Grapefruit Facts; How Mutch Important, Benificial And Interesting?

The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species, sweet orange (C. sinesis) and pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima), both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; and it has also been misidentified with the pomelo.

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    Grapefruit is oblate in shape, ranges in diameter from 3 to 5 inches and can weigh up to 150 g. Characteristically, it has thick, tough skin than that in the oranges. Inside, the fruit is segmented into arils as in other citrus fruits. Its arils are very juicy, acidic, and varying in color depending on the cultivars, which could be white, pink and red of varying sweetness. While some varieties are seedless, there may be upto 50 white, elliptical, pointed seeds about 1/2 inches in length in some.

    Things You May Not Know About This Delicious Fruit:

    In just 1/2 (100g) of a grapefruit there's roughly 60% daily value for vitamin C! That's more than half of your daily need in less than a cup!

    It contains a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which also contributes to the pinkish color in the fruit. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient and has the highest capacity at fighting free radical damage to cells- a very important antioxidant to have in your diet (also found in tomatoes!).

    Eating grapefruit has also been shown to help decrease weight and fat mass in overweight adults and may improve insulin resistance.

    Is considered a low GI (glycemic index) fruit, which basically is a measure of the foods impact on your blood sugar levels. Typically the lower the GI, the better (in most cases). 1/2 of a grapefruit is only 9g of sugar in comparison to higher sugar fruits, which may have upwards to 30g per serving.

    May help reduce body fat in some individuals when mixed with other compounds such as caffeine, grapefruit polyphenols, and other antioxidants found in the berry family of fruits.

    May increase metabolic rate (i.e. metabolism!), by working on a cellular level increasing the amount of ATP, which is a fancy way of saying "cellular energy".

    Health benefits of Grapefruit

    Delicious, grapefruit is very low in calories, consists of just 42 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless; it is rich in dietary insoluble fiber pectin, which works as bulk laxative. Dietary fiber helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

    Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing re-absorption of cholesterol in the colon.

    The fruit contains very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1150 IU per 100g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as naringenin, and naringin. Additionally, it is a moderate source of lycopene, beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein. Studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. The total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of grapefruit is 1548 Ámol TE/100 g.

    Further, vitamin A is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

    It is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C; providing about 52% of DRI. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals. It, furthermore, is required for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue and aids in early wound healing. It also facilitates dietary iron absorption in the intestine.

    100 g of fresh fruit contains about 135 mg of potassium electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium effects.

    Red varieties of grapefruits are especially rich in powerful flavonoid antioxidant, lycopene. Studies shows that lycopene protects skin from dangerous UV rays, and offers protection against prostate cancer.

    Additionally, it contains moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and thiamin in addition to some resourceful minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, and phosphorus.