Think the "grapefruit diet" belongs to weight loss folklore? Actually, not quite. Interestingly, Researchers at the Scripps Clinic found that those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6 pounds, while those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. Many subjects lost more than 10 pounds in the study. Grapefruit's low calorie count (60 calories per 1/2 grapefruit) combined with its high fiber and water content may explain these weight loss benefits. Grapefruit is also commonly thought to combat sweet cravings.
While all grapefruit are high in vitamin C, the pink and red varieties are also an excellent source of vitamin A and give you a significant amount of lycopene which is a potent antioxidant. Lycopene that may reduce the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. One study, out of the University of Manchester, showed eating lycopene-rich fruit resulted in 33% more protection against sunburn, who knew? Grapefruits are also loaded with other anti-cancer phytochemicals, such as limonoids which research shows may reduce the risk of cancer by stimulating the body's natural detoxification enzymes.
It is important to keep in mind that a phytochemical found in grapefruit, naringenin, can affect how some medications are absorbed in the intestine - and may actually raise or lower drug levels in blood. Consult your physician if you are taking prescribed medications and frequently consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
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