The grapefruit is actually a hybrid that naturally came about. Its parents are said to be the pomelo (Citrus maxima), a fruit often mistaken for grapefruit, and some varieties of orange.
This hybrid was first encountered in Barbados around mid 1700’s. Then it came to the United States via Florida in the early 1800’s. Since then, several more varieties have been developed such as the Ruby Red and Pink grapefruit. The US is currently the biggest producer of grapefruit.
As with all citrus fruits, the grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C. For every 100 grams of the fruit, you can receive about 33 milligrams of this important vitamin and fulfill 40% of your body’s daily need for it.
But there is more to this fruit than just this crucial vitamin. Read on to discover more of what this fruit has to offer.
Another phytochemical all citrus fruits have is limonoids. This substance is responsible for the bitter flavor that one tastes from such fruits. Growers and manufacturers consider this characteristic undesirable but as it turns out, limonoids have an antioxidant effect and are being studied for their potential anticancer properties.
One of the ways this substance helps against oxidative damage is to increase the body’s production of glutathione S-transferase. This is a class of several enzymes that help clean up the body. They’re involved in the biochemical process that turns toxic compounds into more water soluble forms that are easy to excrete.
Fruits generally have more than adequate amounts of dietary fiber. This is one of their positive contributions to health besides the vitamins and minerals they provide. Pectin is a type of water-soluble dietary fiber that make up the cell walls of fruits. One study involving 27 volunteers diagnosed with high blood pressure was able to show how grapefruit pectin was able to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. This is how dietary fiber is able to lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The varieties of grapefruit that have pinkish or reddish pulp contain lycopene. It’s actually the substance that causes this coloration. Although it is classified as a carotenoid, lycopene is not converted by the body into Vitamin A. Preliminary research however has shown it can work as an antioxidant. It can for example enhance the break down of liver fats and thus reduce dangerous fat build up in that organ.
Grapefruit Practical Uses:
About 90% of a piece of grapefruit is water. It’s one of those fruits that can really help you rehydrate. Of course, given how most varieties are sour, it would probably be better to turn it into a beverage.
- In the same way you make lemonade, you can extract grapefruit juice with an orange squeezer and then add any natural sweetener like stevia or raw pollinated honey.
- Peel and remove the seeds for a smoothie preparation. You can leave as much of the pith as you want to get more dietary fiber. You can also substitute coconut water for plain old water to pack in more nutrients and flavor.
The nutritional substances discussed are found in one degree or another in all parts of the grapefruit. One way you can maximize the fruit’s nutritional value is by using the peel for tea instead of discarding it. Cut the peel into really small pieces and let it boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Take note that this hot drink is quite bitter.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of kiwi that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of grapefruit, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of grapefruit.