Grapefruit: Natural Weight-Loss Food

No, grapefruit is not a calorie-free fruit, as some diets would have you believe. Despite its reputation as a "fat-burner," grapefruit has no special ability to burn away excess fat. But it is low in calories, and its soluble fiber content is decent enough to fill you up, discouraging you from overeating.

So yes, grapefruit can help you lose weight, just not as easily as some would say. And it's nutritious, to boot. Grapefruit is a tart-tasting fruit not everyone enjoys. But for those who do, grapefruit offers a lot of nutrition for few calories.

Health Benefits

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. Pink and red grapefruit are good sources of disease-fighting beta-carotene. If you peel and eat a grapefruit like you would an orange, you get a good dose of cholesterol-lowering pectin from the membranes -- the same soluble fiber that fills you up by dissolving in water and creating gels. As a member of the citrus family, grapefruit is also a storehouse of powerful phytochemicals such as flavonoids, terpenes, and limonoids. These naturally occurring substances may have cancer-preventing properties.

Pink grapefruit contain a carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene helps protect cell membranes and may suppress tumor growth, especially prostate tumors.

Selection and Storage

Grapefruit isn't picked unless it's fully ripe, making selection a no-brainer. However, choose ones that are heavy for their size; they're juiciest. And avoid those that are soft or mushy, or oblong rather than round. They are generally of poorer quality -- possibly pithy and less sweet. The difference in taste among white, red, and pink varieties of grapefruit is minimal; they are equally sweet (and equally tart). Store grapefruit in your refrigerator's crisper drawer; they'll keep for up to two months.

Preparation and Serving Tips

Wash grapefruit before cutting to prevent bacteria that might be on the skin from being introduced to the inside. You might want to bring grapefruit to room temperature before you juice or slice it for better appreciation of flavor.

You don't have to relegate grapefruit to breakfast. Instead of halving and segmenting it, try peeling and eating it out of hand for a juicy, mouthwatering snack. For dessert, sprinkle with a little brown sugar and place it under the broiler until it bubbles.

So to recap, eating grapefruit can benefit weight loss in many ways. Grapefruits are low in calories, low in sodium, high in potassium, and packed with fat-burning enzymes. Grapefruits offer a juicy breakfast treat for anyone looking to eat healthier.

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