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Grapefruit: Superfood for the Gut and the Glow

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benefits of grapefruit

For me, grapefruit has always been an acquired taste. I love it, now. But it always used to leave my lips tingly and, as a sugar-loving child, I instead opted for its sweeter citrus cousin, the orange. Today, though, I couldn't imagine a more perfect fruit. Grapefruit is lower in sugar than other fruits, so it's fit for those who are trying to reduce their sugar intake. Additionally, it is packed with body-loving enzymes and minerals that will boost your health and your beauty. Learn how far this superfood can take you on the trek to achieving your dietary goals!

Because it grows in clusters much like grapes, the grapefruit bears a name reminiscent of the small round sweet fruits. In one half of a grapefruit, you will find 64 percent of your RDA of vitamin C, 28 percent of vitamin A, 5 percent of vitamin B-6, 52 calories, 166 milligrams potassium and 2 grams dietary fiber. The fruit is sweet and tart with a delightful pinkish red or yellow flesh surrounded by a pale orange skin. The grapefruit is orange's less sweeter, but even better, half.

The reason for grapefruit's red color is lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that doubles as a fighting agent against cancer-causing free radicals. Researchers found that simply by eating 1/2 grapefruit before meals, study participants dropped weight. Grapefruit contains a special flavonoid called naringenin, which has been credited for balancing blood sugar levels and helping the liver to burn excess fat instead of storing it. Naringenin has furthermore proven to stimulate DNA repair in prostate cancer cells. The citrus fruit is also beneficial in treated degenerative diseases, cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Its flavonoids have exhibited to ability to reduce inflammation, a condition that is the root of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disorders and its antioxidants reduce cholesterol levels.

Beyond its very apparent health benefits, grapefruit may also be useful in repelling insects. The chemical, nootkatone, is found in citrus fruits and is widely known to repel all sorts of pests – from mosquitoes to ticks – and even kill them. In addition to bugs, grapefruit-derived products have shown to effectively fight off bacteria, viruses and parasites.

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Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks

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