Natural Food Spotlight: Grapefruit
Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2013 at 8:00 am
In the diet and nutrition world, few foods generate quite as much buzz as the grapefruit. This wonder fruit is not only packed with tons of nutrients, but it’s a low-calorie treat you can enjoy in many different ways. When stored properly, grapefruit can also last about a week at room temperature and around two to three weeks when refrigerated. This Natural Food Spotlight will explain just a few of the benefits of including this tangy fruit into your diet.
It’s Bursting with Nutrients!
Grapefruits contain tons of nutrients that are good for your body both inside and out. For starters, they are loaded with vitamin C. One half of a large grapefruit contains over 57 mg of this essential vitamin, which is over half of the recommended daily value for both men and women. Vitamin C is not only essential for immune support, but it helps to create collagen, which keeps your skin looking its best. One half of a grapefruit also contains the antioxidant vitamin A, 230 mg of potassium and about 1.8 grams of dietary fiber. In addition, grapefruit contains cartonoids, which are believed to help prevent disease and limonoids, which help with detoxification. We’re just scratching at the nutritional surface here!
It’s Great for Weight Loss!
Since grapefruit is packed with dietary fiber, you’ll feel fuller for longer. This is because high amounts of soluble fiber can actually slow digestion and glucose absorption. This will discourage you from overeating. Some evidence even points to the fact that grapefruit can speed up your metabolism. One study showed that individuals who ate grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice before eating a meal, shed much more weight. While it’s inconclusive whether the grapefruit itself helped speed up weight loss, or whether it had to do with lower calorie intake, adding this ritual to your meal routine may be helpful.
It’s Versatile and Comes in Different Varieties
There are many ways to enjoy grapefruit. You can eat it like an orange, slice it up and throw it on a salad, or cut it in half and eat the flesh out of the peel. Sprinkling the flesh with a little sugar also makes for a delicious treat! The ruby red grapefruit is the variety that is best known, but other varieties include the flame grapefruit, Duncan grapefruit, pink grapefruit, marsh grapefruit, and star ruby grapefruit. All varieties are available year round, but they reach their peak during the winter. Another added benefit of the grapefruit is that it’s included on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” list, so you don’t necessarily have to buy it in organic varieties if you can’t afford to.
Be aware that grapefruit can interact with several prescription drugs. Be sure to check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if any of the medications you are taking are included on this list.