7 Reasons for Adding Grapefruit to Your Morning Meal

Grapefruit can seem like an acquired taste. Their bulbous size; bitter pith (the white stuff that surrounds the fruit); and tart taste can be off-putting to those who are more accustomed to their sweeter citrus cousins, like the orange. But consider adding this superfood to your regular rotation of healthy foods. It's among the. And you don't have to limit your intake to the early morning hours: Grapefruit are supremely portable and make a great snack (with very few calories) that fills you up while also relieving thirst due to its high water content.


But be a smart snacker: Grapefruit can inhibit an enzyme in the intestines called CYP3A4, (although some other fruits may do the same, grapefruit is the most documented) which plays a key role in breaking down certain medications in the body. The fruit, particularly the juice, has been shown to result in extra-high, even potentially dangerous levels of certain drugs in the body when consumed at the same time.

Read on to find to get more grapefruit nutrition facts, including the benefits and risks of this tangy .

What are the health benefits of grapefruit?

1. It’s great for your immune system. Exhibit A of all that glorious nutrient density: grapefruits are a good source of vitamins AC, and E—a trifecta that works together to keep the immune system up. (Specifically, one whole grapefruit has 77 mg of vitamin C—more than what you’d get in a large orange.) So you know those times of the year when everyone in your office seems to be sick? (Um, like right now?) It’s the perfect time for some grapefruit.

2. Eating grapefruit regularly is linked to higher nutrient consumption. One study found that women who ate grapefruit had a higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and improved diet quality. “Grapefruit may provide a healthful option for adults striving to meet fruit recommendations,” the study concludes. However, they weren’t only eating grapefruit, so it’s hard to tell how much the grapefruit made an impact on those overall levels. But the association itself is certainly promising.

3. It could help prevent diabetes. There’s evidence that eating grapefruit—which is moderate on the glycemic index scale—can help keep insulin levels even, protecting against type 2 diabetes. “Greater consumption of blueberries, grapes, apples, bananas, and grapefruit were significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,” reads one large 2013 study. “Our findings suggest that there is significant heterogeneity in the associations between individual fruits and risk of type 2 diabetes.”

4. It could help keep fat from building up in artery walls. There’s evidence—at least in mice—showing that naringin (a flavonoid in grapefruit) can help prevent atherosclerosis, when plaque and cholesterol build up in your arteries.  Again, this is just a mouse study, but grapefruit certainly could be worth adding to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

5. It’s high in antioxidants. Grapefruit is also a good source of antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and fight damage caused by free radicals in the body. Even grapefruit peels are high in antioxidants, so don’t just enjoy the refreshing, vibrant meat and juice of the fruit; use the peels as zest in various dishes, such as poultry or in baked goods.

6. It keeps you hydrated. Grapefruits are 88 percent water (one whole fruit has 216 grams of the stuff!) making them a pretty stellar way to stay hydrated in addition to your regular S’well bottle habit. While grapefruit juice is a popular breakfast beverage, it’s more beneficial to the body to eat the fruit so you’re also getting fiber.

7. Grapefruits help keep bones strong. Grapefruit contains decent amounts of calcium and phosphorus, which both help keep bones and teeth strong.

Potential risks of eating grapefruit

Okay, so it’s pretty obvious that eating grapefruit on the reg is hugely beneficial to the body. However, there’s a catch. Grapefruit can interfere with an enzyme that metabolizes a wide variety of drugs, allowing more of the drug to make its way into the bloodstream and increasing the risk of side effects and even overdose. This isn’t a niche issue; a 2012 study found that 85 medications ranging from OTC antihistamines to prescription blood pressure medications could be affected by grapefruit. “Taking one tablet with a glass of grapefruit juice is like taking five tablets with water,” a pharmacologist told NPR in 2012.

This is not to make you freak out about eating grapefruit. But people who regularly eat the fruit should definitely raise it with their doctor any time they’re prescribed medication to ensure that the citrus won’t cause a potentially dangerous interaction.

How to enjoy grapefruit

Besides just eating it? Well, let me count the ways:

1. Broiled, with a little honey. Grapefruit is delicious and refreshing as-is, but registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood-Beckerman, and host of Well+Good’s YouTube series You Vs. Food, likes hers broiled with a little honey on top.  She pops the grapefruit in the broiler with a bit of natural sweetener sprinkled on top for two minutes until it’s caramelized, then tops it with Manuka honey before digging in. Bonus: the vitamin C-Manuka combo is like an immunity one-two punch.

2. With gluten-free pancakes. Another way to reap grapefruit’s sweet rewards is by incorporating the fruit (specifically its juice) into your favorite pancake recipe. Be sure to zest the peel on top too for extra citrus flavor and antioxidants.

3. Sip as a juice. While eating grapefruit in its whole form is the best way to get all its nutrients—especially the fiber—grapefruit juice still has potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C (and is hydrating, too).

Incorporating grapefruit into your diet will help keep your immune system up, lower inflammation, and stay hydrated. Clearly oranges aren’t the only citrus full of body-boosting benefits.


No comments:

Post a Comment

We like to read healthy comments on this blog. All comments on this blog are manually review by human. Inappropriate, irrelevant and spammy comments with hidden links will not be publish. If your comment is unrelated to this post, you should use the contact page. By submitting a comment you grant Healthliveblog perpetual license to reproduce your words and name.

HealthLiveBlog is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations.