Source: Luella May | NaturalNews
According to a government website, the grapefruit we know today was developed in the West Indies in the early 1700s and first introduced to Florida in the 1820s. Today, most grapefruit is still grown in Florida. Since the early part of the 20th century, mutant strains of white grapefruit have appeared with pink to slightly reddish color, and have been propagated by citriculturists into several strains of grapefruit that are now best known as the Ruby Red. Grapefruit got its name from the way it grows in clusters (like grapes) on the tree.
The Grapefruit is a Superfood
Grapefruits are a popular citrus fruit enjoyed by millions of people and are often eaten regularly as a breakfast staple, as well as a popular snack. What many may not be aware of is that grapefruits are also one of the most highly regarded fruits when it comes to healthy nutrients and health benefits. Grapefruits contain powerful antioxidants and valuable nutrients, such as Vitamins C, A, K, D, and B complex. Other important nutrients contained in grapefruits are potassium, folic acid, calcium, phytonutrients and phosphorus.
Health benefits of grapefruit are enormous and incomparable. A glass of chilled grapefruit juice, especially in winter, will help you to get vitamin C. Grapefruit secures a high place amongst various citrus fruits. It’s packed with vitamins, potassium, lycopene and refrigerant. Along with these, it also contains calcium, sugar and phosphorous. It is termed as an excellent appetizer.
It is high in fibre and low in calories. It contains bioflavonoid and other plant chemicals that protects against the serious diseases of cancer, tumors, and heart diseases. Grapefruit increases the metabolic rate, lowers the insulin levels and thus gives you a feeling of completeness and contentment. It assists the human body to fight against various diseases like fatigue, fever, malaria, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, urinary problems, acidity, and many more.
Grapefruits additional benefits include:
*Promoting proper functioning of the digestive system. The fibers in the fruit aid in preventing constipation.
*Controlling blood pressure.
*Helps to control blood sugar levels. Grapefruits are an excellent addition to a diet for diabetics.
*Alleviates fatigue. Those needing a quick pick-me-up will find that a glass of grapefruit and lemon juice, mixed in equal parts, will dispel general fatigue.
*Relieves insomnia. People suffering from this condition should drink one glass of grapefruit juice before going to sleep.
*Daily consumption of grapefruits seems to relieve inflammation caused by inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
*And, last but not least, grapefruits contain fat burning enzymes that are instrumental in promoting weight loss.
A Natural Medicine
Grapefruit is a natural medicine that aids in fighting various diseases. This fruit is easily available in any season. It is completely natural and much better than consuming any other drugs.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consumption of grapefruit can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides. A recent study conducted at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China concluded that a beneficial plant compound found in grapefruit, Naringenin, helped repair DNA in human prostate cancer cells.
An even more recent study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food supports the long-held belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge. Dr. Ken Fujioka from Scripps Clinic in San Diego conducted a 12-week study of 100 obese men and women. He found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds, with some participants losing up to 10 pounds. Individuals who ate the grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin in their blood, which the researchers speculate resulted in the weight loss.
The smaller the amount of insulin in the blood, after a meal, the more efficiently the body uses food for energy rather than storing it as fat. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss since those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight despite the lack of fiber.
Important Note: It should be noted that grapefruits do interact with certain medications which may cause potentially dangerous side effects. This is due to the fact that they interfere in the absorption of certain medications. Therefore, if taking medications, consult a qualified health professional before consuming grapefruits or grapefruit extracts.
On a final note, grapefruits can also be beneficial to the environment, itself. Little known facts are that grapefruit hulls can be used to condition soil. Old grapefruit trees can be salvaged for firewood, and, lastly, grapefruit hulls and dried grapefruit can be used to feed cattle when combined with dried pulp.