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Citrus paradisi
Biological Name

Citrus paradisi

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Grapefruit stimulates the appetite and is used for its digestive, stomachic, antiseptic, tonic, and diuretic qualities.

Grapefruit and Weight Loss Diets

Over the years a number of people have promoted the grapefruit as possessing a unique ability to burn away fat. People following grapefruit diets lose weight because they eat little else-a practice that can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Grapefruits, however, are a good food to include in a sensible weight-loss diet; a serving contains less than 100 calories, and its high-fiber content satisfies hunger. If you're trying to lose weight, make grapefruit your first course to help prevent overeating. It's also an ideal snack food.

Grapefruit and Cholesterol Control

Grapefruits are especially high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol.

Grapefruit for Cancer Control

Recent studies indicate that grapefruits contain substances that are useful in preventing several diseases. Pink and red grapefruits are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that appears to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers have not yet identified lycopene's mechanism of action, but a 6-year Harvard study involving 48,000 doctors and other health professionals has linked 10 servings of lycopene-rich foods a week with a 50 percent reduction in prostate cancer.

Other protective plant chemicals found in grapefruits include phenolic acid, which inhibits the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines; limonoids, terpenes, and monoterpenes, which induce the production of enzymes that help prevent cancer; and bioflavonoids, which inhibit the action of hormones that promote tumor growth.

Other Uses of Grapefruit

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory disorders find that eating grapefruit daily seems to alleviate their symptoms. This is thought to stem from plant chemicals that block Prostaglandins, substances that cause inflammation.

Grapefruit is believed to be native to Jamaica. It is sometimes confused with the pomelo (Citrus maxima), which is a close relation but is larger and pear-shaped.

The grapefruit tree can grow to a height of 26 to 30 feet. Grapefruits are round, with a diameter of between 4 and 6 inches. Their thin skin may be either completely yellow or yellow with a pinkish hue. The pulp of the fruit may be yellow, pinkish, or reddish. It can be more or less sharp-tasting, acidic, sweet, and fragrant.

The United States is the largest producer of grapefruit, accounting for over 40% of global production. Approximately 60% of the grapefruit crop is used for the manufacture of juice and canned grapefruit, while the rest is sold fresh.


A good source of folate, iron, calcium, and other minerals.

Pink and red varieties are high in beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

High in fiber, low in calories.

Contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against cancer and heart disease.

The nutritional value of the grapefruit varies with the color (white, pink, or red). Red and pink grapefruits have a higher amount of vitamin A.

Half a grapefruit provides more than 50 percent of the adult Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C; it also has 325mg of potassium, 25mcg (micrograms) of folate, 40mg of calcium, and l mg of iron. The pink and red varieties are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts to vitamin A.

A cup of unsweetened grapefruit juice has 95mg of vitamin C, more than 150 percent of the RDA, and most of the other nutrients found in the fresh fruit.



People who are allergic to citrus fruits are likely to react to grapefruits, too. The sensitivity may be to the fruit itself or to an oil in the peel.

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