The Bittersweet Facts of Grapefruit

The Bittersweet Facts of Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that has a range of flavors depending on what variety you consume. There are some grapefruits that are really sour, while there are some grapefruits that have something close to a sweet taste. 

Grapefruits are consumed as a raw fruit or in juice form. Grapefruit is packed with nutrients such as essential vitamins and minerals that can help to improve the function of your body.

While many love the taste of raw grapefruit or are lovers of the juice that it makes, there are some instances where it may not be wise to consume grapefruits. 

Many suggest that grapefruit interfere with certain medications. Is it possible that I can also impact the effectiveness of supplements?

Fun fact before we begin: grapefruit is actually a cross between pomelo and orange. Did you know that?

 

Benefits of Grapefruit

Before diving into some of the awesome benefits of grapefruit, we must look at one of the most powerful grapefruit vitamins – vitamin C. (1)

 

What is Vitamin C and How Much is in Grapefruit?

Vitamin C may very well be the most popular vitamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin. It is helpful to healing wounds, tissue recovery and much more. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. It is very helpful in fighting free radicals. 

This powerful vitamin can limit your risk of arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The thing about vitamin C is that your body does not store this vitamin. 

This means you must ensure that you get your daily supply from supplements or fresh fruit. Guess what? Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C.

The typical serving of grapefruit is a medium-sized grapefruit. This is about 4 inches in diameter. Such a serving of grapefruit contains about 44 milligrams of vitamin C. This is a whopping 73% of your body’s basic daily requirements. 

The standard required amount of vitamin C is 60 milligrams. This is applicable to individuals who are operating on a diet with a 2000-calorie cap. This reveals that grapefruit is an amazing source of vitamin C. 

This is one of the main reasons behind the powerful health benefits of the fruit.

Let us get to the great benefits of this citrus fruit. Grapefruit is a fruit that you can have daily and have some serious health benefits. (2) (3) (4)

 

Grapefruit may help with the management or prevent diabetes: As a result of it being low on the glycemic index, grapefruit is not threatening to people with diabetes. The level of sugar in this citrus does not produce a significant impact on a person’s blood sugar levels.

A 2013 study on the impact of grapefruit on health revealed that the consumption of this powerful fruit is associated with a reduction in one’s risk of type 2 diabetes. 

This is important to note. If you know are trying to prevent diabetes, grapefruit should be a part of your diet. Grapefruit also contains naringin. A 2019 study revealed that naringin is helpful in treating diabetes.

 

Grapefruit has a positive impact on immune function: Vitamin C is one vitamin, in particular, that is of great importance to the proper functioning of your immune system. it supports it in more ways than most understand. 

Researchers have reported that vitamin C is possibly helpful in preventing and treating many infections as well as respiratory issues.

Grapefruit, being full of vitamin C, is a good fruit to have if you want to get an adequate supply of vitamin C. Having the fruit often will give your immune system the boost it needs to deal with any challenge. 

It is especially important for people who are older and suffering from chronic conditions. Smokers should include grapefruit in their diet to help to reduce the degradation of their respiratory system.

 

Grapefruit is linked to higher nutrient intake: a study done by Mary M. Murphy, Leila M. Barraj, and Gail C. Rampersaud in 2014 revealed that grapefruit consumption is linked to higher nutrient intake and other incredible benefits for women. 

Those who consumed grapefruit showed a higher intake of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and overall improvement of diet. 

According to the study done by Murphy, Barraj, and Rampersaud, grapefruit is perfect for individuals who have a daily objective of meeting their fruit requirements.

 

Grapefruit may improve skin health: skincare is greatly assisted by a healthy diet of grapefruit. This is so because of the high concentration of vitamin C in grapefruit. 

Vitamin C is needed for the proper formation of collagen. Collagen is pretty much the main support system for your skin. 

A study done in 2018 revealed that Vitamin C is indeed one of the most critical nutrients when it comes to the health of one’s skin. 

The study reported that when it comes to protecting your skin from UV irradiation.

 

Grapefruit may improve digestive health: this fruit is naturally loaded with water and fiber. A 400-g grapefruit will typically contain 364 g of water and 4.4 g of fiber. 

These are two components for optimum digestive health. Water and fiber are important to ensure that there is a regular movement which results in a healthy digestive tract. These two aspects of the fruit also help to prevent constipation.

The standard recommendation for fiber constipation is 28 to 34 g on a daily basis. This, of course, is influenced by your gender and age. 

It is important that you strive to get enough fiber daily. One reason for this is that regular fiber intake has been reported to help with the prevention of certain types of cancer.

 

Grapefruit may be helpful in the prevention of cancer: filled with antioxidant power, grapefruit can be great tool in your diet to stave of the dreadful disease that is cancer. 

This, again, results from the high vitamin C content of the fruit. The composition of grapefruits is useful in combating the formation of those free radicals that have been reported to cause cancer in the body.

Another powerful antioxidant that is found in grapefruit is lycopene. 

Vagish Kumar Laxman Shanbhag reported in a 2016 article that Lycopene has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. He also mentioned that Lycopene has chemopreventitive properties against cancer.

This gives more support to the cancer-related benefits of grapefruit consumption.

The intake of the antioxidant lycopene has also been reported to men who consume a lot of lycopene are at a much lower risk of having prostate cancer. Foods such as grapefruit and tomato are great for men.

 

Grapefruit helps to hydrate the body: since the composition of a typical grapefruit is more than 80% water, they are quite effective in hydrating the body. 

While you could choose grapefruit juice for a refreshing experience, it is much more beneficial to the body when you consume the fruit. 

When you eat the fruit, you are getting both water and fiber. Consuming grapefruit regularly can help to protect you from potential health issues related to dehydration.

 

Does Grapefruit Interfere with Medications?

While the fruit is clearly highly beneficial, it is not appropriate for everyone to consume. Individuals who are using certain medication to treat health conditions much be aware of the fact that grapefruit may interact with their medication. 

This interference is due to the fact that grapefruit has an enzyme-binding ability. This can result in complications that may be serious. 

The enzyme-binding ability of the fruit can cause the medication’s impacts to become more concentrated. It can also result in the medication passing the gut and getting directly to your bloodstream.

Some of the medications that may not be appropriate to take while consuming grapefruit include:


  • Statins such as lovastatin, atorvastatin, and simvastatin
  • Antihistamines such as fexofenadine
  • Calcium channel blockers such as felodipine and nifedipine
  • Psychiatric drugs such as buspirone, triazolam, carbamazepine, diazepam, midazolam, and sertraline
  • Immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus
  • Methadone
  • Impotence drugs such as sildenafil
  • HIV medication such as saquinavir
  • Antiarrhythmics such as amiodarone

 

It has been reported that grapefruit has a serious level of interactions with approximately 52 different type of drugs. 

Grapefruit has moderate interactions with another 140 drugs. 61 drugs will see mild interactions from the consumption of grapefruit.

As a result of the great level of interactions that grapefruit can have with medications, it is wise that you avoid the fruit while taking any form of medication. 

We recommend that if your doctor recommends a medication that you take the time to ask about the possibility of grapefruit interacting with the treatment. 

You will also notice that many over the counter drugs as well as prescribed drugs clearly state that grapefruit should not be consumed along with the medication. Look out for these warning notices on drug bottles and prescriptions.


Does Grapefruit interfere with Vitamins or Supplements?

It would appear as though grapefruit does not negatively interfere with vitamins or supplements. 

Therefore, it is safe to consume grapefruit while taking vitamins or supplements on a daily basis. It will merely add to your daily consumption of the critical vitamins.


Side Effects of Grapefruit

If you have a kidney condition, you should be cautious when it comes to grapefruit consumption. 

This is because of the high level of potassium that is found in the fruit. Individuals with a damaged kidney or a kidney that does not function efficiently typically have a challenge removing excess potassium from the blood. 

If there is a build-up of potassium in the body, this can be life-threatening.

Individuals with Gastroesophageal reflux disease also need to approach grapefruit with great caution. The fruit may result in an intensification of heartburn. 

The consumption of grapefruit may also result in regurgitation in people with Gastroesophageal reflux disease. (5) (6)

 

Conclusion

As a citrus fruit, Grapefruit can be very tasty. It is loaded with fiber, water, minerals, and essential vitamins. 

As a result of its composition, it provides a slew of health benefits that include the prevention of diabetes, the improvement of immune function, the optimization of nutrient intake, skin health, protection from cancer and hydration.

Grapefruit’s ability to supply you with your required amount of vitamin C is incredible. 

As we discussed in this article, a single serving of grapefruit can meet more than half of your daily vitamin C requirement. This is the secret behind grapefruit’s incredible benefits.

While the fruit is powerful, we have learned in this article that grapefruit is not for everybody. 

The fruit can have moderate, mild, and even serious interactions with a number of medications. It is also not good for people with certain health conditions such as kidney-related conditions and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

The bottom line is that, when taken appropriately and responsibly, grapefruit is a great fruit to have in one’s daily diet. With one grapefruit, you will get a great amount of fiber and water. These are essential for the optimal function of your body.

Grab a grapefruit today and improve the health of your body.

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