All aboard the grapefruit train! They’re super tasty. They’re in season (from Florida and Texas, November to June). And you’ve probably heard that grapefruits are a “superfood.” But what does that “superfood” label really mean? For grapefruits, it means several (awesome) things.
Grapefruits are a solid source of Vitamin C, with just one half of a grapefruit providing all you need in a day. Consumption of Vitamin C has been linked to reduced risk of death from heart disease, stroke, and cancer, among others.
Grapefruits are also dense with antioxidants other than Vitamin C. Antioxidants are important because they prevent the oxidation of molecules that may damage cells in our bodies. Pink and red grapefruits (but not white, unfortunately) contain lycopene, which “appears to have anti-tumor activity,” according to the non-profit George Mateljan Foundation, a.k.a. World’s Healthiest Foods. Another tumor-fighting element of grapefruits is limonoids. No tumors means no cancer, and no cancer is a good thing for everyone.
If you’re all set on the no-tumor front, you may be interested to know that grapefruits also lower cholesterol. This is due to the pectin in them. Even better, pectin is present in all types of grapefruit — not just pink and red.
Consumption of grapefruit can also reduce risk of kidney stones because of their high levels of potassium, according to Medical News Daily.
So grapefruits provide all these wonderful health benefits, and here I was this whole time just thinking they were low calorie and delicious. I threw a couple through my juicer the other day and enjoyed the heck out of my fresh drink. I didn’t even realize how many other health benefits I was getting!
However, before you rush out and start juicing away like I did, take note of a couple things: You’ll lose some of the fiber offered in grapefruits if you juice. But more importantly, grapefruit juice can cause problems with some medications by reducing your absorption of the medication as it binds to an enzyme in your intestinal tract, according to Harvard Health. So, please, consult with your doctor before you jump on the grapefruit train.
Once you’re cleared for takeoff on this delicious ride, celebrate your imminent improved health with a Grapefruit Negroni Cocktail, complemented by the grapefruit in Supercharged Seafood Salad.
Will you add more grapefruit to your diet to get some of these health benefits? — Megan