Anticancer Foods: Grapefruit Uses & Benefits

Ripe grapefruits on plate on color wooden background

What Is Grapefruit?

Grapefruit is a hybrid between pomelo and a kind of sweet orange. It was initially called “The Forbidden fruit”. Grapefruit is called grapefruit because it grows in a pattern similar to grapes in the form of bunches.

There are as many as 20 varieties of grapefruit growing in America and each variety has its specific characteristics. For example, the Floridan grapefruit has a thinner outer covering and is sweeter as compared to the Californian grapefruit. Among citrus fruits, grapefruit is the only one that is native to America. They were first discovered in Barbados in the 1750s.

What Are The Uses Of Grapefruit?

Initially, people cultivated them for their aesthetics. Large trees with dark green leaves and yellow fruits grow among them. But once their taste and health benefits were discovered they started to be shipped throughout the nation. Grapefruit is not only rich in vitamin C but also contains other nutrients like antioxidants and fiber.

Let’s have a look at some of the scientifically proven health benefits of grapefruits.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Grapefruit?

Low-calorie and highly nutritious:

Grapefruit is an excellent addition to a balanced diet because it is low in calories yet high in other essential nutrients. In fact, it is among the lowest calorie-containing fruits. It provides fiber and antioxidants in addition to other 15 other vitamins (vitamin C, A) and minerals potassium, and magnesium.

Weight loss:

Grapefruit is also excellent for reducing weight because it is low in calories. It contains fiber which enhances the feeling of fullness and helps in reducing weight. The water content of grapefruit is another property that makes it excellent for weight loss. People who included grapefruit in their daily meals reported a reduction in their waistline.

Insulin resistance and diabetes:

The insulin hormone regulates many metabolic processes of the body but its main role is in controlling blood sugar levels.  When cells stop responding to insulin this is called insulin resistance. Higher insulin levels and blood sugar levels are the two major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Grapefruit can protect you from diabetes by maintaining the insulin level in the blood and thus preventing you from becoming insulin resistant. Eating whole grapefruit is associated with low insulin levels and blood sugar levels both of which contribute to the reduced risk of diabetes.

Kidney stones:

Kidneys are the organs that filter waste materials from our bodies. The buildup of waste materials in the kidneys is the leading cause of kidney stones. Once the kidney stones become large enough, they will cause blockage in the kidneys hindering their working.  The most common type of kidney stone is calcium oxalate stone. Grapefruits are very helpful in reducing the risk of kidney stones because they help in eliminating calcium from the body which reduces their buildup and kidney stones.

What Makes Grapefruit An Anti-cancer Food?

The compounds present in citrus fruits are believed to have cancer-fighting properties. A search team at the University of Texas found that eating whole grapefruit reduces the risk of colon cancer. Another team at the medical university of Japan found that tangerines contain a compound called nobiletin that has anti-colon cancer properties. After lung cancer second deadliest type of cancer is colon cancer. But it is also the most easily curable type. A study conducted on the anti-cancer effects of grapefruit showed that it reduced the risk of cancer in smokers. Its juice also enhances the anti-cancer effects of chemotherapeutics. Scientists found that mixing grapefruit juice with drugs increases drug levels thus lower doses can be given. Citrus fruits help prevent many cancers including pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancer in addition to lung and colon cancer.



Chef Shedric

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