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Monday, April 18, 2011

Grapefruit is Gross, Right? Not so Fast

I've always hated grapefruit. In fact, I recently accused my husband of thinking he was better than me for eating the sour citrus every morning. But, it turns out, eating grapefruit seems to be good for the metabolism.  
A few weeks ago, Hubby randomly started eating pink grapefruit with breakfast. He was grimacing through a bite one day and asked me why people would voluntarily eat something so bitter.

He was asking a trainer a nutrition question. A natural thing.  

My reply was blunt, but honest.  

I told him: "I think people eat grapefruit just to brag to other people that they eat grapefruit. You can get the same nutrients elsewhere, you know."

Then, a few days later, I saw a tweet from Queen Latifah's trainer Jeanette Jenkins about -- you guessed it -- grapefruit. So, I decided to look up some info for myself. What I came across prompted me to re-evaluate my disdain.

Grapefruit is a good source of vitamins A, C and B6 -- which wasn't that big of a surprise. But what really got me was that the white part -- under the rind -- has something called naringin, which helps regulate insulin.

Here's why that's awesome: You can really give your metabolism a boost if you keep your insulin levels -- or we can call them blood sugar levels -- nice and even. When your blood sugar goes up and down all crazy it becomes really easy for your body to make and store fat. Keeping your insulin levels from going on a roller-coaster ride is essential for weight loss.

Also, the fruit has lycopene, an antioxidant that helps the body fight off diseases by protecting cells from free radicals.

And then there's fiber. One grapefruit has about 4.5 grams of fiber, which both helps us feel full and helps slow the absorption of sugar. This benefits the metabolism in a way that's really similar to naringin, making grapefruit a sort of metabolic double whammy.

It's been almost a week since I've included grapefruit into my daily diet. So far, so good. I cut it into eighths. It makes it easier to eat this way. If you try to cut it in half and dig the fruit out with a spoon, you're sure to get more juice on you than in you. And surprisingly, Hubby and I have both developed a taste for nature's sour patch kid.

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