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6 Great Things About Grapefruit

While it is a pretty popular fruit, the benefits of grapefruit may not be well known. Read on to learn about some of the positive ways grapefruit can affect your health.
When you think about common fruits that can provide benefits for your health, you might not immediately think grapefruit. However, grapefruit contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that can step up your health game. In addition, new research has illustrated that drinking the juice of grapefruit can supply significant support for multiple aspects of your health, including weight loss and blood sugar regulation. Let's explore some of the great ways grapefruits may be able to enhance your wellness.
1. Protects your skin
Grapefruit is brimming with nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and magnesium. The antioxidant vitamin C works to protect your skin from sun damage and also improve its overall appearance, tone and texture. In addition, grapefruit can provide hydration and contribute to forming collagen, one of the substances that is responsible for your skin's elasticity, firmness and fullness. Grapefruit essential oil can be applied to the skin after you dilute and combine it with a carrier oil like jojoba or avocado; however, it's best to do this before bedtime because wearing grapefruit on your skin and going out in the sun can cause strong, adverse reactions. 
2. Lowers LDL cholesterol
Pectin fiber is a form of fiber that can reduce hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, and it's another ingredient found in grapefruit. By cutting down LDL “bad” cholesterol, grapefruit can also knock out many triglycerides and encourage healthy cholesterol levels. According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red grapefruit might be more effective than blond grapefruit at lowering blood triglycerides because of its lycopene content or other nutrients.
3. Provides heart support
With the nutrients vitamin C, lycopene, potassium and fiber, grapefruit can provide significant support for maintaining the health of your heart. Potassium in particular can contribute to lowering blood pressure, and the other nutrients in grapefruit can improve your blood lipid levels, fight ischemic stroke and also prevent narrowing of the arteries—all of which can have an effect on your heart. 
4. Fights diabetes
According to recent research from UC Berkeley, grapefruit juice may be able to lower blood glucose and insulin levels, helping to regulate your blood sugar and fight diabetes. The presence of flavonoids and other nutrients in grapefruit may play a part in its effect on blood sugar.
5. May contribute to weight loss
You may have heard about grapefruit being a contributor to weight loss in the past, but now there is more solid evidence for the claim. UC Berkeley researched the effect that drinking grapefruit juice had on test rats who were fed high-fat diets. The study demonstrated that rats on high-fat diets that drank grapefruit juice gained 18 percent less weight than water-drinking rats on high-fat diets; in addition, the rats that drank grapefruit juice on a high-fat also illustrated a 13 to 17 percent decrease in blood glucose levels and a threefold decrease in insulin levels. Pending human research, this new study could help solidify the connection between grapefruit juice and weight loss. 
6. Supplies antioxidant protection
Grapefruits are loaded with antioxidants, which can provide defense against cell-damaging free radicals and oxidation. Antioxidants work to scavenge free radicals and remove them from your body, preventing your cells from enduring damage. In addition, antioxidants can help prevent cancers caused by free radicals and benefit your immune system for an overall improvement in fighting illness. 
Overall, grapefruits can provide many benefits for your health, with their nutrient-rich composition; red grapefruit is typically perceived to have more antioxidants and vitamins than the other types of grapefruit. However, consuming grapefruit is not right for everyone. If you're on any medications, it's advisable that you do not eat grapefruit or drink its juice, as it can cause adverse reactions. In addition, when applying grapefruit oil to your skin, it's important to first talk to a professional about the proper way to dilute it and do a test patch to ensure that you do not experience any allergic reactions. 
About The Author
Dr. Matt Marturano is a licensed naturopathic physician and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Matt also has a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Dr. Matt's practice, Natural Solutions for Digestive Health is located in Rochester Hills, Michigan where he specializes in digestive disorders and offers a holistic approach to digestive health symptoms. In addition, Dr. Marturano currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the Director of Recruitment - Integrative Medicine for Orchid Holistic Search.
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