People looking to lose weight often gravitate to fad diets such as the Grapefruit Diet, which requires its followers to consume half a grapefruit with each meal. But what if you don't like the taste of grapefruit? Well, several manufacturers have entered the weight loss market with grapefruit pills, concentrating grapefruit's nutrition into an easy-to-swallow capsule. Ingredients may vary depending on the specific brand, but most grapefruit pills contain pulverized grapefruit, providing the same general benefits.
Grapefruit pills made from pulverized grapefruit tend to be high in vitamin C, which provides a wide range of health benefits. Research has shown vitamin C to promote cardiovascular health, reduce symptoms of the common cold, and prevent free radical damage, which could otherwise lead to such ailments as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many grapefruit pills contain pectin, a water-soluble form of fiber found in the cell walls of plants. The high pectin content in grapefruit pills can help users feel full, leading to a natural reduction in calorie intake, which could lead to weight loss. Pectin also aids the digestive process, accelerating digestion and waste elimination thereby promoting further weight loss.
There's even evidence to indicate grapefruit helps prevent heart disease. A study published in the "Journal of Agriculture and Food Medicine" showed grapefruit lowers bad cholesterol and reduces triglycerides. Elevated cholesterol may lead to heart disease and poor cardiovascular health.
Grapefruit pectin, the main ingredient in many grapefruit pills, has been shown to fight atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries due to fatty deposits. Researchers at the University of Florida College of Medicine determined grapefruit pectin protected pigs from atherosclerosis and inhibited high blood cholesterol.
Grapefruit gets its distinctive pinkish red color from lycopene, which is a phytonutrient. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant to help fight harmful free radicals that cause cell damage. A study published in the "Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition" also indicates lycopene from foods such as grapefruit when combined with green tea provide a synergistic effect against against prostate cancer. The study, involving 130 patients, showed that the men who ate the most lycopene-rich foods had an 82% less chance of developing prostate cancer.
Not only does the fiber in grapefruit pills assist waste elimination, but grapefruit also stimulates the production of liver enzymes that prepare toxic compounds to be eliminated from the body. Flushing these harmful compounds also rids the body of potential carcinogens, helping protect the body against cancers.