medications may not fulfill their function but harm our health by being in concentrations higher than those prescribed.

An example of this are prescription drugs for arrhythmia treatment. The combination of these some of these drugs with frequent consumption of grapefruit juice can lead to death.

Another example is prescription drugs to lower blood cholesterol (statins), these drugs in combination with grapefruit juice taken daily can cause toxicity to the kidneys.

Contraceptives and grapefruit

Oral contraceptives usually contain a dose of estrogen. If grapefruit juice is included regularly in the diet of a person who is consuming estrogens, the risk of developing breast cancer increases. That is why this precaution should be taken into account and consult with your doctor and / or gynecologist.

Transplants and grapefruit

There are diseases in which the solution lies in the transplantation of an organ from another human being, thus saving their life and restoring their health.

The most common transplants are kidney and liver transplants, and more complex, heart transplants. These patients, receiving an organ that is not their own, take a drug called tacrolimus for life, to prevent their body from rejecting the transplanted organ.

These drugs cannot vary in the blood, they can neither increase nor decrease. If they decrease, there is rejection of the organ and if they increase they cause toxicity to other organs of the body.

Grapefruit juice causes these drugs to increase blood levels, putting the person’s health at risk.

References

  1. Grapefruit – medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences? David G. Bailey, BScPhm PhD, George Dresser, MD PhD, and J. Malcolm O. Arnold, MB BCh MD. CMAJ. 2013 Mar 5; 185 (4): 309–316.
  2. Food-drug Interaction of Tacrolimus with Pomelo, Ginger, and Turmeric Juice in Rats Kanoko EGASHIRA, Hitoshi SASAKI, Shun HIGUCHI, Ichiro IEIRI. Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. Vol. 27 (2012) No. 2 P 242-247
  3. Errors and myths in feeding and nutrition: impact on the problems of obesity. Zamora Navarro S, Pérez-Llamas F. Nutr Hosp. 2013 Sep; 28 Suppl 5: 81-8. doi: 10.3305 / nh.2013.28.sup5.6922.
  4. Ameliorative effect of grapefruit juice on amiodarone-induced cytogenetic and testicular damage in albino rats. Saber Abdelruhman Sakr, Mohamed El-said Zoil and Samraa Samy El-Shafey. Asia Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 Jul; 3 (7): 573-579.
  5. Flavanones protect from arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women consuming grapefruit juice for 6 mo: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Véronique Habauzit.
  6. Marie-Anne Verny, Dragan Milenkovic, Nicolas Barber-Chamoux, Andrzej Mazur, Claude Dubray and Christine Morand. Am J Clin Nutr July 2015 vol. 102 no. 1 66-74.
  7. Transcriptional regulation of human and rat hepatic lipid metabolism by the grapefruit flavonoid naringenin: role of PPARalpha, PPARgamma and LXRalpha. Goldwasser J1, Cohen PY, Yang E, Balaguer P, Yarmush ML, Nahmias Y. PLoS One. 2010 Aug 25; 5 (8): e12399. doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0012399.
  8. Antioxidative properties of Jaffa sweeties and grapefruit and their influence on lipid metabolism and plasma antioxidative potential in rats. Gorinstein S1, Yamamoto K, Katrich E, Leontowicz H, Lojek A, Leontowicz M, Cíz M, Goshev I, Shalev U, Trakhtenberg S. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 Apr; 67 (4): 907-10.

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