The grapefruit is a large orange like fruit that belongs to citrus family. It is believed that grapefruit is a result of a natural cross breeding which occurred between the orange and pomelo, both varieties of citrus fruits. Hence grapefruit was called as “forbidden fruit”. It was first found in the forests of Caribbean island known as Barbodas. Today it is one of largely cultivated fruit in different parts of United States, particularly in Florida, California and other semi-subtropical states.
Nutritional content of grapefruit per 100 g
Grapefruits are storehouse of vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C, E, niacin and pantothenic acid. It has high content of dietary fibre too. Grapefruits are excellent source of folic acid, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Carbohydrates – 8.41g
Sugars - 7.31g
Dietary fibre – 1.1g
Protein – 0.69g
Thiamine – 0.037mg
Riboflavin – 0.020
Niacin – 0.269mg
Pantothenic acid –0.283
Vitamin B6 -
Choline – 7.7mg
Vitamin C – 33.3mg
Vitamin E – 0.13mg
Calcium – 12mg
Magnesium – 9mg
Phosphorus – 8mg
Potassium – 148mg
Health Benefits of GrapefruitsAs we can see in above section describing the nutritional content of grapefruit, it is an excellent source of nutrients and phyto chemicals that contribute to various health benefits. Hence studies have found their use in treatment of number of ailments and diseases. Some of the diseases where it can be used as a dietary treatment method are as follows:
Acidity – The grapefruit juice is found to be alkaline in nature and hence have profound effect on acidity problems in stomach.
Common cold – Drinking of grapefruit juice also helps to boost your immunity system fighting against various health issues like common cold,fever, sore throat and flu.
Digestive disorder – As grapefruits are rich in dietary fibre content, they aid in proper digestion and promote better bowel movement.
Insomnia – Drinking of grapefruit juice before bed time helps to promote sleep and alleviates insomnia.
Weight loss - Grapefruits contains high number of enzymes that helps to burn fats by reducing the sugar and starch components in body. It also increases the overall metabolism and hence eating grapefruit especially its juice is a great option for those who want to lose weight. Thus it can help people suffering from obesity too.
Reduce Cholesterol – Grapefruit have good amount of pectin which is a soluble fibre that helps to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) from the body. Red grapefruits are found to be more effective in reducing the triglycerides compounds due to the presence of higher number off lavonoids.
Cancer – Studies have shown grapefruits are very effective in preventing number of cancers such as breast, lung, colon and pancreatic cancer due to the presence of high levels of flavonoids, carotenoid phytonutrient and vitamin C. These various components have antioxidant and anti-tumour properties.
Arthritis - Ascorbic acid or vitamin C present in grapefruit, found to involve in formation of both collagen and proteoglycans of cartilage tissue. The phytonutrients, flavonoids and vitamin C have strong antioxidant properties which helps in removing free radicals from body and thus reducing pain and joint inflammation in arthritis especially in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
So as we can see grapefruit is an overall package of all good nutrients and health benefits, we should try to incorporate them in our diet. And to get its best nutritional benefits,try to peel them without affecting its albedo (spongy material between the fruit pulp and skin) as it contains the highest amount of valuable bio flavonoids and anti-cancer agents.