Eating Healthy DIY: Grapefruit Or Great Fruit?
08/13/2012 | 12:44 PM
Grapefruit is amongst one of the most well-known citrus fruits in the world. Developed as a hybrid in Barbados in the 18th-century, the grapefruit is a cross between a pummelo and an orange. The first grapefruit was the size an orange and referred to as “the forbidden fruit.” Full of nourishing vitamins and minerals, the grapefruit delivers a large amount of nutritional value wrapped up neatly as a sour piece of fruit, and is often referred to as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Barbados.
Grapefruit are rich in vitamin C, which works to augment the immune system. As a result of this immune system boost, the vitamin C can help to prevent the common cold and even reduce the intensity of their impact on the body. Vitamin C has the important ability to bring down the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis as well as asthma. Apart from vitamin C, grapefruit also contains a considerable amount of vitamin A, fiber and potassium. It also contains pectin which is often used to cholesterol and decelerate the swelling process of plaque on the inner walls of blood vessels.
- Grapefruit enhances the immune system: Grapefruits are a primary source of vitamin C, and can help improve your immune system and also decrease common cold symptoms. The juice extracted from the grapefruit may be beneficial for throat infections, eradicating persistent coughs and reducing fevers. Grapefruit might be acidic, but in the body it forms an alkaline reaction, which since the body is slightly alkaline, helps regulate its overall balance. Grapefruit are a good source of potassium citrate, which when broken down in the body forms the alkalizing compound potassium bicarbonate.
- Grapefruit is Useful for Losing Weight: Grapefruit also contains a large amount of enzymes and water, and a small concentration of sodium, a combination that naturally burns fat. The amalgamation of these characteristics has made this fruit ideal for boosting the metabolism.
- Lessens Arthritis: Grapefruit also contains salicylic acid which reduces the inorganic calcium that can build up inside the cartilage joints and cause arthritis. Grapefruit is more effective at preventing arthritis when mixed with apple cider vinegar. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of honey and add to a glass of grapefruit juice.
- Helps in Cancer Deterrence: The red hue in the grapefruit is due to Lycopene, a carotenoid tincture. It has the important ability to counter cancer and tumors, since it works as a forager for the cancer causing free radicals. Lycopene also amalgamates with vitamins C and A, which are readily available in grapefruits. Naringenin is another antioxidant mix that is also present in grapefruit. A study published in 2006 Toxicology in Vitro found it help repair the human DNA damaged in prostate cancer.
- Assist in Lowering of Cholesterol Levels: Grapefruit is rich in antioxidants that are instrumental in lowering cholesterol levels. Nevertheless, some patients cannot consume this fruit because it may have a harmful reaction when combined with prescription medicines like those in the treatment of blood pressure, allergies and HIV. If taking prescription medication, it’s always best to check with your doctor.
Grapefruit Seed Extract: A Natural Body Cleanser
- Anti-Bacterial: Grapefruit seed extract, is made from the seeds, pulp, and white membranes of grapefruit, and is sold as a supplement. It has been shown to protect the body from a wide range of pathogens like Streptococcus spp, Enterococcus spp and Aureus. An in-depth research into the efficiency of grapefruit seed extract reveals that a concentration level of just 0.5% significantly limits the growth rate of these microorganisms.
- Anti-Fungal: The grapefruit seed extract is useful for slowing down a wide variety of fungal strains like Aspergillus niger and oryzae, Penicillium spp and citrinum, Fusarium spp and oxysporum, Candida albicans, Pullularia pullulans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Hensenula anomala as well as Zygosaccharomyces rouxii.
- Digestive Support: Inside the gastrointestinal tract, grapefruit seed extract is effective in eliminating pathological organisms, in particular haemolytic E.coli, Candida along with Geotrichum. Because it settles in the part of the bowel where flora grow, it is useful in treating autoimmune ailments like Crohn’s and anklosing spondylitis, and ulcerative colitis. It is also a useful aid for avoiding traveler’s diarrhea.
- Eczema: While eczema is a disease of the skin, a number of clinical studies on the condition have found that patients with eczema revealed a high amount of the harmful organisms in their intestines, particularly pathogenic disease candida in the duodenum and colon and staphlycocci. In most of the scenarios, constipation, bloating and abdominal uneasiness and sporadic diarrhea were also prominent. The use of grapefruit seed extract lessened the amount of pathogens and increased recovery of the gastrointestinal tract without any side effects.
- Other Important Remedies: The grapefruit seed extract is an excellent source of resistance against the infection of bacteria and parasites. Naturopaths readily employ the seed extracts for stiffness, fluid preservation, acne, muscle tiredness and as an astringent and antiseptic. Grapefruit seed extract is also used for hair growth and shrinking cellulite.
- Drug Interactions: Grapefruit contains furanocoumarins, which inhibit the enzymes that slow down the rate at which drugs enter the blood stream. As a result, grapefruit can have dangerous implications when mixed with some medications, especially those for cholesterol, hypertension and antihistamines. Talk to your doctor if you are on any prescription medication and want to eat grapefruit.
- Possible Increased Risk of Breast Cancer: The British Journal of Cancer published a study that demonstrated that those women who ate ¼ grapefruit daily raised the risk of breast cancer by up to 30%. The fruit is believed to raise levels of estrogen, a hormone linked to the disease. However, a more recent report published in the same journal came to a different conclusion. Following 77,000 women aged between 30-55 for several years, it found that women who eat grapefruit have no increased risk of breast cancer. It is possible that the first study was an anomaly although more research is needed.
- Birth Control Pills: Grapefruit can inhibit the breakdown of estrogen in the body, which can affect women taking an oral contraceptive. Increased levels of estrogen caused by grapefruit and “the pill” can magnify your risk of blood-clotting. It is recommended that women who are using birth control should change to a non-estrogen pill, or avoid eating grapefruit.
Grapefruits are an excellent food, with high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, salicylic acid and pectin. It can help lower cholesterol, boost the metabolism and strengthen immune system health. The active ingredients of grapefruit seed extract are flavonoids, vitamin C,, tocopherols, citric acid, limonoids, sterols, and minerals. While both grapefruit and grapefruit seed extract can help with overall health, they can interact with a number of medications and the oral contraceptive pill. Talk to your doctor if you are taking any prescription drugs, or “the pill” and want to continue eating grapefruit.