Why You Should Eat Grapefruit (and who should not)

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Dear Reader;

When was the last time you ate a red grapefruit?  Hopefully, we will change that with this post.

Grapefruit has long been heralded for its weight loss properties; think back to the “grapefruit diet” of the seventies.  Remember then, the grapefruit was a symbol of health and fitness.  Those who ate grapefruits were thin and beautiful, marketers showed us!

It’s no secret the grapefruit has lots of great benefits, but for some reason, it’s fallen off the radar for most people.  Why is that?  Is it because it’s the dreaded demon also known as a CARB?

I personally, love grapefruits!!  I just had this one, pictured, this morning after my run.  It’s the perfect breakfast.

However, it’s not all sweetness, grapefruit should also come with its own warning label too; read on.

Benefits of the Mighty Red Grapefruit:

My favorite thing about eating a grapefruit is that I am so full and satisfied afterward.  That is so rare for me to say about a piece of fruit.  A lot of fruit just leaves me wanting to eat something else right afterward, which is why I don’t eat a lot of it.  Fruits generally spike your blood sugar, which causes a yoyo effect on your hunger, but grapefruit is very low glycemic and doesn’t have that effect.  The low glycemic load makes it a great choice for anyone who is diabetic and would normally avoid fruit.

Grapefruits are high in Vitamin C.  For women, a medium-sized grapefruit can provide half of the recommended daily intake of the vitamin.  So, think about grapefruits, instead of oranges, the next time you feel a cold coming on.

It’s also high in A vitamins and lycopene.  But, the second best thing about a grapefruit is it’s very high fiber content (which is why it makes me feel full).  Fiber is very necessary in a healthy diet.  Fiber acts as a colon cleanser, moving things along.  Fiber also helps to control cholesterol levels.  Most of the fiber in a well-rounded diet should come from vegetables and fruits, NOT grains, like most of us have been taught.  Eating a grapefruit is way more beneficial to your health than eating a piece of whole grain bread.  Most of us were taught that fiber is whole grain.  Fiber, the kind that is most necessary, is not found in a baked product!  The most nutrient dense fiber comes from vegetables and fruits.

You can find the full nutritional profile of a red grapefruit here.

How to Eat a Grapefruit:

Lots of people walk past them in the grocer because they don’t know how to eat them.  The easiest way to prepare a grapefruit is to slice it in half, between the two ends (the little brown spot where you can tell it was connected to its mother tree).

Take one half and cut as close as you can to the edge of the pulpy cavity, like pictured here:

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Cut both sides of each piece of pulp.  Then slide the knife around the outside perimeter, making the last and third cut along each segment of pulp.  Then, take your spoon and simply scoop it out of the grapefruit:

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Don’t forget to squeeze all the juice out of the empty shell and drink it right out of the bowl!

Words of Warning:

First, when you’re buying a grapefruit, I highly recommend only buying organic.  The Texas red variety of grapefruit is sprayed, extensively!  It’s all thanks to the little pest known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

The growers and the government are researching nonpoisonous ways to combat the problem, including wasps that prey on the little aphid like insect.  BUT until then, the orchards are a poison battleground!  Stay away from conventional grapefruits, if possible.

Second, grapefruits can cause drug interactions with over 85 different medications.  No matter what drug you take, check with your pharmacist if you take ANY medications.  Some of the common drug interactions include antihistamines and statins.  BUT there are many more.

The fruit affects the way you metabolize drugs with an enzyme inhibitor property and can either cause it to be less potent (making your dose ineffective) or make it more potent (causing fatal overdose).  It can also take 24-72 hours for the enzymes needed to metabolize medications to return to normal after consuming the fruit or the juice, so it’s not necessarily an interaction that only happens when you consume them in one sitting.  Make sure you check out your specific drug by consulting your pharmacist.

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