THE BITTER BEAUTY
The grapefruit was bred in the 18th century as a cross between a pomelo and an orange. They were given the name grapefruit because of the way they grew in clusters similar to grapes.
Possible health benefits of consuming grapefruit:
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like grapefruit decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Grapefruit may not be a miracle weight loss food as touted in some previously popular fad diets, but consuming grapefruit as part of a healthy diet may just give you a little boost. The Scripps Clinic ‘Grapefruit Diet’ study, led by Dr. Ken Fujioka, monitored the weight and metabolic factors of 91 obese men and women for 12 weeks. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of four groups to receive either placebo capsules along with 7 ounces of apple juice, grapefruit capsules with 7 ounces of apple juice, 8 ounces of grapefruit juice with a placebo capsule or half of a fresh grapefruit with a placebo capsule three times a day before each meal.
After 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit group had lost the most weight at 3.52 lbs, the grapefruit juice group had lost 3.3 lbs, the grapefruit capsule group had lost 2.42 lbs, and the placebo group had lost 0.66 lbs. According to the researchers, there was also a significant reduction in 2-hour post-glucose insulin level in the grapefruit group compared with placebo. Half of a fresh grapefruit eaten before meals was also associated with improved insulin resistance.
According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of a compound found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may lower ischemic stroke risk for women. Those who ate the highest amounts of citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least.
Blood pressure and heart health:
The powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline in grapefruit all help to maintain a healthy heart. One study found that a diet supplemented with fresh red grapefruit positively influences blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides. Researchers concluded that the addition of fresh red grapefruit to the diet could be beneficial for people withatherosclerosiswanting to lower their high lipid levels, especially triglycerides.
In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day). High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation ofkidney stones. Increasing potassium intake is also important for lowering blood pressure because of its powerful vasodilation effects.
As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, grapefruit can help combat the formation of free radicals known to causecancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk ofprostate cancerprevention in several studies and foods high in vitamin C and beta-carotene have been shown to lower the risk of esophageal cancer in particular.
Digestion and regularity:
Grapefruit, because of its water and fiber content, helps to preventconstipationand promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
As one of the most hydrating fruits in the world made up of 91% water (just below watermelon) and full of important electrolytes, grapefruit is a great snack to have on hand to preventdehydration.
The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (in fresh produce as opposed to supplement form) or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation ofcollagen, the main support system of skin. Hydration and vitamin A are also crucial for healthy looking skin, both of which grapefruits can provide.
The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables including grapefruit.
Grapefruits can be classified as one of “nature’s medicines” as they are instrumental in addressing various diseases. One important attribute is that grapefruits have anti-cancer properties which can help prevent and help treat certain types of cancer. A recent study conducted at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China concluded that a beneficial plant compound found ingrapefruit, Naringenin, helped repair DNA in human prostate cancer cells.
Grapefruit with Medications Can Be Disastrous:
The Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Canada has studied the effects of mixing grapefruit juice with prescription drugs for decades. As recently as 2008, they had a list totaling 17 medications that shouldn’t be taken with the juice. Their current findings have now upped that number to 44 drugs.
Experts explain that certain medications react adversely to grapefruit juice by processing in your body at a faster rate. While this may sound harmless, researchers say it actually creates a significant increase in the drug’s potency. In some cases, the strength of certain medicines can be raised to a point equivalent to the patient getting double the dose with each pill.
Furthermore, the researchers noted that the effects of the juice and particular drugs vary in severity from patient to patient. Some drugs increased in potency, as expected, but other drugs were actually weakened – a response that could possibly render the medication useless to the person. Other symptoms found in study participants were skin rashes, dizziness, headaches, breathing troubles, and other symptoms as extreme as death.
One of the most alarming things is that a lot of thedrugson the “danger” list are common prescriptions, such as everyday cholesterol medicines like lovastatin and beta blockers like amlodipine (a heart medication). And, despite these warnings from Lawson, the general health community still hasn’t given the matter due concern, thus leaving many patients in the dark about the possible dangers.
Grapefruits aren’t the only citric fruit with these dangerous possibilities. Limes, Seville oranges, Minneolas, pummels, and sweeties are also chalked up to the list because they contain the natural chemical called furanocoumarins. As long as the juice is still in your stomach, the chemical stays alive in your body, making it possible to mix your prescriptions with it for a while after consuming the juice.
The author Prince
Hi, I’m Prince.. a registered Dietitian, an avid reader and a passionate writer. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them