Originally from the Caribbean, the citrus fruit is not popular with everyone – after all, it is unusually bitter compared to other fruits. Yet it is precisely these bitter substances, among others, that are so healthy and can even help you lose weight. We give 5 good reasons to put the grapefruit on your shopping list more often in the near future.
What makes grapefruit so healthy?
Citrus fruits, whether lemon, orange or grapefruit, are healthy – that much is clear: vitamins without end! However, grapefruit has particularly positive effects on your body. Before confusion arises: The grapefruit should not be confused with the grapefruit (also called pomelo), because the grapefruit is a cross between grapefruit and orange. Unlike the more pear-shaped grapefruit, the grapefruit is much smaller and rounder. Both are healthy, however.
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1. grapefruit contains few calories
If you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you consume. In other words, you need a negative calorie balance at the end of the day. And that is often easier said than done.
Grapefruit contain few calories, but all the more vitamins. © KimDaniels / shutterstock.com
Snack dueine handful of grapes (165 grams) you already have 117 calories more on your account. Even a banana (110 grams) already has 105 calories. Half a grapefruit, on the other hand, has only 65 calories. And the good thing is that, unlike grapes, bananas and other sweet fruits, the bitter and sour taste does not give you the irrepressible desire to keep eating.
2. grapefruit contains many important vitamins
Vitamins, trace elements, bitter substances, antioxidants – the grapefruit is bursting with healthy nutrients. In addition to vitamins A, B2, B6, potassium and calcium, grapefruit contains plenty of vitamin C, 44 milligrams per 100 grams. In comparison: 100 grams of raspberries contain 22 milligrams, 100 grams of apple 12 milligrams.
Furthermore, the citrus fruit contains quite a lot of lycopene (1.3 milligrams per 100 grams). The red plant pigment, which belongs to the secondary plant substances, catches DNA -harming free radicals and makes them harmless. Thus, lycopene prevents the hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) and helps with high blood pressure.
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3. dietary fibres make you full and stimulate digestion
The grapefruit contains a lot of pectin, which is one of the indigestible fibres. Dietary fibres are fibre-rich ingredients of plant foods such as fruit and vegetables. They are linked sugar molecules which the intestines cannot digest at all or only partially. Fibres bind water, causing them to swell and thicken the intestinal contents.
Your blood sugar level rises only very slowly after eating fibre, for example in the form of a grapefruit. Less insulin is released and annoying attacks of hunger are avoided. In addition, pectins can lower increased cholesterol levels in the blood by binding bile acid. This additionally reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
4. bitter substances and vitamin C stimulate the burning of fat
Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants. This radical scavenger not only strengthens your immune system, it also promotes the release of noradrenaline. Noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for releasing fat from the cells.
The refreshing grapefruit juice stimulates digestion and metabolism. © FlamingoImages / shutterstock.com
The bitter substance naringin also has a positive effect on fat burning and also lowers the blood sugar level after a meal. The bitter substance also stimulates digestion and supports your metabolism. Because of the stimulating effect, you should not eat the grapefruit just before you go to sleep – otherwise your sleep could suffer.
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5. grapefruit inhibits appetite
Bitter substances are also known to curb the appetite. Try it out, incorporate the grapefruit into your diet plan. Half a grapefruit can already make you feel fuller for longer, but also reduce your craving for sweets. As a general rule of thumb, the yellower the peel, the fewer calories and the more naringin the fruit has.
How to eat or peel a grapefruit?
There are 3 easy ways to prepare the grapefruit. In the first method you peel the grapefruit like an orange. Cut off both ends of the fruit and score the skin on the sides 4 times with a knife. Then use a knife or a spoon to remove the peel from the flesh of the fruit and you have the delicious flesh fillets.
In the second method, you cut the grapefruit in half. You will see that the grapefruit is made of several ‘chambers’. Cut along these chambers with a small knife and remove the flesh, which you can then spoon out with a teaspoon.
You can either cut the grapefruit in half and spoon it, or peel it like an orange. © NewAfrica / shutterstock.com
In the last method, you cut the grapefruit in two and press it out easily with a juicer. Ready is your freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
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Is the intake of grapefruit seed extract useful?
Tablets with grapefruit seed extract are now available everywhere on the Internet. Several studies suggest that grapefruit seed extract can help against various bacteria, fungi and viruses. However, it is questionable whether the supplement has a positive effect on general health and on losing weight in particular. Take the real fruit instead!
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In general: Instead of resorting to supposed miracle cures, you should rather eat a balanced and varied diet. Fruit and vegetables, as well as high-quality protein and healthy fats provide you with all the important nutrients you need.
How does grapefruit work in combination with medicines?
Grapefruit contains so-called furanocoumarins, secondary plant substances that can impair the effect of some drugs. If you are taking anticoagulants, the contraceptive pill, sleeping pills or antidepressants, it is better to remove grapefruit from your diet.
If you are not sure whether you should avoid grapefruit for medicinal substances, seek medical advice. By the way: the effect lasts up to 24 hours and is not only caused by the fresh fruit but also by grapefruit juice.
What are delicious grapefruit recipes?
Fancy some grapefruit? Wonderful, then try these fantastic recipes. Because the grapefruit doesn’t always have to be available pure or in juice. You can use the citrus fruit in many ways and refine numerous dishes with its fruity taste.
Recipe for a refreshing grapefruit lemonade
This lemonade is perfect for the summer. The grapefruit gives the lemonade a fruity note that harmonizes with the tangy lime.
Recipe for a grilled grapefruit with coconut yoghurt
Barbecue is the order of the day! Besides steak, corn on the cob and zucchini you can try something unusual: Grapefruit with coconut yoghurt is a perfect dessert.
Recipe for a quinoa salad with grapefruit and mozzarella
Nutty quinoa harmonizes perfectly with the intense grapefruit. Fresh mint and buffalo mozzarella round off the dish.
The grapefruit tastes bitter at the beginning, but you will quickly get used to it. Soon you will even love the fruity fresh taste. Because the citrus fruit not only helps you lose weight, it also strengthens your immune system.