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
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.