Grapefruit is a tropical citrus fruit known for its sour and slightly sweet taste. It is healthy food to include in your daily diet. Being rich in antioxidants and fiber makes grapefruit one of the healthiest citrus fruits to consume.
Grapefruit Nutrition Facts
Some of the main nutrients in half of a medium grapefruit are: 100 g (half medium size)
Calories; 74 kcal
Carbohydrate; 13 gr
Protein; 1,2 gr
Fiber; 2 g
Vitamin C; 66 mg
Potassium; 270 mg
Sodium; 3 mg
What Are the Benefits of Grapefruit for Our Health?
Benefits to the Immune System:
Including grapefruit in your diet may be beneficial for the immune system. Grapefruit contains high vitamin C content, which has antioxidant properties that protect cells from harmful bacteria and viruses. Vitamin C has been shown to be beneficial for helping the common cold heal faster. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of white blood cells and maintains the integrity of immune cells.
Many other vitamins and minerals found in grapefruit, such as vitamin A, are also known to benefit the immune system by helping protect against inflammation and several infectious diseases.
Benefits to Weight Loss and Appetite Control:
A medium grapefruit has approximately 2 grams of fiber per half. Studies show that including fruits rich in fiber in the diet is beneficial for inducing a feeling of satiety. This is because fiber slows the stomach's emptying rate and increases digestion time. Thus, consuming enough fiber can help you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Fiber-rich, low-calorie foods such as grapefruit can aid weight loss efforts by keeping you feeling full for longer than empty calorie foods. In addition to its fiber content, grapefruit is a fruit that can be preferred for people on a slimming diet, as it is a low-calorie fruit with high water content. However, this does not mean that grapefruit alone can provide weight loss, but it does mean that adding it to an already healthy diet can be beneficial. Grapefruit alone won't help burn any more fat.
Heart Health Benefits:
Grapefruit contains some nutrients and antioxidants to help protect the heart. It is quite high in potassium, a mineral responsible for many aspects of heart health. Half a grapefruit provides about 5% of the daily potassium requirement. Adequate potassium intake is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure. Research suggests that the consumption of fiber and antioxidant-rich fruits such as grapefruit as part of a generally healthy diet helps protect against conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Skin Health Benefits:
Vitamin C found in grapefruit plays a vital role in collagen formation, which is important for the skin. Regular hydration and vitamin A are also very important for healthy-looking skin. Grapefruit is beneficial for skin health in terms of providing both.
The Most Important Antioxidants in Grapefruit:
Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals that can cause harmful reactions in the body. Here are the most important antioxidants in grapefruit:
· Vitamin C: It is a powerful, water-soluble antioxidant found in high amounts in grapefruit. It can protect cells from damage that often leads to heart disease and cancer.
· Beta-carotene: It is converted to vitamin A in the body and is an antioxidant that is thought to help reduce the risk of some chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and macular degeneration.
· Lycopene: Known for its potential to prevent the development of some types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. It can also help slow the growth of tumors and reduce the side effects of common cancer treatments.
· Flavanones: An antioxidant whose anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Effects on Kidney Stones:
Grapefruit consumption can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones due to the accumulation of waste materials in the kidneys. The most common type of kidney stones is calcium oxalate stones. The citric acid found in grapefruit can bind with calcium in the kidneys and prevent stone formation. Also, citric acid has the ability to increase the volume and pH of urine, creating a less favorable environment for the formation of kidney stones.
Effect on Cholesterol:
Grapefruit contains pectin, a fiber that can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and triglycerides.
Who Should Avoid Grapefruit Consumption?
Those with Tooth Enamel Erosion:
If you have sensitive teeth, grapefruit consumption can cause tooth enamel to wear off. The citric acid found in citrus fruits is a common cause of tooth enamel erosion, especially if you consume too much.
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming grapefruit because it is highly acidic.
Those with Renal Failure:
Individuals whose kidneys are not fully functional due to the potassium content of grapefruit should be careful when consuming grapefruit. When the kidneys cannot remove excess potassium from the blood, it causes complications in the individual and can even be fatal.
Risk of Drug Interaction:
When drugs are swallowed, they can be broken down by enzymes and/or absorbed using carriers in cells in the small intestine. Grapefruit can interact with some medications, altering the effects of medications on the body. This is because it contains substances that inhibit cytochrome P450, an enzyme the body uses to metabolize certain drugs. It can cause the body to metabolize drugs abnormally, causing the drug to be lower or higher than normal blood levels.
As a result of the chemicals in the fruit interfering with the enzymes that break down the drugs, the way they normally break down drugs in the intestine and liver may slow down and the side effects of the drugs may increase. As another effect, the drug may remain in the body for a very short or long time. If it is too short, it may cause a decrease in the function of the drug or if it is left too long, it may cause the drug to be more effective and reach potentially dangerous levels.
Studies show that grapefruit increases the blood levels of more than 85 drugs. Some drug groups that grapefruit can interact with;
· Some cholesterol medications
· Some blood pressure medications
· Some heart rhythm medications
· Some antidepressants
· Some blood thinners
· Some corticosteroids
Grapefruit does not affect all drugs in the above drug groups. The severity of the interaction may differ depending on the person, the drug, and the amount of grapefruit consumed. However, a whole grapefruit or a large glass of grapefruit juice is enough to change the blood levels of many drugs.
Therefore, if a drug from any of these drug groups is being used, talk to a doctor before adding grapefruit to the diet. Since consuming drugs and grapefruit at different times does not stop the interaction, it may be necessary to remove the grapefruit from the diet.