Grapefruit was first discovered in the Caribbean island of Barbados. Named for the fact that the fruits grow in grape-like bunches, grapefruit come in a variety of colors and flavors including yellow, pink, and red. White or yellow typically tend to be the sourest of varieties. Some people say that pink-colored grapefruit are the best-tasting grapefruits with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.
The fruit is a classic choice for a healthy breakfast, and an easy way to add a burst of fresh, citrusy zest to salads, sides (like this spicey guacamole), even cocktails, and desserts.
Keep reading for the nutritional low-down on why this super fruit is so beneficial.
High in antioxidants
Grapefruit is a good source of antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and fight damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. In particular, they’re a good source of beta-carotene, which is converted in the body to vitamin A, and lycopene which is associated with a reduced risk of cancer.
Great for your immune system
Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C, providing nearly 64% of your daily needs in a single serving. Vitamin C promotes immune system function and helps to protect your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses. It is also a good source of vitamin A which helps protect against inflammation and several infectious diseases
Promotes weight loss
While it isn’t a miracle fat-burner, grapefruit delivers a lot of nutrition for very few calories making it a great addition to a healthy weight loss diet. Grapefruit is around 88% water which tends to make you feel full faster. Its high fiber content also helps promote fullness and reduce calorie intake.
Could help prevent diabetes
There’s evidence that eating grapefruit may help reduce insulin resistance, which can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study found that greater consumption of certain fruit including grapefruit were significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Supports heart health
Eating grapefruit may reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. In 2012, the American Heart Association published a report that suggested that a diet high in certain flavonoids, compounds found in citrus fruits including grapefruit, may lower a woman’s risk of stroke. Grapefruit is rich in potassium and fiber, as well as antioxidants which help to manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A word of caution…
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires warnings on some medications related to their use with grapefruit. If you’re on medication, always check with your healthcare provider if grapefruit is ok to include in your diet.