Grapefruit is a cross between orange and pomelo. This sweet and sour fruit is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This low-calorie subtropical fruit has some health benefits and some drawbacks too.
Grapefruit is a low-calorie subtropical fruit with a lot of nutrients. It is great for the body and health. It has immune boosting power and balances gut health. Its other health benefits are outlined below.
It is packed with vitamin C. 100 g of the pink tart fruit yields 30 mg of vitamin C. According to John Hopkins Medicine, one medium sized grapefruit gives you 100% of the daily needs of vitamin C. It fights against pathogens and keeps the respiratory system and blood stream free of them.
Reduces insulin resistance
The Journal of Medicinal Food carried a study article that stated that having half a grapefruit before meals helped the consumers in controlling post prandial blood sugar and improving insulin resistance compared to those on grapefruit juice or placebo.
High potassium levels
It is rich in potassium. One cup of the fruit gives 300 mg of potassium. Gabriela Barreto, Sports dietitian says:
“Potassium’s role in the body includes serving as a major electrolyte to help maintain fluid balance and hydration, maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, and nerve function, and moving fluids in and out of cells such as waste products,”
It relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and is good for hypertension.
Increases production of collagen
Its high vitamin C content increases formation of collagen. Collagen production decreases with age. Hence adding this to diet is beneficial. Gabriela explains:
“Collagen makes up about 30% of bone structure, a large amount of tendon and ligament tissue, and is important for skin and blood vessel structure,”
Dietitian Breanna Woods from Blogilates says:
“Grapefruit supports heart health thanks to its high fiber, potassium, and antioxidant content,”
National Library of Medicine has a study that shows lowered coronary disease and cardiovascular accidents with grapefruit consumption.
Grapefruit is filling and has lower calories. Hence it can produce a calories deficit that is essential for weight loss. Its high fiber content helps in this.
Increases iron absorption
The high vitamin C content increases iron absorption. Gabriela says:
“Iron is important for moving oxygen through the bloodstream via red blood cells to bring oxygen to cells,”
Grapefruit is nutrients dense. And has low calories. But it has been part of controversial fad diets such as the Grapefruit diet or the Hollywood diet. This diet promises weight loss. But it is not sustainable. The diet is not healthy in the long term.
This diet that was popular in the 1930s still has many supporters of it. It claims that grapefruit burns fat faster. But there is no scientific backing for this claim. Grapefruit does not have any magical fat burning capacity.
Grapefruit can also interact with some medicines. Nicole Lindel, outpatient gastrointestinal dietitian at Everly Health says:
“Grapefruit interacts with many drugs, which can cause too much or too little of the drug in our body,”
“For example, grapefruit can block the action of enzymes needed to break down certain cholesterol-lowering medications such as Lipitor.”
Statins, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and anti-anxiety drugs can also be affected by grapefruit consumption.