Grapefruit, also known as citrus paradise. is relatively new on the nutritional scene as it was first discovered in Barbados around the 18 th century.
History credits Captain Shaddock for first cultivating seeds from the orange and pomelo that ultimately led to the naturally occurring cross breed that we now enjoy.
Early in the 19 th century, some Florida farmers brought grapefruit to America and later that century it became a popular commercial crop.
Today, the major producers of grapefruit are Arizona, California, Florida, Texas and other countries like Brazil, Israel and South Africa.
Grapefruit has many health benefits, uses and forms. Along with consuming the entire fruit, grapefruit juice, grapefruit essential oil and grapefruit seed extract can all be used to benefit your health.
Grapefruit Nutrition Facts
In addition to being a low calorie food low on the glycemic index. 1 medium-sized grapefruit is loaded with over 80 nutrients including:
- Vitamin C (107.4%)
- Vitamin A (79%)
- Pantothenic acid (14.4%)
- Copper (13.2%)
- Fiber (11.2%)
- Potassium (10%)
- Biotin (8.4%)
- Vitamin B1 (8.2%)
As you can see, this is a nutrient dense superfood.
5 Grapefruit Benefits
What’s fascinating about grapefruit is the fat burning and healing properties property of grapefruit starts even before you take your first bite!
Researchers from Japan evaluated how olfactory stimulation (smelling the aroma of grapefruit oil) affects autonomic nerves, lipolysis (fat metabolism) and appetite and this is what they discovered:
- The scent of grapefruit oil excites specific sympathetic nerves that supply the brown adipose tissue and adrenal glands, which help stimulate weight loss. Smelling grapefruit oil slows down the parasympathetic gastric nerve, which is the body’s primary mechanism of stimulating ghrelin-induced feeding (the body’s natural process that gives people the munchies). Local anesthesia of the nasal passages using xylocaine eliminated these changes, which highlights that the essential oil vapor must reach the brain to be effective. Additionally, plasma glycerol levels were elevated, which is a sign of weight loss as energy stores are metabolized into glucose. Finally, body fat is broken down by the enzymes found in grapefruit.
Ultimately, this unbelievable study showed that just three 15-minute exposures to grapefruit essential oil each week reduced appetite and body weight!
Here are some key health benefits of grapefruit:
1. Grapefruit Weight Loss
New research is revealing that consuming grapefruit benefits weight loss in a a major way. The key may be an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that is found in Grapefruit. AMPK’s helps your body utilize sugar which results in boosting your metabolism resulting in weight loss .
AMPK is generally activated during exercise to help muscles use stored sugar and fat for energy. But, AMPK can also be activated by foods like grapefruit which are high in nootkatone which activates fat-burning enzymes.
Nootkatone a component found in grapefruit has been shown to significantly increase fat-burning (AMPK) activity. Nootkatone also increases calorie burn and reduces stomach fat accumulation in rats. Consider grapefruit as vitamin C- rich snack, add grapefruit slices to a spinach salad, or even into an immune boosting smoothie.
2. Cellulite Reduction
As the saying goes, “a grapefruit a day keeps the cellulite away!” According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. the primary way grapefruit can be used to reduce cellulite is through inhaling the vapor of the extract because it stimulates the nervous system by 250%. Additionally, we have found that other forms of grapefruit are beneficial.
Fresh Grapefruit Juice : It has been reported that grapefruit contains significant levels of anti-inflammatory and skin cleansing agents including the enzyme bromelain, which is known
to break down cellulite. To maximize the benefits of this cellulite burner, consider fasting 1 day per week drinking only freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and purified water. Not only will this habit give your digestive system a well-needed break, you’ll regularly burn off unsightly cellulite!
Grapefruit Essential Oil Salve: Grapefruit essential oil should also be used topically in a carrier such as coconut or almond oil because it helps reduce cellulite and fat by detoxifying skin and increasing circulation. Add 10 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of pure coconut or almond oil and massage on skin where toning and firming is needed.
Being rich in Vitamin C. you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t agree that eating grapefruit is a healthy way to start your day. The red and pink varieties are especially packed with bioflavonoids and provide you with an extra immunity boost! But did you know that Nigerian herbalists have been using an alcohol decoction of grapefruit seed to treat anemia and diabetes for centuries?
The Nigerian Quarterly of Hospital Medicine published the first ever evaluation of this practice in 2008 and discovered that African folklore has deep roots in evidenced-based science. In addition to proving that oral treatments of methanol seed extract of Citrus paradisi Macfad (MECP) resulted in significant reductions in triglycerides and total cholesterol, the research revealed that fasting plasma glucose levels were reduced at levels comparable to metaformin (a commonly prescribed diabetes drug).
The secret to reversing such a variety of risk factors for chronic disease could be the abundant supply of phytochemicals contained within MECP. According to the study, “Phytochemical result showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, tannins and saponin in varying concentrations. The biological effects recorded for the extract could be due to any or a combination of these phytochemical constituents.”
4. Brain Function
Uncovering that it inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by up to 25%, the widespread effects of grapefruit essential oil on cognitive function are exemplified in a Japanese study published in the journal Natural Product Letters. AChE is an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and has been used extensively in medicine to treat the following disorders:
It is interesting to note that most common side effects associated with taking ACE inhibitors for these conditions are related to gastrointestinal complaints and include loss of appetite and weight loss. This is where grapefruit essential oil stands a head above the rest! Can you imagine a medicine that helps restore neurocognitive function, helps you lose weight and has relatively no side effects at all? It’s called grapefruit!
5. Grapefruit for Skin Cleansing
If you haven’t noticed, there are a variety of cosmetic and skin cleansing products on the market that have grapefruit in them. This Neutrogena add says it all”
Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes – Pink Grapefruit
Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes feature soft, pre-moistened wipes that thoroughly cleanse skin of pore clogging impurities, all with an uplifting blast of pink grapefruit. Oil-free and ideal for acne-prone skin, the wipes sweep away pore-clogging dirt and oil in one simple step, leaving skin clean with no greasy residue, so there’s no need to rinse!
Grapefruit contains natural acids that cleanse then skin as well as vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant to protect the skin and quercitin which improves circulation. Also, grapefruit is high in potassium which supports cellular cleansing and helps tighten and tone the skin.
Obviously, the cleansing prowess of grapefruit has reached mainstream, and rightfully so! The combination of the anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting and neurocognitive restorative properties that we just discussed create a powerful dynamic describing how grapefruit products help rid the body of toxins and excess waste.