Grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals that of the ever popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits. Although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring. Grapefruits usually range in diameter from four to six inches and include both seed and seedless and pink and white varieties.
Health Benefits of Grape Fruit
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms; Many scientific studies have suggested that vitamin C is a cold-fighter. Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, and is therefore also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. As free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke, vitamin C is beneficial to promoting cardiovascular health.
Lycopene appears to have anti-tumor activity. Among the common dietary arytenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells. Choosing to regularly eat lycopene-rich foods, such as pink grapefruit, and drink green tea may greatly reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Grapefruit Juice Ranked among Highest in Antioxidant Activity
Photo nutrients in grapefruit called limuloids inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of glutathione-S-transferees, a detoxifying enzyme. This enzyme sparks a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for excretion from the body. Pulp of citrus fruits like grapefruit contain glucarates, compounds that may help to prevent breast cancer.
Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in animal studies to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. Both blond and red grapefruit can reduce blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and red grapefruit lowers triglycerides as well.
Prevent Kidney Stones
Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink grapefruit juice. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when women drank 1/2 to 1 liter of grapefruit, apple or orange juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.
Prevent against Colon Cancer
Not only are grapefruit rich in vitamin C, but provides two more reasons to drink grapefruit juice: protection against lung and colon cancer. In humans, drinking three 6-ounce glasses of grapefruit juice a day was shown to reduce the activity of an enzyme that activates cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke.
Naringenin, a flavonoid concentrated in grapefruit, helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells (cell line LNCaP). The risk of prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the U.S, increases with age since the older we become, the more times our cells have divided and the greater the chance for DNA mutations to occur. DNA repair is one of the body’s primary defense mechanisms against the development of cancer since it removes potentially cancer-causing mutations in cells. Naringenin helps restore health to damaged DNA by inducing two enzymes that repair DNA during the replication stage. These enzymes, 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase 1 (hOGG1), and DNA polymerase beta (DNA poly beta), are both involved in the DNA base excision repair (BER) pathway.
Grapefruit is considered an important constituent in some of the recommended weight reducing diets. By improving metabolism, it results in fat reduction of fats in the body, thus results in reduction in weight.