Regular consumption of this fruit has multiple benefits for the body, but be careful, because it also has some contraindications.

A woman holds a grapefruit.

This citrus fruit has a multitude of properties that make it an ideal breakfast companion. About 90% of this fruit is water, which gives it satiating properties. In addition, it has fewer calories than other citrus fruits such as mandarin or orange and is compatible for diabetics since it has a low glycemic index, that is, it does not have a significant negative impact on blood sugar levels.

Grapefruit, thanks to its low caloric intake and the large amount of water that it is composed of, is a great ally for healthy weight maintenance. Without being a miracle food, it is an ideal addition to a healthy diet and an active life. For example, a 12-week study from the Scripps Research Center, USA, analyzed and monitored the weight and metabolic characteristics of 91 participants of both genders.

Three times a day before each meal, a control group received placebo capsules along with an orange juice, another a grapefruit juice and a placebo, while the following groups received half a grapefruit and a placebo and grapefruit capsules with juice of Apple. The results revealed that the participants who consumed fresh grapefruit had a notable reduction in glucose levels, related to the accumulation of body fat, and greater weight loss compared to other groups.

It is not fat burning

Grapefruit not a magic fat burning food, does not contain any element that burns fat per se. Several studies have tried to dispel this false myth, concluding that indeed this fruit does not provide any special benefits related to weight loss directly.

C vitamin

In this citrus, oxalic, tartaric, malic and citric acids abound, which in addition to giving it its characteristic flavor, intervenes in the formation of collagen, teeth and bones, and red blood cells. It also favors the absorption of iron and promotes resistance to infections. Among the vitamins it has, apart from C, it has vitamin B1, B2 and vitamin A.

Regarding its nutritional value, for every 100 grams it has 35 calories, 23 milligrams of calcium, 0.1 of iron, 9 of magnesium, 200 of potassium and 20 of phosphorus, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Good for the eyes

Grapefruit beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A as the body needs it. These pigments belonging to the group of carotenoids, in addition to being excellent antioxidants, protect eyesight from diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Against diabetes

In addition to the aforementioned beta-carotene, grapefruit is rich in naringenin. An antioxidant substance related to the bitter taste of this fruit, which would be beneficial for patients with diabetes. This helps the liver break down fat and thus increase insulin sensitivity, according to a report from the Massachusetts General Hospital, USA and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Specifically, naringenin activates a family of proteins that cause the breakdown of fatty acids by the liver, thus mimicking the action of drugs such as the lipid-lowering fenofibrate and the antidiabetic rosiglitazone.

Good for the heart

Other flavonoids, such as naringenin, contained in grapefruit are naringin and quercetin, nutrients that have positive effects on the heart, improving circulation. They are also related to the regulation of cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Protects from having a stroke

According to the American Heart Association, consuming citrus fruits such as orange or grapefruit, may lower the risk of ischemic stroke in women, that is, the obstruction of a cerebral artery as a consequence of the formation of a clot. Specifically, the study, carried out during seven years of follow-up to men and women, indicates that the risk falls by 19%.

Contraindications

Grapefruit can interfere with some medications since this citrus fruit has the ability to bind to enzymes, causing the drug not to act as it should and even enhancing the levels of the medication in the blood. Something that in the case of people taking cyclosporine to avoid rejection of a transplanted organ would be positive, as a study carried out by researchers from the National University of Fiji exposes. The results show that, with the consumption of grapefruit, patients could reduce the dose of cyclosporine they take.

This citrus fruit is not recommended for people who suffer from stomach diseases such as ulcers or gastritis, since grapefruit stimulates the production of gastric juices.