Here's Why You Should Start Eating More Grapefruit

Who can resist sucking the sour and tart flavor from a white grapefruit or the sweet and tangy juice from a wedge of ruby red variety? Grapefruits are so satisfying and addictive, but they are also good for you. And if you aren't eating or snacking on this fruit, you may want to start. This beautiful citrus was first discovered on the island of Barbados in 1750 (via Fall Hill Pediatrics). The grapefruit is a cross between the Asian pomelo and the Jamaican sweet orange. Its unique way of growing in clusters, like grapes, earned this nutrient-packed fruit the name grapefruit.

The grapefruit's greatest contribution to your daily nutrition probably centers around the concentration of vitamin C it contains in its fleshy fruit. In fact, just half a grapefruit contains 64 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C, and when you consider a medium-size grapefruit contains just 52 calories, you realize it's quite the health bargain (via Healthline). Not to mention, when you factor into your health equation that the grapefruit is a rich source of powerful antioxidants, the avalanche of health benefits this fruit can add to your diet is worth exploring. The grapefruit definitely deserves the title of "superfood" for a number of reasons.

Grapefruit will keep you hydrated

Grapefruit can play an important role in keeping your body hydrated. Proper hydration is vital for our bodies to function properly. It helps to regulate our temperature, protects sensitive tissues, lubricates and cushions joints, and helps breakdown and move food through our system (via Mayo Clinic). We lose water through exercise and sweating, so it's important that it be replenished. That said, it can be tough to try to follow the old school rule of drinking eight glasses of water every day. But the good news: you really don't have to. At least 20 percent of our water intake actually comes from the food we consume. One of the many benefits of eating grapefruit is its water content. Grapefruit is 92 percent water. It's the perfect halftime refresher at soccer games or a boost to your energy after a long trail run (via Health). 

Grapefruit can also help reduce your waistline due to its fiber and water content. Studies have shown that this low-calorie fruit can promote fullness, which can translate into less snacking. One study even showed how eating grapefruit helped one group shed an average of 3.5 pounds over a 12-week period, while a group who did not eat the fruit lost less than one pound over the same period of time.

Red grapefruits have a few more nutrients than white grapefruits

While both red and white varieties of grapefruits have incredible health benefits, the red variety contains more antioxidants, specifically beta carotene and lycopene. Lycopene is believed to lower your risk of heart disease and help prevent some cancers. Studies have also shown it to help lower triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 15 percent. One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that patients who had high cholesterol and had undergone bypass surgery reported a drop in LDL cholesterol levels after eating grapefruit daily for one month, compared to a control group who did not consume the citrus fruit at all. And those who ate red grapefruit were more likely to see this drop. 

Why did red grapefruit eaters see a greater benefit than those who ate white or blond grapefruit? Livestrong notes that the biggest difference between these two varieties is due to the vitamin A content. Red grapefruit provides 50 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A whereas white grapefruit only contains 2 percent. So, if you enjoy the sweetness of the ruby red over the tartness of the white grapefruit, don't feel guilty.

Grapefruit can boost immune system and keep our bodies healthy

Of course, grapefruit is also good for boosting the immune system. Most people know that this citrus fruit contains a large dose of vitamin C and A which helps protect your body from harmful viruses and bacteria. In fact, when many of us feel the common cold coming on, we load up on vitamin C. There is good reason to do so. Eating foods like grapefruit may not prevent us from getting sick, but it has been proven to assist in reducing the amount of time we are under the weather. 

And the benefits don't stop there. Eating grapefruit may also help prevent insulin resistance which can result in diabetes. Insulin is important to our metabolism and controlling blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that eating this fruit before meals can reduce both insulin levels and resistance, thus reducing the possibility of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, adding grapefruit to your daily diet might help reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones can be extraordinarily painful, but it is believed that the citric acid from grapefruit can help by binding to calcium buildup and helps flush it out of your system.  

Bottom line: Grapefruit is a great addition to any balanced diet, and its nutrients can be beneficial in a number of ways. Do keep in mind, though, that grapefruit can interfere with a number of different medications, including drugs that help combat hypertension, so it's extremely important to speak to your physician before eating grapefruit on the regular (via American Heart Association).