8 reasons why eating grapefruit can be good for your health

Grapefruit can be tangy or bittersweet. The citrus fruit, which originated on the island of Barbados, is mostly water. It not only provides hydration, but also vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy fruit. Grapefruit usually comes in pink and red varieties, and it may help with weight loss, boost your immune system, support your skin health and may even help to maintain insulin resistance. Read on to know the health benefits of grapefruit, which can be easily included in your diet.

What are the health benefits of grapefruit?

Eating grapefruit may be good because it has numerous health benefits:

1. Gut health

Grapefruit does not have a very high level of fiber, still it can be good for your gut. About a 100 grams of grapefruit has nearly 2 grams of fiber, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As it has fiber in it, it can help to prevent constipation and increase good bacteria in the body, says nutritionist Samreen Saniya.

A woman holding weighing scale after eating grapefruit for weight loss
Grapefruit may help in weight loss. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Weight management

The presence of fiber in grapefruit also means that it can help to keep you full for a long time. If you are full for long, you eat less, which can aid in weight loss, says the expert.

3. Good for hydration

Grapefruit is full of water, which can keep you hydrated. Approximately, a 100 grams of grapefruit has 88.1 grams of water, as per the USDA. You need to be hydrated for proper functioning of your body. Some of the functions include taking nutrients to your cells, protecting joints and organs, and maintaining temperature of your body

4. Good for skin

Grapefruit has vitamin C, which protects the skin from sun damage, sun burn, inflammation and ageing, says Saniya. You can get 31.2 mg of vitamin C if you consume 100 grams of grapefruit, as per the USDA.

5. May boost immunity

Since has a good amount of vitamin C, grapefruit may help in increasing immunity which in turn protects us from diseases. People who consume vitamin C may recover from the common cold more quickly than those who don’t have it, according to a 2017 study published in the Nutrients journal.

6. Eye health

The beta-carotene present in grapefruit good may be beneficial for your eyes, says the expert. It may help by keeping the surface of the eye moist and healthy. So, you may not have to deal with problems like dry eyes.

7. May reduce insulin resistance

Participants who ate grapefruit thrice a day before meals saw a reduction in insulin levels and insulin resistance, compared to those who didn’t eat the citrus fruit, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2006. The presence of nutrients like fiber, vitamins C and A in grapefruit may help to maintain insulin resistance and prevent diabetes, says the expert.

8. May lower risk of ischemic stroke

Citrus fruits such as grapefruit have flavonoids, which may lower the risk of ischemic stroke among women, as per the American Heart Association. Ischemic stroke happens when the blood supply to a part of our brain gets reduced or blocked, preventing brain tissue from receiving oxygen and nutrients.

Eating grapefruit regularly is generally safe, but it should be a part of balanced diet. You can eat half a grapefruit per day, says the expert. You can have it as a pre-meal snack or enjoy it as fruit juice. It can also be added to fruit salads, and fresh juices.

Grapefruit for skin health
Grapefruit is good for your skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Grapefruit and medications

Many prescribed medicines are broken down or metabolised with the help of an enzyme, CYP3A4, in the small intestine, says the expert. But if you consume too much of grapefruit, it can block the action of CYP3A4. If this happens, more of the medicine can enter the blood and stays in the body for a longer period of time. For instance, if you have a lot of juice with grapefruit or eat it in excess while taking drugs to lower cholesterol, too much of the medicine may stay in your body. This can increase your risk for liver damage.

What are the side effects of grapefruit?

Just like benefits, grapefruit also has a list of side effects:

  • Grapefruit can affect drug metabolism and reduce the effects of the medicine
  • Grapefruit has high potassium, so people with kidney disease may not be able to filter out excess potassium.
  • It is highly acidic, so it can worsen the symptoms of heartburn.

Eating grapefruit has benefits, but people with stomach conditions should try to stay away the citrus fruit.

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