Grapefruit Nutrition

Grapefruit Halves

Grapefruit nutrition:  A lot of nutrients packed in a low – calorie fruit treat!

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits grapefruit:

  • Less than 50 calories per 100 grams of this fruit
  • High in several flavonoids
  • The red variety is particularly high in the flavonoid antioxidant lycopene.  Lycopene has been found to be beneficial to eye health.
  • High in vitamin A, which is necessary for ideal health.  It is also beneficial for the eyes, as well as other mucus membranes in the body.
  • High vitamin C
  • High in potassium, essential for heart rate regulation, and also helps with regulating blood pressure.
  • Eating or drinking grapefruit juice can help with weight loss, according to a study at Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic.  (1)
  • Some of the grapefruit nutrition comes from a high amount of pectin.
  • Grapefruit contains vitamins within the B complex as well as a number of trace minerals

A Closer Look at Pectin Found in Grapefruit

Pectin is the fiber found in plants that binds the cells walls together.  It has been found to help with lowering cholesterol produced by the liver, and it may help prevent certain cancers, such as prostate cancer and cancers in the excretory system.  It is also beneficial to the circulatory system, as it can reduce the amount of plaque deposits

Grapefruit Pith

Pectin can be found in the fleshy part of the grapefruit, but also can be found in the pith.  To understand, let’s define pith:  the pith is the white covering of many fruits, separating the rind from the flesh of the fruit.  It might also be called “albedo.”

To many, the pith is a little bitter and the texture unwanted, but this white layer contains very beneficial bioflavonoids rich in antioxidants. 

Pectin can still be found in the flesh, but the most amount of pectin will come from the flesh AND the pith.

Eating Grapefruit

As mentioned above, not only is grapefruit nutrition high, but this fruit has gotten a lot of attention lately for its weight - loss properties.  Many are adding it before all meals to help curb appetite, but many make it their breakfast and add its juice to their diet throughout the day.  It also makes for great healthy fruit snacks in place of processed carbs. 

Grapefruit can be eaten by slicing the fruit in half and eating the individual segments with a spoon.  Many also cut it into wedges and eat the wedges like they would oranges. 

Remember the health benefits of the white pith, and if you're able, carefully take the rind off with a peeler or paring knife to leave the pith on the fruit.  Then slice into wedges.  Once you get used to eating the fruit this way, you might not ever want to back!

Juicing Grapefruit for the Best Grapefruit Nutrition

To get the most nutritional value from fresh grapefruit juice, here are some things to keep in mind:


  • Wash the fruit very well before cutting into pieces, or peeling
  • Most people remove the rind.  If doing this, try using a potato peeler to take off just the outer most layer of skin, leaving as much of the pith as possible.  (Of course, it’s best to use grapefruit that is free of pesticides or other chemicals that may have seeped into the fruit.)
  • Slice the grapefruit well enough fit into your juicer

  • Juice the grapefruit alone.  With the pith on the fruit, it will make a nice, opaque liquid that will probably be thicker than the clear, nicely – colored juice you might buy in the store.

 

Juicing the fruit yourself can give you numerous benefits from the grapefruit nutrition that  you just can’t get by purchasing pre – made juice in the store.  Not only that, but homemade juice can’t get any fresher, and the taste is unbeatable!

 

* There are possible negative effects of grapefruit juice on the digestion of certain pharmaceuticals, according to Harvard Medical School.(2)  Check with your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet if you are on prescribed medications. 


 Sources:

1) Medical News Today: “Grapefruit and Weight Loss,” 1/24/2004. 

2) www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0206d.shtml

www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-500-PECTIN.aspx?activeIngredientId=500&activeIngredientName=PECTIN


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