Grapefruit Benefits – Sour But Definitely A Keeper!


Named for the way the way the fruit hangs in bunches (like grapes), the grapefruit is a nutritious member of the citrus family, generally recognized for its slightly bitter and sour taste. Grapefruit first came from sunny Barbados and is thought to be the result of the natural cross breading between the orange and the Asian pomelo. Nowadays the greatest quantity of grapefruits is produced by the United States, followed by China, then South Africa.

One thing is certain about grapefruit, and that is it is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. The main grapefruit benefits are due to the high amounts of vitamins and minerals, and researchers are constantly adding to grapefruit’s long list of benefits.

Grapefruit Benefits

Rich in Vitamin C

Being a member of the citrus family, grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C, which helps to support the immune system and can help reduce cold symptoms. As a prevailing antioxidant, vitamin C protects our bodies against oxidative stress and the inflammation linked with asthma and arthritis.


Prevents Arthritis and Works as an Antiseptic

Grapefruit contains salicylic acid that helps break down the body’s inorganic calcium which builds up in the cartilage of joints and may lead to arthritis, a health issue problem faced by so many people, especially the elderly. 

Grapefruit seed extracts can be added to water to make an antiseptic spray for treating bacterial and fungal infections.

Helps in Cancer Prevention

Grapefruit is a rich source of Lycopene, a carotenoid pigment which is responsible for the rich red color of grapefruit. However Lycopene is also a strong agent that works against cancer and tumors as it acts as a scavenger of cancer-causing free radicals. Lycopene works best with vitamins A and C which are found in grapefruit.

A study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that Naringenin, a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit, helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying.

Helps Lower Cholesterol

A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was performed on 57 patients who had just gone through a coronary bypass surgery. The patients were divided into three groups, the first group was given red grapefruit to their diet, the second group was given blond grapefruit to their diet and the third group did not include any grapefruit in their diet. 

It was concluded that the first group consuming red grapefruit had lowered their cholesterol and their triglyceride levels the most.  Both groups consuming grapefruit had lowered the “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in a month dramatically, compared to the third group.

Helps with Weight Loss

Grapefruit, which itself is fat free, contains a number of fat-burning enzymes. Studies have shown them to alter insulin levels, thereby affecting metabolic rates, which in turn increases weight loss.

A research showed that the smaller 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 seeing as those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight regardless of the lack of fiber.

Skin Health

Grapefruit also contains a very high amount of vitamin A which combats skin damage caused by oxidative stress. Grapefruit helps preserve adequate moisture levels in the skin, protecting it from dryness, acne, psoriasis and wrinkles.

Consult Your Physician

Although grapefruit benefits in so many ways, it has a negative reaction against many prescription drugs such as those used in treating depression, allergies, seizures, impotence, high blood pressure, heart palpitations and even HIV. As with any kind of foods you would like to add in your daily diet, it is always best to consult your physician.    

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Great Grapefruit Recipes

Grapefruit Marmalade

Ingredients:

2 grapefruits (about 800g)

500 g sugar

500 g brown sugar

2 lemons, juice of or 6 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a large pot, place the two grapefruit in just enough water to make them float freely.

2. Bring to a boil, and let boil for two hours (add water from a kettle if too much boils away and the grapefruit touch the bottom).

3. Drain the grapefruit, discard water and let fruit cool (or else you'll burn your hands!).

4. Slice the grapefruit as finely as possible, and chop a bit. This is tedious, but not difficult. It doesn't have to be uniform.

5. Chuck the grapefruit, sugars and lemon juice back into the pot, and dissolve the sugars on low heat.

6. Bring to a boil and let bubble until you reach the jell point, about 15 minutes, give-or-take.

7. If you like a smoother consistency, blitz in a blender for a bit until you like what you see.

8. Ladle into clean, sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for ten minutes.


Grapefruit Chicken

Ingredients:

1 roasting hen (about 4lbs.)

1 grapefruit

1 onion, thickly sliced (about 5 slices)

olive oil

salt (preferably kosher)

pepper (preferably fresh cracked)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

2. Remove neck and the rest of the organ"prize package" from the inside of the bird.

3. Discard or save for a later use (like stock).

4. Rinse bird then pat dry.

5. Rub olive oil all over bird.

6. Salt and pepper to taste.

7. Place onion slices in a roasting pan and place bird on slices.

8. Cut grapefruit in half and squeeze one half over bird.

9. Place used half of grapefruit in the cavity of the bird and tie legs together.

10. You can also fold the bird's wings back at this point if you want to.

11. Cook bird for about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half or until leg joint is loose and juices run clear.

12. While bird is cooking use the other half of the grapefruit to"baste" the chicken.

13. If the chicken begins to get too dark (this can happen because of all the natural sugar in the grapefruit) cover loosely with foil.

14. When finished cooking.

15. Let it sit and rest for five minutes.