Yes, Grapefruit is Paleo!
Grapefruit: Description, Origin and Varieties
Tart, tangy, semi-sweet and somewhat bitter; this is what describes grapefruit best when it comes to taste. Not everyone likes it because of the bitter taste of its pith but you’ll be amazed with its capabilities.
Grapefruit is a large, subtropical citrus fruit that is related to orange, pomelo and lemon. It was discovered in the 18th century and originated in Barbados. It is a hybrid between orange and pomelo and often mistaken as the latter. Grapefruit’s name refers to the clusters of the fruit on the tree like with grapes. They come in many varieties but the most popular ones are the ruby, white and pink. These are not the colors of the grapefruit’s skin but its flesh or pulp.
Compared to other citrus fruits, grapefruit has a strong taste and odor that comes from mercaptan which is a sulfur-containing terpene.
Nutritional Value of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is rich source of vitamins A and C. It is also a good source of pantothenic acid, copper, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin and vitamin B1. Grapefruit also contains phytochemicals including liminoids and lycopene.
Grapefruits are low in calories and have glycemic index of 25. It is made up of 92% water making it one of the most watery fruits available. Grapefruit is also fairly low in sugar.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Consuming fruits and vegetables has long been associated with reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. There is a wide array of benefits provided by grapefruit derived from its various nutrients and phytochemicals. Many studies have been conducted on this fruit and they are associated with decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Grapefruit contains natural antioxidants that ward off harmful effects of free radicals to the body. These include vitamins A in the form of beta carotene, vitamin C, lycopene and flavanones. All these antioxidants work together to prevent certain diseases caused by free radicals.
Boost Immune System
The high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants found in grapefruit may prevent common cold and protect the cells against harmful bacteria and viruses.
Metabolism and Weight Loss
Studies have shown that eating grapefruit works as an appetite suppressant and can promote weigh loss because it is a low caloric food that can easily fill you up and make you feel satiated. It also speeds up metabolism therefore supporting weight loss.
With fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline present in grapefruit, it has the ability to maintain a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of stroke.
The fiber content in grapefruit can add bulk to stool that therefore controls constipation and promotes regularity. It improves the flow of digestive juices, easing the movement of bowel and keeping the excretory system regulated.
Another benefit of vitamin C and antioxidants is that it can combat the formation of free radicals that can cause cancer. Lycopene per se has been linked to decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Because grapefruit is 92% water, it is full of important electrolytes that can prevent dehydration and promote overall health.
Grapefruit intake can help regular flow of sugar in the body in diabetic patients due to its flavanoid contents.
Possible Risks in Consuming Grapefruit
Grapefruit has an enzyme binding ability and therefore should be consumed in moderation or avoided at all when taking certain medications. The medication can pass from the gut to the blood stream faster than normal. Some of the most common medications that can interact with grapefruit are statin drugs, calcium channel blockers and psychiatric drugs.
Naringenin is a compound in grapefruit that slows down detoxification and metabolism processes that hinders the body’s ability to breakdown these medications. Make sure to consult your doctor before consuming grapefruit to avoid problems.
Other Names for Grapefruit
What Experts Say About Grapefruit
“If you are a devout follower of Paleo, then you know that we encourage eating fruits such as grapefruit. In addition to being low in calories, it is also a great source of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, vitamin B5, and vitamin B9.1 Furthermore grapefruit is packed with fiber, and phytonutrients like lycopene, limonoids and flavanones.” – Dr. Loren Cordain
“If you do enjoy grapefruit and you want to play around with it, have half a grapefruit each day. It’s fairly low in sugar and research suggests that the flavonoids may provide a boost to your metabolic health. You’ll be getting 300-400 mg a day that way, which is a safe, moderate dose.” – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Grapefruit and Paleo
Mark’s Daily Apple. Dear Mark: Soy Lecithin, Healthy Fat Alternatives, Wasted Workouts, and Magic Grapefruit
The Paleo Diet. Grapefruits: The Best Boost for Your Arteries
Paleo Porn. Is Grapefruit Paleo?
Paleo Grubs. Healthiest Paleo Diet Foods
Paleo Leap. Broiled Grapefruit
Paleo Wired. 4 Grapefruit Benefits of Paleo
Organic Facts. 13 Wonderful Benefits Of Grapefruit
The World’s Healthiest Foods. Grapefruit
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photo credit: Carl R Jr. Breakfast