Sun kissed yellow to ruby red, grapefruits grace our breakfast tables in winters – offering a tantalising sweetness paired with sourness. Healthy and refreshing, the versatile grapefruit is a beloved member of the citrus family. Having its origin in the Caribbean in the early 1800s, it is perhaps a cross between a pomelo and orange.

Grapefruits are sodium-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and fat-free. Grapefruit is low in calories, containing about 60 calories per one half of a medium grapefruit. It also contains about 2 grams of dietary fibre and is an excellent source of vitamins C and A. Also, with only one serving of a grapefruit, you could fulfil about 64 per cent of your daily Vitamin C needs. It is rich in nutrients and antioxidants making it one of the healthiest citrus fruits you can eat. This delicious tropical citrus fruit can add delightful punches of flavour to everything from salads to cocktails.

Whether you gobble them up or slurp down fresh pressed juice, the fruit is believed to have several nutritional and health benefits.

Health benefits of grapefruit

Helps in losing weight: Remember the grapefruit diet? This fad diet has endured over the years because there is some truth to the fact that eating grapefruit can aid in weight loss. Grapefruit has a great deal of nourishment and water content in it, instead of empty calories. So, it’s an incredible choice to add it to your meal to support your adherence to a high-nourishment, low-calorie diet. In addition to having very few calories and lot of water, it has tons of fibre which helps with weight control and weight loss. The fibre rich fruit makes you feel full for longer, thus functioning as an excellent suppressant.

Prevents diabetes: Eating grapefruits, which range moderately on the glycemic record scale, can help control insulin levels in the body and prevent it from having type-2 diabetes. Adding more blueberries, grapes, apples, bananas, and grapefruit to the diet help in reducing the chances of type-2 diabetes, since there is a huge heterogeneity in the relationship between them and type-2 diabetes.

Reduces acidity: The citric acid contained in this bitter-sweet fruit creates an alkaline reaction post digestion. This in turn serves as a vital remedy against cold, cough and flu. The bitter properties arising from an essence called ‘naringin’ tone up the system and the digestive process. The ‘naringin’ present in pith helps keep the digestion process in place.

Promotes heart health: Consistently devouring grapefruit helps in keeping the heart healthy by decreasing risks of coronary illness, for example, hypertension and cholesterol. Grapefruit is high in potassium, a nutrient liable for maintaining the heart’s wellbeing. The fibre content in grapefruit may likewise also keep the heart healthy, given that a high fibre diet is related to lower BP and cholesterol levels.

Boosts vitality: It has been pointed out that grapefruit may work on a cellular level, increasing the amount of ATP, which is an ornate way of referring to increased ‘cellular energy’. It gives the human body a feeling of fullness and normalcy, assisting it to fight fatigue and lethargy. Further, the high water content helps in keeping the skin supple.

Builds stronger bones: Grapefruit contains decent amounts of calcium and phosphorus, which both help keep bones and teeth strong.

Pump up your immune system: One of the key benefits of grapefruit is its high concentration of vitamin C, (one whole grapefruit has 77 mg of vitamin C – more than what you’d get in a large orange.) which plays an important role in the body’s regular immune system function. In addition to that, grapefruit has Vitamin A, B, zinc, copper, and iron, which all work together in the body to boost the immunity system. They additionally help in maintaining the integrity of the skin, which is our first and foremost shield against infection.

It has free-radical-fighting properties: Pink and red grapefruit are also a source of the phytochemical lycopene – predominantly found in red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelon – that helps protect your skin from free-radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body that can cause harmful reactions.

An excellent source of antioxidants: Another major health benefit of grapefruit is that it comprised flavonoids, which are shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When you eat a diet rich in antioxidants, you may experience a reduced risk of developing several different diseases. This is important because antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damage that is caused by what is known are free radicals. Pink-and-red red grapefruit is higher in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage.

The best ways to enjoy grapefruit: Add some peeled grapefruit to a salad because it adds a fresh, sweet-but-tart flavour. You can also use grapefruit juice on a salad as an ingredient in vinaigrette, which would pair well with avocado or feta cheese.

For breakfast, grapefruit is best enjoyed raw, or even broiled with a little honey or sugar sprinkled on top. It is also recommended to use grapefruit as a topping for avocado toast or incorporated into fresh salsa.

How to eat grapefruit: Don’t throw the pith. When you peel away the outer layer of a grapefruit, you may be tempted to pick off the white flesh that is between you and the juicy fruit, and throw it away. This stuff is called pith. Don’t do it.That pith is very rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

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