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Grapefruit: Sweet, Sour, and Healthy

By Paul Rothbart

The grapefruit was once a staple of slapstick comedy. A well-to-do, high-society couple, enjoying breakfast together. One digs a spoon into a grapefruit half sending a high-powered stream of juice into the other's eye. In fact, in the 1920s, a shield was invented to protect against such an occurrence. Beyond that, grapefruit has a distinctive flavor, a little sweet, a little sour. It's tasty on its own, pairs nicely with cottage cheese, and the juice makes a nice beverage. As a member of the citrus family, grapefruit is also very healthy.

Nutritious and Low in Calories

Grapefruit is one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. It is one of the lowest-calorie fruits but contains a significant amount of nutrition. A medium grapefruit has just 52 calories while providing 64 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 28 percent of Vitamin A. That same grapefruit also contains protein, thiamine, potassium, folate, and magnesium, all essential nutrients. The fiber content of grapefruit also makes it healthy as does the antioxidants it contains.

Aids Weight Loss

There is a reason why people trying to lose weight generally include grapefruit in their diets. The fiber in grapefruit fills you up, reducing cravings, while having very few calories. Grapefruit also contains a significant amount of water which is helpful to losing weight. A study conducted with 91 obese people found that a group which consumed a half grapefruit before each meal lost significantly more weight than the group that did not. The grapefruit group lost an average of 3.5 pounds in a 12-week period compared to less than a pound for the other group. 

Immune System Benefit

Eating grapefruit regularly may boost the immune system. Vitamin C is well known for its antioxidant properties which fight harmful microbes. The Vitamin A in grapefruit is also an antioxidant which has been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against some infectious diseases. Grapefruit also contains small amounts of zinc, copper, iron, and B vitamins, all of which are beneficial to the immune system. 

Prevent Diabetes

Studies have shown that eating grapefruit may help prevent insulin resistance, a contributing factor to diabetes. Insulin resistance leads to higher levels of both insulin and sugar in the body. These greatly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. One study found that subjects who ate half a grapefruit before meals showed much lower levels of insulin and sugar than a group who did not eat grapefruit.

Grapefruit is a traditional diet food. It functions very well in that capacity but can do so much more. Consider adding grapefruit to your daily diet. It may improve your health. If you're worried about squirting juice, you can always buy a shield. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.

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