Grapefruit, the beneficial citrus for health

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit rich in vitamins and nutrients beneficial to health . Citrus fruits in general and grapefruit in particular, can help us strengthen our defenses , protect us from external infections and give us vitality.

Likewise, they improve the appearance of our skin, among many other nutritional benefits that they contribute to our health.

What is grapefruit?

Grapefruit, also called taronja or pink grapefruit , is a citrus fruit that is classified within the group of acidic fruits . Likewise, it is a tropical fruit that stands out for its sweet and somewhat bitter taste.

It belongs to the Rutaceae family and comes from the Citrus paradisi tree , also called pomelero or grapefruit . It is covered by a thick, yellow or pink skin.

Likewise, it is a well-known fruit in our markets, unlike other acidic fruits that are equally recommended, such as chayote .

Origin of grapefruit

The origin is not very clear , although there are experts who say that they are hybrid fruits between pampelmusa and sweet orange. It seems that it was discovered by chance in the plantations of the Caribbean Sea, around the 17th century. After the discovery, it spread throughout the American continent and its cultivation is mainly carried out in tropical and subtropical areas.

Its main global producer is the US , with more than 50% of world production. In addition, there are other important producers that are Argentina, Cuba, Cyprus, Israel, Mexico, Mozambique and South Africa.

Although Spain is not a country with a tropical or subtropical climate, there are grapefruit crops , especially in areas of Valencia and Murcia, which are exported to different national areas.

However, Spain is also exported to other areas of Europe which, thanks to its health benefits, is increasing its consumption.

How is grapefruit consumed?

As always, we recommend the consumption of fresh, raw and seasonal fruits .

We can include it in our diet as table fruit, although it is also often used for breakfast or snacks. Likewise, it is ideal both in the form of juice and fresh fruit.

It is also used in different jam recipes or preparations such as pink grapefruit bars. In addition, it is very common to consume this food in salads .

It gives us different nutritional properties and the great antioxidant power that can help us against different types of diseases. Therefore, encouraging the consumption of grapefruit in our diet can help us in our health.

Grapefruit season

Grapefruit has a very similar season to other citrus fruits such as lemon, orange or mandarin.

The grapefruit season in Spain runs from December to April, although some varieties are also harvested in November and May.

You can check the calendar of the  fruit season  to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with  more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.

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Nutritional properties of grapefruit

Grapefruits have a low caloric value, largely due to the fact that they are rich in water . As is well known, grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and folic acid .

As minerals, potassium and magnesium stand out . The presence of malic, oxalic, tartaric and citric acids , responsible for its flavor and on which various properties that are attributed to grapefruit depend, is noteworthy .

It is more advisable to consume this food raw to take advantage of the fiber , although it is not very representative in this food. This fiber is found mainly in the white part of the pulp , which is the part that is consumed when we eat it raw.

If the consumption is made in the form of juice, the fiber is barely perceptible . It also contains carotenoids , only in dark flesh grapefruits.

Grapefruits provide antioxidants, as they are rich in flavonoids such as narigin and quercetin . These elements are the main responsible for the characteristic flavor of these foods.

Average nutritional information per 100 grams of grapefruit

Calories38.0 kcal
Water89.1 g
Carbohydrates9.62 g
Protein0.76 g
Total fat0.04 g
Ash0.48 g
Carbohydrates9.62 g
Fiber1.0 g
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)61.0 mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.034 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.027 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.22 mg
Vitamin B60.036 mg
Vitamin B120.0 mcg
Vitamina A (RAE)0.0 mcg
Vitamin A (UI)8.0 IU
Football4.0 mg
Iron0.11 mg
Magnesium6.0 mg
Match17.0 mg
Potassium216.0 mg
Sodium1.0 mg
Zinc0.08 mg
Copper0.048 mg
Manganese0.017 mg

Grapefruit benefits

Grapefruit is a tropical fruit that stands out for its nutritional properties. In addition, it is a food rich in antioxidants and fiber, among other nutrients.

Various studies show that the consumption of these foods can have very beneficial effects on our health. As a result, we can highlight weight loss and favor the chances of suffering from certain heart diseases.

Of course, grapefruits provide great benefits to our health , among which are the following.

1. Cardiac protector

The consumption of grapefruit helps reduce cholesterol levels thanks to its antioxidant effect. In addition, it helps reduce triglyceride levels and protects our circulatory system and our heart . A diet rich in fat can cause health problems.

We can also affirm that thanks to the flavonoids that this food has, it helps us to better heart function , improving circulation.

There is a study where people eating grapefruit three times a day for six weeks lowered their blood pressure during the study time. In addition, they improved in cholesterol levels. [1]

2. Powerful antioxidant

Grapefruit provides us with a sufficient amount of nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene and flavonoids , which make this food a powerful antioxidant and provide us with various health benefits.

Antioxidants are also very beneficial for our skin and the consumption of grapefruit is recommended for its antioxidant power so that it will help us to look radiant and healthy skin .

Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused in our body by free radicals , therefore they help us protect cells from deterioration. [2]

According to sources from the National Cancer Institute (NIH) [3] in response to whether antioxidants can help prevent cancer, they respond that according to laboratory studies and in animal studies, it has been indicated that the presence of higher concentrations of exogenous antioxidants prevents the type of free radical damage that has been associated with the presence of cancer.

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For this reason, researchers have studied whether the use of dietary antioxidant supplements can help lower the risk of developing or dying from cancer in humans.

3. An aid to the immune system

It is evident that including grapefruit in our diet can be beneficial for our defenses. It provides us with a large amount of vitamin C that has antioxidant properties. In addition, it helps us protect ourselves from infections and viruses. [4]

It also provides us with vitamin B and other minerals such as zinc, copper or iron. With these nutrients a synergy is created that help our immune system. [5]

4. Favorable for the joints

Grapefruit vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen in our body and helps us with our joints . It also favors the absorption of iron from food.

5. Help for weight control

Grapefruits are foods that can help us with weight loss diets thanks to their amount of fiber and water that gives us a satiating effect. It also provides us with very few calories so that it can help us in weight control and low-fat diets. [6]

In addition, it is a food that has very favorable characteristics for weight loss. In the first place, the fiber intake is ideal and provides us with few calories. However, the amount of water is high. [7]

We do not claim that this fruit performs weight loss on its own. However, if we include it in our diet, it can be very beneficial.

We always recommend a diet varied in fruits and vegetables and low in fat, preparing healthy recipes. In addition, we recommend practicing sports regularly to have good health.

6. A very hydrating fruit

Grapefruit gives us a lot of water. In addition, more than 89% of its composition is water. As a consequence, it is a very hydrating fruit.

We need to drink water to stay hydrated. Likewise, eating fruits rich in water also helps us to be hydrated.

Conclusions

Therefore, the consumption of grapefruit is recommended for its numerous health properties that are widely recognized as a result of numerous scientific studies.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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