Interesting facts about grapefruits

One of the fruits from the citrus family of fruits having rich nutrient content and vitamins and also innumerable health benefits is Grapefruit.

Said to have originated from Jamaica in the West Indies, this grapefruit has spread to other parts of the world and now, grapefruit is not only one of the favorite members in a breakfast menu, but is also used in other occasions as well.

Grapefruit offers innumerable benefits to the consumer. It is high in Vitamin C and potassium. The pink and red varieties of grapefruit contain beta carotene as well as lycopene, two of the most powerful antioxidants. Being very low in calorie content, grapefruits are discovered to have certain bioflavonoids and plant chemicals that effectively protect the person’s body from life-threatening diseases such as heart attack and cancer.

According to nutrition experts, about half of a grapefruit will provide more than 45% of the adult Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C. In addition, it also provides about 175 micrograms of potassium and 1 micro gram of iron. Though all the varieties of this fruit have rich content of minerals, it has been found that the red and pink varieties are high in beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A by the body..

Grapefruits are identified to be a good food that can be included in an ideal weight-loss program, because a cup or serving of grapefruit is said to contain less than 100 calories only and the high fiber content in the fruit helps in satisfying hunger and giving a sense of fullness.

Also, grapefruits have high pectin content, a soluble fiber that helps in lowering blood cholesterol. Recent studies point out that grapefruits not only help in lowering blood cholesterol but also the other minerals found in the fruit can effectively prevent the disease itself.

Grapefruit is found to be a very good source to help fight cancer. Pink and red grapefruits are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that is capable of lowering the risk of prostate cancer. While the exact mechanism how lycopene helps in lowering prostate cancer is not clear and research is going on, it has been found that 10 servings of lycopene-rich foods a week has resulted in a 50% reduction in prostate cancer.

In addition to pectin and lycopene, grapefruits have other protective plant chemicals as well. Some of those chemicals include monoterpenes, terpenes as well as limonoids – all of which are responsible for producing enzymes that aid in preventing cancer; phenolic acid that arrests the forming of nitrosamines – said to be responsible for creating cancer cells; and bioflavonoids that arrests the creation of hormones that foster growth of tumor cells.

People suffering from inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are advised to consume grapefruit on a daily basis to alleviate the symptoms of these disorders. This is possible due to the fact that the plant chemicals present in the grapefruit are capable of blocking the prostaglandins that cause inflammation.