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Citrus for Weight Loss

by Jasmine McNenny on Jan 02, 2014

We’ve all heard the expression an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  But it seems that another fruit is also being promoted as the key to a healthy lifestyle: the grapefruit.  Which lends itself to another catchy expression:   a grapefruit a day keeps the fat away.

Now it’s not exactly news that grapefruits are the cornerstone to the classic American weight loss diet.  A grapefruit half for breakfast is pretty much the symbol of diet food.  Grapefruits are notoriously low in calories, virtually fat-free, and a good source of Vitamin A.  However the benefits of this fruit stretch far beyond its basic nutrition facts.

The most significant nutrient in grapefruit is Vitamin C which can be found in other citrus as well as other fruits and vegetables like sweet red peppers, Brussels sprouts, and kiwi.  Grapefruit is chosen as the go-to fruit for diets because it contains the most Vitamin C of any citrus fruit. Fitness trainer Jillian Michaels lists eating grapefruit as one of her tips for quick and healthy weight loss.

But while we all believe that Vitamin C is good for us, its role in weight loss is lesser known.  Vitamin C works with two hormones in the body that are important to eating healthy and losing weight: cortisol and insulin.  Cortisol is a hormone that is involved in many different bodily processes, but is related to weight loss in its role of controlling the metabolism.  Vitamin C lowers cortisol levels which tells the body not to store fat.  It also boosts the speed of the body’s metabolism which allows fat and calories to be burned more quickly.  Insulin is generally connected to its importance in preventing high blood sugar but according to a British study, grapefruit lowers insulin levels which reduces food cravings.  With fewer cravings, people found that they ate less and lost more weight.

Citrus as a whole has also been tapped for its detoxing abilities.  Detoxing is the process of flushing the body of toxins and other chemicals.  Drinking lots of water helps to facilitate this process but the addition of citrus fruit replenishes key vitamins and nutrients in the body.  Detox methods include eating citrus right before bed and drinking a glass of warm lemon water as soon as you wake up.

Citrus fruits assist in speeding up the metabolism, curbing cravings, preventing fat storage, and replacing much needed nutrients in the body.  When it comes to weight loss, citrus lends a hand every step of the way.  This coupled with the fact that it’s amazingly delicious and can be used in many different drinks and recipes makes these simple fruits a staple to any diet.  Guess what they say is true. We really shouldn’t compare apples and oranges.

Sources and additional reading:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/314928-eating-citrus-before-bed-weight-loss/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20670974_11,00.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/368075-how-does-vitamin-c-affect-the-hormone-cortisol/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20660118_5,00.html