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The Benefits of Grapefruit

Posted Jan 07 2011 8:04am
pink grapefruit
  Muffet 

I have gone through periods of eating grapefruits consistently and other times when I haven’t touched one in months. Recently though I decided to start eating them consistently again after remembering how good I had felt when last eating them on a regular basis. Previously I had experienced a few noticeable benefits in terms of blood sugar regulation and fat loss when eating 3-5 grapefruits a week, especially at breakfast and even before bed. With no other changes to my diet or exercise….

Having written about 5 reasons to eat grapefruits in the past I wanted to delve a bit further into this topic and see exactly why grapefruits are so effective as a blood sugar stabilizer. From what I have read it seems to be down to a Flavonoid called Narigin which grapefruits are full of, and gives them their bitter taste. Although it can also be found in other citrus fruits none contain such high levels.

It seems that Narigin works in a couple of ways to help:

  1. Stimulates the Liver
  2. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
  3. Helps to Metabolise Fat

The bitter taste that Narigin provides stimulates the liver to produce fat burning enzymes that would normally only be produced via prolonged fasting ( See leangains ). Now while fasting is a good approach for some others may not be too keen on the idea, what is for sure though is that the effects of fasting do trigger some kind of express fat loss and improved glucose tolerance.

The liver is the main organ responsible for the regulation of carbohydrate and lipid levels in the blood. Following a meal, the blood is flushed with sugars, which activate LXRα, causing the liver to create fatty acids for long-term storage. During fasting, the process is reversed; fatty acids are released by fat cells, activate PPARα in the liver, and are broken down to ketones. A similar process, involving PPARγ, increases sensitivity to insulin.

I took the above from this study/article….. which to cut down indicates that grapefruits are unique in the way they can activate certain enzymes which help the liver the breakdown fat and control blood sugar via improved insulin sensitivity and even have cholesterol lowering effects. This got me thinking about how effective Grapefruit could be as a potential “diet hack” and while I am not a fan of quick fixes and “cheats” when it comes to health, eating grapefruit along with adding resistant starch to your diet could be two things to implement on a regular basis.

How Much? well I had my best results in terms of actually feeling that blood sugar was more stable when eating 4-5 grapefruits a week and would cut them in half, having one with half with breakfast and another mid afternoon or late evening. This is something I propose readers try for the next few weeks and see if any difference is noticed in terms of:

  • Hunger Regulation
  • Being able to last longer between meals without food
  • Fewer Mood ups and downs throughout the day
  • A Leaner body

While this is by no means a guaranteed way to a better body, I feel that experimenting with grapefruit could lead to some positive effects and it also helps that grapefruits are in season and delicious. Be warned, those taking pharmaceutical medications please beware of eating grapefruit as it has many drug interactions, so this experiment is best partaken by those free of medication.

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