Is it healthy to eat grapefruit every day?
Grapefruit is one of the world’s most nutritious foods, and one of America’s favorite breakfast fruits. It is big and bulbous, tart with an underlying sweet flavor, and oozes with juice that can rival even the premium oranges.
This hybrid between the bitter pomelo and sweet orange originated in Barbados and was first introduced to Florida in 1823. During that early time, the only available cultivar was the acidic white grapefruit and it received a chilly reception from Floridians who were more used to sweet oranges. Good thing this citrus fruit ended up in Texas where it was nurtured and cultivated, or we would not have the sweet grapefruit we know today.
Grapefruits have many health benefits. From the peel to the pulp, right down to the juices, grapefruit contains vitamins and minerals that can aid in weight loss, lower risk of diabetes and hypertension, possibly reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, and help fight skin damage caused by sun and pollution.
- Weight Loss – one serving of grapefruit is more than 5 ounces and contains high amounts of water (a grapefruit is made up of 92% water), fiber and a small amount of calories. The water and fiber in the fruit can make you feel satiated for a longer period, thus suppressing your appetite and reducing your food intake.
- Strong Immune System – Half of a medium-sized Texas grapefruit can provide 64% to 70% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, which can help promote a stronger immune system to prevent cold symptoms, reduce severity of asthma and arthritis, and at the same time, fight off the inflammatory assault of free radicals that may cause cancer. Vitamin A in grapefruits also contributes to a stronger immune system.
- Heart Health – the fiber, lycopene, potassium, choline, and vitamin C found in different grapefruit varieties is a powerful nutrient combination that can help maintain a healthy heart. Studies show that both yellow grapefruit and red grapefruit varieties can lower LDL cholesterol and improve the blood levels of protective antioxidants. Potassium can lower blood pressure because of its impressive vasodilation effect that widens the arteries. Flavonoids lower the risk of ischemic stroke, while vitamin C prevents oxidative changes to LDL, which is a target for scavenger receptors that turn it into plaque. Fiber can reduce cholesterol by binding with its particles and moving them out of the body. In summary, the nutrient combinations found in sweet grapefruit not only lower cholesterol but may also lessen blockages in heart walls and arteries, possibly resulting in less heart disease and fewer heart attacks.
- Control Blood Sugar – Grapefruits, be they white or ruby red, have a low Glycemic Index (GI) and do not raise blood sugar as quickly as other fruits that have a high GI. They also have the potential to control insulin levels and prevent insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes.
With the major health benefits presented above, there is no reason for you not to include grapefruits in your daily diet. However, if you wish to know which grapefruit is sweeter, then Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit is still the leading candidate and favored by many for their daily intake.