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When you think of grapefruit, you might flinch at the sourness it offers. We don't blame you--it is a procured taste and loved by only certain palates for sure. What do we know about grapefruit anyway? Well for starters, it was discovered on Barbados in 1750 and is a natural cross breeding between the pomelo and an orange. Maybe this is how you get the sweetness and tanginess! It was named grapefruit since it grew in clusters like grapes and was mocked by those who found no use for it. Famed author Oscar Wild once said: "A grapefruit is just a lemon that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it."

In addition to an interesting history, researchers today are still finding the benefits of this fruit that was discovered during the 18th century. They are a vital source of vitamin C and the white pulpy rind is packed with helpful nutrients. They help with kidney stones and they aid in liver function. Grapefruit can lower bad cholesterol and burn belly fat. It contains carotenoid phytonutrient, also known as lycopene, which could shrink tumors. Here are more of the health benefits of grapefruit that you don't want to miss.

Burns Fat

Grapefruit, which is found in a few varieties like yellow, pink and red can help people lose weight. Many citrus foods, including grapefruit, also help the body burn fat. Dr. Ken Fujioka was the author of the "Grapefruit Diet" study and he found that the consumption of grapefruit led to a significant reduction of body fat in 91 obese men and women for 12 weeks. "Eat fruit before any meal and you will lose weight," said Julie Upton, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman." The fiber fills you up, and fruit has fewer calories than other foods. 

Speeds Up Metabolism

With the addition of exercise, grapefruit will help boost your metabolism since it burns fat. Another bonus here! A raised metabolism burns fat when you are not exercising or when the body is at rest. "Researchers at Scripps Clinic found that participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal in a 12-week period lost an average of 3.6 pounds," Prevention reported.

Helps Blood Sugar

The antioxidant naringenin is found in grapefruit and this may help your blood sugar. Diabetesincontrol.com found that grapefruit juice might affect insulin resistance and could help blood glucose levels. "Grapefruit juice improved fasting blood glucose, lowered fasting serum insulin levels and reduced triglycerides." Another asset in consuming grapefruit is it has soluble fiber. This is importance as it slows down the way your body absorbs glucose. When this happens it will prevent the blood sugar from spiking. This may help people with Type 2 diabetes and people diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

Helps the Liver

Detoxification means cleaning the body by removing the impurities from the blood in the liver where the toxins are processed for elimination. Since the liver is the organ that takes a lot of the beating, grapefruit could be a tool to help the liver detoxify. Detoxification will improve overall help alleviate symptoms of depression, stiff muscles and chronic headaches, Lifehack shared.

May Help Gum Disease

Researchers found that eating grapefruit might reverse the damage of gun disease. Researchers found people with gum disease who ate 2 grapefruits a day had less bleeding from their gums. This could be due to the vitamin C found in the fruit. There are 92.5 milligrams of vitamin C in grapefruit! Because of this people need to be mindful as the acid could hurt tooth enamel. British Dental Journal, explained that consuming grapefruit benefits smokers. “Eating grapefruit had a positive effect on both smokers and non-smokers," the BBC reported. "Smoking is known to increase the risk of gum disease.”

Reduces Cholesterol

Grapefruit may lower bad cholesterol like triglycerides, which were lowered by 17 percent. Patients who ate grapefruit showed a decrease in blood lipid levels compared to those who ate no grapefruit. "Red grapefruit was the most effective in lowering triglycerides, the cholesterol often associated with heart problems,” Author and Dr. Joseph Mercola shared.

Helps the Skin

Because of the amount of vitamin C, grapefruit may help reduce damage caused by the sun, the environment and our lifestyle. Vitamin C can boost collagen, fight free radicals and keeps the skin looking fresh and youthful. Grapefruit can hydrate the skin and this helps fight wrinkles. This beauty also has vitamin A, has potassium and has magnesium that promotes a healthy glow while keeping the immune system in check. 

May Lessen Respiratory Issues

According to a report from StyleCraze.com, grapefruit consumption may help those suffering from respiratory issues like asthma and chronic coughs in adults and in children. “The presence of several vitamin and minerals in grapefruit also helps to boost immunity and lessens the duration of the cold.” This is great news for the cold and flu season.

Will Reduce Inflammation

People might experience a reduction in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other inflammation. “Scientists suspect that the link lies in plant compounds found in grapefruits that block the functions of prostaglandins which contribute to inflammation,” Author Cindy Tjol explained. Inflammation is known to cause diseases like cancer and it's wear and tear on the body may cause other autoimmune diseases like lupus.

May Reduce Tumors

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, grapefruit might reduce cancer cells because of it contains naringenin, a flavonoid. "The cancer-preventive effects of citrus fruits demonstrated in epidemiological studies may be due in part to stimulation of DNA repair by NR, which by stimulating BER processes may prevent mutagenic changes in prostate cancer cells.” Grapefruit is being studied to combat other cancers as well like breast cancer and lung cancer.
 
Whew, grapefruit sure has some mighty benefits. So, pucker up and enjoy this savory delight as it may improve your health overall. Science is still testing how different foods can help the body and help fight disease, but as long as we are open to the data and keep an open mind, who knows what else we might find about grapefruit. If eating one makes you sour, look into grapefruit capsules or grapefruit essential oils to get the benefits from this overlooked fruit.
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