The many health benefits of grapefruit and why I’ve started juicing
When I was a kid I used to play tricks on my grandparents. When my pawpaw would ask for lemonade, I’d give him grapefruit juice and watch him pucker and slap his knee from the taste. It was hilarious to me and I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve never liked the taste of grapefruit or grapefruit juice until recently. I did some research on the health benefits of grapefruit juice and juicing in general and on Amazon Prime Day, I bought myself a juicer. I’ve been trying out a variety of juice mixtures but I also make grapefruit, orange, and lemon juice separately to have on hand in my fridge and I’m loving it. I drink the lemon juice in my hot water to start my day, orange juice some mornings, and fresh grapefruit juice (with vodka) for a cocktail at night sometimes. You can also eat the left over pulp in the juicer. I sprinkle a little bit of all natural sweetener or sugar over the top to cut the bitterness.
Grapefruits are low in calories but are full of nutrients and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Harvard Medical School states that grapefruit has a glycemic index of 25, suggesting that it does not significantly affect blood sugar and insulin levels.
Grapefruit supports clear, healthy skin, a healthy digestive track, fights gum disease, lowers blood pressure, maintains a healthy heart, and reduces the risk of kidney stones, strokes, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease! The powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline in grapefruit all help to maintain a healthy heart.¹ It can even help prevent asthma.
There are so many health benefits of grapefruit! Check out the top 6 reasons to add grapefruit to your diet!
1. Reduces Stress
The most important reason if you ask me. I’ve been burning citrus and grapefruit scented candles (and this one) for awhile now and it just clicked that it’s the scent that I love so much that makes me happy and reduces stress. I even have this soap and lotion in my bathroom. It’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with this scent. The Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology found citrus fragrance restored stress-induced immunosuppression, and induced calm behavior in mice. Grapefruit aromatherapy is said to “energize and cheer,” and is normally used in the morning to get the day started with energy and mental alertness.
2. Strengthens Your Immune System
Any fruit rich in vitamin C will strengthen and support our immune system. Maintaining good levels of vitamin C in the body can reduce the severity of cold symptoms, acting as a natural antihistamine. This makes it helpful in controlling allergies, since it reduces histamine levels. Half of a grapefruit provides about 78 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.
3. Boosts Your Metabolism
The copious amount of enzymes, high-water content, and less sodium helps burn fat easily. Lauren Blake, a registered dietician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said: “it is low in calories and is a good source of fiber, which helps keep us full for longer by taking longer to digest. … Grapefruit also has a high water content which can help you feel full and stay hydrated.”²
4. Protects Against Cancer
The antioxidant vitamin C has been linked to decrease the risk of certain cancers. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found grapefruits help repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. Naringenin stimulates DNA repair in these cancer cells and protects the body from developing cancer. “Pink and red colored grapefruit contain the antioxidant lycopene that help fight free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells. Diets high in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables such as grapefruit, had been linked to a reduced risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, bladder, breast, and esophagus,” said Blake. She cautions these results are specific to vitamin C rich foods, rather than supplements.
As one of the most hydrating fruits in the world made up of 91% water (just below watermelon) and full of important electrolytes, grapefruit is a great snack to have on hand to prevent dehydration.
6. Clear Skin
When eaten in its natural form (in fresh produce as opposed to supplement form) or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of skin. Hydration and vitamin A are also crucial for healthy looking skin, both of which grapefruits can provide.