The Enduring Grapefruit Diet
Most of us are well aware of grapefruit’s weight loss and metabolism boosting benefits. The popularity of the Grapefruit Diet dating back from the1930’s is how and when this association became fixed. Through the decades, the grapefruit diet became reinvented under new names, such as The Hollywood Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, Indian River Grapefruit Diet, all the while keeping its popular principle of eating grapefruit before each meal. Today, as a result of these reinvented versions, the grapefruit is for certain now branded a “get skinny food” associated with benefits primarily for losing weight. Consequently, the grapefruit’s other superior benefits have likely been unheard of or forgotten in the midst of proven and constant weight loss popularity.
Since the 1930’s, grapefruit has proven to be a super food in other ways. Besides helping to curb the appetite and shed unwanted weight, did you know it can help fight depression with its aroma? That it can lower the “bad” levels of cholesterol according to a Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study? Grapefruit can also help reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis as well as improving our cardiovascular health. Furthermore, it has been shown to help prevent lung and colon cancer.
Getting to Know the Grapefruit
A few facts about grapefruit you probably never knew…
•Only 4 states in the U.S. commercially grow grapefruit, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida where warmer climates exists.
•For almost 20 years, the red grapefruit has been the official state fruit of Texas.
•Its name sprung from the way the grapefruit grows, in clusters on trees resembling grapes on the vine.
•Grapefruit trees can produce up to 40 years!
•Grapefruit season is from winter through early spring.
•Grapefruit can last for up to 3 weeks in your refrigerator.
Vitamin C Boost
Grapefruits are very high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an immune booster and can help to combat and prevent the common cold among other things that attack our health. Getting enough vitamin C can help heal wounds faster such as from cuts, burns, surgery, and even help heal broken bones! Vitamin C works as an antioxidant and can fight free radical damage to our cells. It can lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Vitamin C can also scrub away dangerous levels of lead in the body, especially helpful in children. Just one half of a grapefruit provides over 70% of the RDA for valuable vitamin C!
Grapefruit can help fight fatigue, especially in the winter months when our activities tend to wind down with the colder season. Grapefruit are at their peak during the winter, which is the perfect time to help burn those excess calories and balance out those heavier winter meals we’re surrounded with during the holidays. This tangy sweet super fruit is also great for jump starting a sluggish metabolism and can boost our energy levels with just the right amount of natural sugar. Grapefruits are bursting with nutrition and phytonutrients, including the energy producing B vitamins to help us while exercising and improve our athletic performance.
Most citrus fruits are high in natural sugars but grapefruits are not. They can help diabetics keep their glycemic index low. Grapefruits are also lower in carbohydrates than most other fruits. For diabetics, this is important because they not only need to keep track of their sugar, but also to check their intake carbs. One half grapefruit contains less than half of the carbs found in a banana or pear. Furthermore, they offer a good source of soluble fiber which can be another benefit for diabetics. Getting more soluble fiber can assist in keeping sugar levels stabilized because fiber helps keep carbohydrates from being absorbed too quickly in the bloodstream. To boot, grapefruits contain a rich source of the trace mineral, chromium which studies have shown lowers blood sugar levels by as much as 50%, a bonus if your watching sugar levels.
As we just mentioned, grapefruits are high in fiber! Sound surprising for a citrus fruit? What most people don’t realize about grapefruit and other citrus is you can easily get a good serving of fiber from the pectin, the stringy white membrane surrounding each juicy piece. As refreshing and delicious as it sounds, juicing grapefruit will not provide much of that fiber. If your going to count fiber from eating grapefruit, eat as much of the inside as you can, including the white inner layer found under the skin. The white pith is also full of cancer fighting antioxidants. If you don’t like eating the stringy pectin, which I presume most don’t, you can blend the whole grapefruit in a smoothie with other fruits and vegetables to yield that fiber. A smoothie recipe with banana is shown above.
If your interested in fighting the signs of aging, grapefruit can provide amazing skin benefits from the inside out. How? First, the grapefruit’s generous supply of vitamin C can stimulate collagen production in aging skin, an exciting bonus in fighting unwanted wrinkles. Second, grapefruits are rich in lycopene which can help protect the skin from UV damage. By the time we are in our 40’s, we can usually start to see skin damage caused by the sun from earlier years. Adding grapefruit to our diet can add a layer of defense to aging skin with this important phytonutrient. Thirdly, lycopene also helps to protect the skin against environmental damage by fighting free radicals from the inside out. Did you know that grapefruit can work topically as well? Simply applying it directly to the skin can calm, firm and clear the skin. It can even work to remedy skin problems such as dry skin, acne, rashes and psoriasis!
Grapefruit Cautions with Prescriptions
Are you on medications? Before loading up on grapefruits, keep in mind certain compounds found in grapefruit can actually reduce breaking down some cholesterol lowering medicines leading to dangerous build up in the bloodstream! Just a single glass of grapefruit juice could reduce the body’s natural ability to metabolize “statins” by up to 47 percent, according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Statins found to react with grapefruit juice include Atorvastatin, Simvastatin and Lovastatin prescription drugs. Grapefruit juice can contribute to dangerous side effects with other medicines too. Some of these are calcium channel blockers, birth control pills, antidepressants, some antivirals, anti-anxiety medicine and other psychiatric drugs. To learn more about these dangers, listen in on Donnica Moore, M.D. Always check with your doctor if your on any medication before loading up on grapefruit.
Best way to enjoy grapefruit
♥ Juicing Grapefruit
♥ Grapefruit Limeade
♥ Grapefruit Infused Water
♥ Grapefruit Smoothie
♥ Grapefruit Sorbet
♥ Grapefruit Marinade
♥ Grapefruit Salad
♥ Grapefruit Salsa
♥ Grapefruit Popsicles
♥ Grapefruit Salad Dressing
♥ Simply raw and fresh
by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer © 2013