(NaturalNews) Grapefruits have been around since the 18th century when they were discovered in Barbados. Botanists think the grapefruit is the result of natural cross breading between the orange and the pomelo. While their origin may not be fully understood one thing is certain: grapefruits are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals and researchers are continuously adding to grapefruit's long list of health benefits.
Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to support the immune system and can help reduce cold symptoms or the severity of the cold symptoms. Vitamin C may also reduce the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have shown that eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Grapefruits not only contain high amounts of vitamin C, but they also contain large amounts of potassium, vitamin A, and Fiber. Grapefruit contains pectin which is a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol and slow the buildup of plaque on the inside walls of blood vessels. Ruby red grapefruit juice also contains lycopene which helps prevent LDL (bad cholesterol) from damaging artery walls. Drinking the juice will give you all of the vitamins and minerals that the actual fruit does but it doesn't contain the fiber.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that drinking 2-4 cups daily of grapefruit, apple or orange juice reduced the risk of developing kidney stones. Drinking grapefruit juice is also an excellent way to detoxify the liver.
Another study that was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry shows that grapefruits help repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States. The older men become the more times their cells divide. The more times their cells divide, the greater the chance of their DNA mutating. Grapefruits help the body repair the damaged DNA and protect the body from developing cancer.
Not only can grapefruits keep you healthy, they can also help you lose weight. Research led by Dr. Ken Fujioka from the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic in California, has shown that people can lose weight eating grapefruits or drinking its juice. In a 12 week study, 100 participants ate what they normally ate each day and only slightly increased the amount of time they exercised. The participants were divided into three groups: one group drank 6 ounces of grapefruit juice before meals, one group ate half a grapefruit before meals, and one group did not eat or drink grapefruit juice. On average, the participants who ate grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice lost nearly 4 pounds, with many losing more than 10 pounds.
Grapefruits are a great way to improve your health and lose weight. They have been a popular diet food for a long time and research has proven they are effective at helping you lose weight and improve your health. However, grapefruit and its juice should not be taken while using certain prescriptions. If you're currently taking prescription medication check with your doctor before adding grapefruits to your diet.
Maddie is a health and fitness enthusiast who likes to research and write about all health and green living topics. She writes about herbal remedies for Sassafras Station, a health and fitness website, and edits the blog at http://www.sassafrasstation.com/blog/ .