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Grapefruit

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Grapefruit Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 90.9 g
Calories: 32 kcal
Protein: 0.6 g
Carbohydrate: 8.1 g
Dietary fiber: 1.1 g
Sugars: 7 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 34.4 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B9: 10 μg
Vitamin A: 46 μg
Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
Calcium: 12 mg
Iron: 0.1 mg
Magnesium: 8 mg
Phosphorus: 8 mg
Potassium: 139 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

Love it or hate it, the juicy grapefruit has an awful lot going for it. There has been much speculation regarding the actual health benefits of consuming this highly acidic fruit.

There is no doubt that it is packed full of vitamin C goodness that is guaranteed to give the immune system a boost, but scientific evidence is being amassed that shows that this sunshine fruit really is excellent for our health.

Helps with weight loss. In 2006, Fujioka et al published a study relating to how grapefruit can assist weight loss over a 12 week period. The team took 91 obese volunteers and divided them into 4 groups; each group took a different supplement before each meal, 3 times a day, for 12 weeks.

They were either given 207ml of apple juice with a placebo capsule; 207ml of apple juice with a grapefruit capsule; 237ml of grapefruit juice with a placebo capsule or half a fresh grapefruit with a placebo capsule.

The results found that whilst everyone did manage to lose some weight, the greatest proportion of weight lost was in the group that consumed half a fresh grapefruit before each meal, losing a total body weight of 1.6kg.

Lowers blood pressure. A study was published in 2015 that looked at the effects of grapefruit on weight and cardiovascular risks associated with obesity. From a group of 250 participants, the research team found that grapefruit did seem to help lower systolic blood pressure, but they admit that further investigation is needed in this area to fully explore this issue.

Cancer prevention. Bergamottin is a naturally occurring chemical compound found predominantly in grapefruit juice; it has recently been investigated as a potential inhibitor of cancer cell growth in a study conducted by Kim et al.

They found that bergamottin blocked the signalling pathways between cancer cells, which in turn made it more difficult for the cells to proliferate.

The results of this study suggest that grapefruit and the bergamottin it contains may play a pivotal role in helping to prevent cancer.

De-clog the arteries and lower cholesterol. Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty substances clog up the arteries of the heart, leading to the risk of heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

It has a number of causes including high cholesterol levels. In 2006, this study looked at the way in which eating grapefruit might affect the level of atherosclerosis in participating individuals.

57 patients aged between 39 and 72 years old, who had received a coronary heart bypass,were divided into three groups; one group consumed a blonde grapefruit, another group consumed a red grapefruit, the remaining group consumed no grapefruit – they did this daily for 30 days.

It was discovered that the patients who had eaten the red grapefruits had a significant impact on lowering the levels of cholesterol in their blood, which in turn has a positive impact on the effects of atherosclerosis.