Some Great Reasons to Get into the Grapefruit Habit!
Scientists have been studying grapefruit for a long time now. They’ve proven it’s rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fiber, making it one of the healthiest citrus fruits you can eat—just loaded with powerful health benefits. Consider these science-based reasons (as found on one of my favorite health and foodie sites, Care2.com) for why you ought to get into the grapefruit habit:
1. It’s low in calories, yet high in nutrients. In fact, it’s one of the lowest-calorie fruits. It also provides a decent amount of fiber, in addition to more than 15 beneficial vitamins and minerals (vitamins C and A; potassium, thiamine, folate, and magnesium).
2. It strengthens the immune system because of its high vitamin C content (protecting cells from harmful bacteria and viruses). And its high vitamin A content protects against inflammation and several infectious diseases. Grapefruit also provides decent amounts of B vitamins, zinc, copper and iron, which all work together in the body to promote immune system function. They also help maintain the integrity of your skin (a protective barrier to infection).
3. Grapefruit promotes appetite control because of its fiber content (2 grams in half of a medium-sized fruit). Doctors consider it a weight-loss-friendly food—its flavor, combined with texture, juiciness, and fiber automatically help you eat fewer calories throughout the day by keeping your appetite at bay.
In fact, studies show that consuming half of a fresh grapefruit before meals over 12 weeks can result in a weight loss of 3.5 pounds. And other studies found that folks who eat grapefruit daily with their meals experienced a reduced waist size. This is without any exercising!
5. Grapefruit helps prevent insulin resistance and diabetes. Hundreds of studies point to this. There’s not a tastier nor easier way to control blood sugar.
6. Grapefruit improves heart health and protects against stroke because it reduces risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
7. It’s high in powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. Besides the aforementioned vitamins C and A, grapefruit is loaded with beta-carotene, lycopene, and flavanones.
8. It reduces kidney stone risk. The most common type of kidney stones is calcium oxalate stones. Citric acid, an organic acid found in grapefruit, prevents them by binding with calcium in the kidneys and flushing it out of the body. Also, citric acid has the ability to increase the volume and pH of your urine, producing an environment that is less favorable to the formation of kidney stones.
9. Grapefruit is very hydrating due to its high water content (water makes up most of its weight). While drinking lots of water is the best way to stay hydrated, eating water-rich foods, with their vitamin and mineral load, adds not just additional hydration, but skin luster as well.
10. Grapefruit is easy to add to your diet. It’s not like I’m suggesting you learn to tolerate some nasty-tasting food, here. This is one delicious fruit! AND, it requires little-to-no preparation. Heck of a deal!
So why not make grapefruit slices a standard snack? Or eat it as an alternative to unhealthy dessert foods? Or include it in a salad made with kale and avocado (a scrumptious flavor combination)? And don’t forget it blends into smoothies well, also.
And to help you get into the grapefruit habit, here’s one of our favorite breakfast recipes (so good we often make this as a dessert.
GRAPEFRUIT YOGURT PARFAIT (yield: 2 servings)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small grapefruit
2 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons favorite granola
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Segment the grapefruit with a sharp knife, so you have grapefruit flesh without the pith. The goal is to cut all the skin away but leave as much of the fruit as possible!
In a large glass, spoon half the Greek yogurt into the bottom of the glass.
Top with a few pieces of grapefruit. Layer on granola.
Add more yogurt and top with more grapefruit.
Drizzle with honey and add almonds on top. (OR you can add honey to yogurt, blend, and then layer as per directions.)
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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