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Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that belongs to the rue family, Rutaceae. Its flavor ranges from sour to bittersweet which make it the perfect choice for tropical and humid places like Hawaii. It has all the necessary vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay active and healthy. People have the option to indulge the fruit as a juice, pulp or raw. Either way, you will definitely enjoy it. 

Grapefruit was discovered in the 18th century, when a pomelo intermixed with an orange. The masses called it “grapefruit” because it germinates in groups, just like with grapes. There are numerous varieties of grapefruit as of today, with their own unique characteristics that are loved by many. Grapefruits are white yellow, pink and red in color when fully grown. The fruit ranges from 100 to 150 mm - (4 to 6 inches) in diameter. The size depends on the type and on growing conditions.

Grapefruit is recommended by doctors to include in your breakfast routine due the nutrients it carries. Furthermore, you don't have to limit your intake to the early morning hours only: Grapefruit are absolutely easy and light to eat, making it an amazing snack too, (it only has very few calories) that will surely fill you up while also alleviating your thirst because of its high water content.

In this article, discover and explore the possible health benefits of grapefruit. Also, find out who should take care when consuming it.

Varieties of Grapefruit

No matter which type of grapefruit you prefer, the texture and taste does not change. It is mostly seedless, but you can find some with seeds that you can use to make some fresh grapefruit juice. 

Types of Grapefruits popular in Hawaii: 

  • Flame Grapefruit - Well grounded and heavy producers of quality blushed fruit. It has high water content which is perfect for the steamy weather, and is seedless with a delicious aftertaste.
  • Oro Blanco Grapefruit - A california cross between pomelo and grapefruit. The flavor is a combination of a navel orange and a grapefruit, which makes it unique. It is very well known to Hawaii gardens.
  • Star Ruby Supreme Grapefruit - The most popular grapefruit in Hawaii. It is seedless and its skin is thin. It is delicious with no bitter aftertaste. The fruit surely lives up for its name. 

Other Types of Grapefruit: 

  • Lavender Gem Grapefruit

  • Duncan Grapefruit

  • Marsh Seedless Grapefruit

  • Melogold Grapefruit

  • Pomelos

  • Pink Grapefruit

  • Red Grapefruit

  • Thompson Grapefruit

  • Sweeties Grapefruit

  • White Grapefruit

Medicinal Values

Grapefruit is a nutritionally-pack kind of fruit. In Spite of having remarkably few calories, it is loaded with nutrients to help your body stay fit and active. 

It has also been found to have many different health benefits such as:

  • Reduces Risks of Kidney Stones - Kidney Stones are painful and can be life threatening if not taken seriously. One’s weight, diet, and medications can trigger stones in your kidney to appear. However, consuming grapefruit regularly can help in blocking the stones from forming due to calcium build-up.
  • Reduce the Risk of Stroke - The American Heart Association published a study suggesting that when you consume foods high in flavonoids, which is a compound present in citrus fruits like grapefruit, can lower a woman’s risk of stroke. However, more research is necessary in order to support this claim. 
  • Improves Heart Health - It is believed that if you consume the fruit regularly, it improves heart health by lowering risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol and high blood pressure. 
  • Beneficial for your Immune System - Consuming grapefruit from time to time is beneficial for your immune system because it has rich vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay healthy and prevent threatening infections from arising.

Health Benefits

Nutritional Value - It has fiber in addition to more than 15 beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Some of the major nutrients found in half of a medium-sized grapefruit are: 

Calories: 52

Carbs: 13 grams

Protein: 1 gram

Fiber: 2 grams

Vitamin C: 64% of the RDI

Vitamin A: 28% of the RDI

Potassium: 5% of the RDI

Thiamine: 4% of the RDI

Folate: 4% of the RDI

Magnesium: 3% of the RDI

Moreover, it is a rich source of antioxidant plant compounds which are also beneficial for the body’s overall health. 

    • Promotes Weight Loss - Research indicates that a diet high in fiber is helpful in losing weight for it gives you the feeling of “fullness”. This is because fiber is responsible for increasing one’s digestion time. 
    • Rich in Antioxidants - Grapefruit has several antioxidants that are beneficial in becoming a better, healthier you. These antioxidants such as vitamin C, Lycopene, Beta-Carotene and Flavonoids provide protection to the cells caused by free radicals that might cause harmful responses in your system. 
    • Aids Dehydration - The fruit is well-known for its high water content, therefore, it is helpful not just in clenching your thirst but also in keeping your body hydrated. There are almost 4 ounces of water in half of a medium grapefruit, which sums up 88% of its total weight.
    • Beneficial For Your Skin - Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen formation, which is the biggest support system of the skin. A study in 2017 shows that Vitamin C could protect the skin against aging and sun damage. 
    • Wound Healing

Precautions

Consuming grapefruit, for some people, may lead to medication interactions due to its high percentage of citric acid and substances that inhibit cytochrome P450, an enzyme your body uses to activate such medications.

Like other fruits, grapefruit is high in sugar. Whilst the amount you will find in one or two servings of it is normally fine, the sugar content can add up quickly with grapefruit juices. Eating too much grapefruit can lead to diarrhea and constipation.

It is still better to communicate with your doctor first, before consuming grapefruit. 

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