6 Benefits of Grapefruit For Weight Loss
It is believed that within the past three hundred years, sweet oranges and pomelos were crossbred to produce the sweet and tangy fruit that is today known as the grapefruit. Originally native to Southeast Asia, the grapefruit has spread around the world and is popular in many different cuisines. Grapefruit is a great addition to any diet, as it is full of vitamin C and lycopene, which can help fight cancer. It is also a great source of antioxidants, which help prevent a host of different diseases. However, one of the greatest benefits of grapefruit is its ability to help promote healthy weight loss.
Below are great reasons to add grapefruit into your weight loss diet:
1. Grapefruit Kick Starts Your Metabolism
There are many different factors that affect your metabolism, including age, muscle mass, genetics, gender, and the environment in which you live. While it is only one aspect of weight loss and maintenance, diet can play a part in boosting your metabolism.
There are many different foods that can help boost metabolism, such as garlic, green tea, and hot peppers and there is emerging evidence that grapefruit can help you kickstart your metabolism as well. (1) Of course, consuming food that is low in calories and in sugar is a great way to start your morning, so that could also contribute towards shedding excess weight.
In addition, studies show that making a habit out of eating a fiber-rich breakfast can set the tone for the rest the day and reduce overall caloric intake. (2)
2. Grapefruit is a Great Source of Dietary Fiber
While there are many different components to your weight loss efforts, including moderation, avoiding overly processed foods, and exercise, one of the most important parts of weight loss is the amount of fiber you are getting from your diet.
Fiber is a healthy carbohydrate that is found in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. While most people try to avoid carbohydrates while they are attempting to lose weight, fiber is not easily digested by the body, and passes through the digestive system relatively quickly. Not only does fiber keep the digestive system healthy, it also prevents toxins from being reabsorbed in the intestines.
Fiber also keeps you feeling full longer to help avoid overeating or ruining your diet with sweets throughout the day. (3) In one half of a medium grapefruit, you’ll be getting at least six percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber for healthy adults.
3. Grapefruit Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Regulating blood sugar is an ongoing battle since so many people are afflicted with diabetes. Once you have it, knowing which foods are good for you and which can trigger an unhealthy spike in your blood sugar levels is crucial.
Recent studies have shown that grapefruit can help to regulate blood glucose levels, which can help decrease the risk of diabetes as well as help regulate insulin levels for current diabetes. (4) Of course, while diet is an important part of diabetes management, it is very important to discuss any sort of changes to your treatment plan with your doctor or healthcare provider.
4. Grapefruit Has High Water Content
The average person is advised to consume at least sixty-four ounces of water throughout their day in order to stay properly hydrated. Hydration needs may change depending on the person’s location and activity level, so another rule of thumb to be guide by is that one must have clear pee at least three times throughout the day.
Those who are trying to lose weight should be concerned with staying properly hydrated because thirst could be easily mistaken for hunger, which could lead to overeating or excessive caloric intake.
Consume adequate amounts of water along with fruits and vegetables with high water content such as grapefruit, cucumber, watermelon and zucchini. (5)
5. Grapefruit is Low in Calories
Including incorporating healthy fats, essential nutrients, fiber, and cardiovascular exercise are great lifestyle changes you can implement in an effort to shed a few inches, but you simply cannot ignore the body’s energy balance. Think of calories in versus calories out; what you take in must equal what you burn or expend in order to maintain your weight. If this balance is disrupted, it can result in weight gain or weight loss.
When trying to lose weight, you want to expend more energy than you’re consuming so that the body will turn to its body fat stores for energy. While strict calorie counting is not necessary, it is important to know how many healthy calories versus unhealthy calories you’re consuming in the day, as two hundred healthy calories from fruits and vegetables can be more beneficial to weight loss goals than one hundred unhealthy calories from junk food and candy.
As part of the many other benefits that grapefruit offer, this fruit is very low in calories, as one serving, or one half of a medium size grapefruit, only contains approximately fifty calories. (6) When taking into account how much fiber and essential nutrients that grapefruit offers, as well as the low amount of calories, it is clearly an excellent alternative to more calorie-dense fruits such as cantaloupe or banana.
6. Grapefruit Can Be Integrated Into Your Diet in Many Ways
As with any successful weight loss diet, it is important to keep your diet interesting. If you become bored with your weight loss diet, it is easy to relapse back into your old, unhealthy habits that impeded your weight loss efforts or caused your weight gain in the first place.
As a sweet and tangy fruit, grapefruit can be used in many different ways. Try incorporating grapefruit into vegetable salads for a sweet and tangy addition. Adding grapefruit to your morning yogurt is a good way to add flavor and fiber without too many extra calories or sugar. Additionally, to take a new twist on your salsa for tacos or Tex-Mex salad, add grapefruit along side your tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro.
What is the Best Way to Consume Grapefruit?
Realistically, the best way to consume grapefruit is raw, with no sweeteners or additives. Since grapefruit can be somewhat sour, if you need to add a sweetener to it, avoid refined sugars and stick to a small amount of honey instead. Honey contains minerals and essential amino acids that will not disrupt your weight loss efforts, though it does contain a lot of calories so be sure to moderate your intake of honey or syrup.
While not as great for weight loss, grapefruit juice can also be a good option for weight loss. If possible, find a brand of grapefruit juice that does not have any added refined sugars and has much pulp as possible so you do not completely lose the benefits of fiber.
Grapefruit extract pills do not come close to the nutritional benefits of eating a grapefruit. These can be a good part of a healthy diet, but should not take the place of grapefruit and other fruits and vegetables in weight loss efforts.
With the United States producing the second highest number of grapefruit annually, it is no surprise that many Americans enjoy grapefruit for a variety of different reasons.
Many consider grapefruit to be a superfruit, as it is high in nutrients, fiber, and water content, but is still low in calories. For whatever reason you chose to consume grapefruit in your diet, know that it is an excellent addition with regards to weight loss and overall health.