Grapefruit is known to Indians for more than four thousand years. It is a citrus fruit with slightly sour and bitter taste. Though it is not a popular like other citrus fruits owing to its bitter taste, but people are now including it in their diet due to its therapeutic value. The tree is about the size of an orange tree but the fruits are grown in clusters like grapes. So is the name grapefruit. Although it is available throughout the year, it is best and abundantly found from January to May. Grapefruit is very high in nutritional value. Let us see how it is beneficial to our body:
- Grapefruit is an excellent source of nutrients and phytochemicals. It has the very beneficial lycopene and contains many anti-oxidant properties which helps fight cancer and many other diseases.
- It is a very good source of Vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps reduce cold symptoms and flu. Vitamin C also reduces free radical damage and helps fight with the immune system and promote cardio vascular health.
- Consu-mption of grapefruit lowers cholesterol.
- Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C, B1 and is a good source of Vitamin B2. It is low in calories, which makes a good drink on a reducing diet. There is less sugar in grapefruits than in oranges. It is very rich in citric acids and their salts, and potassium and calcium.
- It is said that grapefruit used in combination with meats, is excellent as an aid in the digestion of meats.
- When taken just before bedtime it is conducive to a sound sleep. A drink of grapefruit juice first thing in the morning helps prevent constipation.
- Eat sun ripened fruit when possible as this fruit needs no sweetening, and is better for you. If sweetening is necessary use a little honey.
- Grapefruit rind contains the very valuable Vitamin P, which is important vitamin for healthy gums and teeth. This vitamin may be extracted by simmering the rind in water for about twenty minutes and then strain and drink.
- The sour taste of grapefruit increases the flow of digestive juices in the stomach. Grapefruit served at the beginning of a meal stimulates the appetite and helps in digestion.
- This fruit is also good for any hardening of body tissue such as hardening of the liver and the arteries. It also prevents stone formations.
- Phytonutrients in grapefruit called limonoids inhibit tumour formation by promoting (glutathione-S-transferase) a detoxifying enzyme. This enzyme sparks a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for excretion from the body.
- Pulp of citrus fruits like grapefruit contain glucarates, compounds that may help prevent
- Grapefruit juice reduces the risk of kidney stones.
- It also increases bodyâ€™s metabolic rate, lowers insulin levels, fights various conditions like fatigue, malaria, constipation, urinary problems and many more.
Grapefruit juice if included regularly in the breakfast gives a refreshing and energising start of the day. However, despite all its goodness always remember to take in moderation.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna