What are the Health Benefits of Grapefruit?

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  • Written By: Katherine Martinelli
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 May 2018
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From reducing the risk of certain types of cancer to lowering cholesterol, grapefruit has been shown to have many health benefits. The citrus fruit is high in many vitamins, including A and C, and is a good source of iron, folic acid and antioxidants. Grapefruit has been shown to protect against many types of cancer, help lower cholesterol and relieve symptoms of arthritis. The fruit's juice also has been used to assist in weight loss, as it can help speed up metabolism. The health benefits of grapefruit can be enjoyed straight from the fruit or in grapefruit juice.

The nutrition and health benefits of grapefruit truly make it a super fruit. Grapefruit is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium. It also is a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, and folic acid, and it is high in antioxidants. Additionally, the limonoids in grapefruit have been shown to help protect against breast, colon, lung, mouth, and skin cancer. Studies also have shown grapefruit to reduce cholesterol; one study showed that those who added grapefruit to their diet saw reduced cholesterol within 30 days. Another health benefit of grapefruit is that it can help prevent kidney stones.

Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can even help reverse certain damage to the body. It can help the body eliminate toxins and has even been shown to repair damaged DNA, particularly in human prostate cancer cells. The salicylic acid in grapefruit can also help relieve the symptoms of arthritis by helping to dissolve the excess calcium that can accumulate in the joints.

Additional health benefits of grapefruit may also include weight loss; grapefruit and grapefruit juice, which are both in calories, have been shown to help speed up the metabolism. The well-known “Grapefruit Diet,” which has been popular since the 1930s, encourages dieters to consume half a grapefruit, or 8 ounces (about 236 ml) of unsweetened grapefruit juice after every meal. There is some debate, however, as to the effectiveness of this method and whether resulting weight loss is due to a drop in calorie intake or the health benefits of grapefruit.

It should be noted, however, that grapefruit and grapefruit juice have been shown in certain instances to interact negatively with prescription drugs, including certain cholesterol-lowering medications. It also can interfere with some immunosuppressant drugs and antidepressants. Consumption of the fruit should be discussed with a medical professional to ensure its safety in conjunction with medication.


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