Grapefruit may be the less popular citrus choice when compared to its sweeter cousin, the orange, but grapefruit possesses health promoting compounds that may help fight cold symptoms, prevent certain forms of cancer and help prevent heart disease.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms.
Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade. It is therefore also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. As free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke, vitamin C is beneficial to promoting cardiovascular health.
The rich pink and red colours of grapefruit are due to lycopene, a carotenoid phytochemical. Lycopene appears to have anti-tumor activity. Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals.
Phytochemicals in grapefruit called limonoids, inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of glutathione-S-transferase, a detoxifying enzyme. This enzyme sparks a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for excretion from the body.
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