Grapefruit is a citrus fruit rich in vitamins and nutrients beneficial to health. Citrus fruits and grapes, in particular, can help us strengthen our defences, 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.
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What is grapefruit?
Grapefruit, also called Taronga or pink grapefruit, is a citrus fruit classified within the acidic group. Likewise, it is a tropical fruit that stands out for its sweet and bitter taste.
It belongs to the Rutaceae family and comes from the Citrus paradisi tree, also called pomelo or grapefruit. A thick, yellow or pink skin covers it.
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 Lampedusa and sweet orange. It seems that it was discovered by chance in the plantations of the Caribbean Sea around the 17th century. After its discovery, it spread throughout the American continent, and its cultivation is mainly carried out in tropical and subtropical areas.
Its leading global producer is the US, with over 50% of world production. In addition, other essential producers are Argentina, Cuba, Cyprus, Israel, Mexico, Mozambique and South Africa.
Although Spain has no tropical or subtropical climate, grapefruit crops are exported to different national regions, especially in Valencia and Murcia.
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 jam recipes or preparations such as pink grapefruit bars. In addition, it is widespread to consume this food in salads.
It gives us different nutritional properties and excellent antioxidant power to help us against various diseases. Therefore, encouraging the consumption of grapefruit in our diet can benefit our health.
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.
Nutritional properties of grapefruit
Grapefruits have a low caloric value, mainly because they are water-rich. As is well known, grapefruit is an excellent 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 flavour and on which various properties attributed to grapefruit depend, is noteworthy.
It is more advisable to consume this food raw to take advantage of the fibre, although it is not very representative of this food. This fibre 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 juice, the fibre 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 ones responsible for the characteristic flavour of these foods.
Average nutritional information per 100 grams of grapefruit
|Total fat||0.04 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 B6||0.036 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.0 mcg|
|Vitamina A (RAE)||0.0 mcg|
|Vitamin A (UI)||8.0 IU|
Grapefruit is a tropical fruit that stands out for its nutritional properties. In addition, it is a food rich in antioxidants and fibre, among other nutrients.
Various studies show that consuming these foods can have very beneficial effects on our health. As a result, we can highlight weight loss and favour the chances of suffering from certain heart diseases.
Of course, grapefruits greatly benefit 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 heart. A diet rich in fat can cause health problems.
We can also affirm that this food’s flavonoids help us better heart function and 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 cholesterol levels.
2. Powerful antioxidant
Grapefruit provides sufficient nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene and flavonoids, making this food a powerful antioxidant and providing various health benefits.
Antioxidants are also very beneficial for our skin, and consuming grapefruit is recommended for its antioxidant power to help us look radiant and healthy.
Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused in our bodies by free radicals. Therefore, they help us protect cells from deterioration.
According to sources from the National Cancer Institute (NIH), in response to whether antioxidants can help prevent cancer, they respond that according to laboratory studies and animal studies, it has been indicated that the presence of higher concentrations of exogenous antioxidants precludes the type of free radical damage that has been associated with the company of cancer.
For this reason, researchers have studied whether 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 benefit our defences. It provides us with a large amount of vitamin C with antioxidant properties. In addition, it helps us protect ourselves from infections and viruses.
It also provides us with vitamin B and other minerals such as zinc, copper or iron. With these nutrients, a synergy is created that helps our immune system.
4. Favorable for the joints
Grapefruit vitamin C forms collagen in our body and helps us with our joints. It also favours the absorption of iron from food.
5. Help with weight control
Grapefruits are foods that can help us with weight loss diets thanks to their amount of fibre and water that gives us a satiating effect. It also provides a few calories to help with weight control and low-fat diets.
In addition, it is a food with very favourable characteristics for weight loss. In the first place, the fibre intake is ideal and provides few calories. However, the amount of water is high.
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.
Therefore, the consumption of grapefruit is recommended for its numerous health properties that are widely recognized due to multiple scientific studies.
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.