Merely hearing the name of this juicy fruit, or seeing it in the produce aisle, can make our palates cringe and our face scrunch up. Although the slightly bitter and sour grapefruit may not cater to some taste buds, its red, pink, and white pulp varieties are loaded with vitamins and minerals, which add on to its touted health benefits. The moon-shaped fruit is not only rich in vitamin C, but it also provides us with unexpected benefits — from our immune system to our metabolism.
1. Strengthens Immune System
It is well known any fruit rich in vitamin C will strengthen and support our immune system. Vitamin C works with other micronutrients that provide good and regular nourishment for the body. Micronutrient deficiencies of vitamins A, B6, C, and E have been found to alter immune responses in animals and are thought to have a similar effect on the human immune response.
Maintaining good levels of vitamin C in the body can reduce the severity of cold symptoms, acting as a natural antihistamine. This makes it helpful in controlling allergies, since it reduces histamine levels.
2. Boosts Metabolism
Grapefruit is a popular diet staple among those looking to lose weight. A high metabolism can continue to burn fat in the body even when it is resting.
3. Reduces Kidney Stones Risk
Naringenin — known for its bitter taste of grapefruit — has been found to successfully prevent the formation of kidney cysts.
4. Fights Gum Disease
Simply eating two grapefruits a day can prevent and even reverse damage caused by gum disease.
5. Protects Against Cancer
The antioxidant vitamin C has been linked to decrease the risk of certain cancers. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found grapefruits help repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. Naringenin stimulates DNA repair in these cancer cells and protects the body from developing cancer.
6. Reduces Stress
You don’t necessarily have to ingest grapefruit to reap its benefits. The smell of citrus fruit can make a difference on curbing our stress and anxiety levels, and depression.