Going, Going, Grapefruit!

Gaining an appreciation for the wonderful, round grapefruit.

Even a sliver of grapefruit can make your eyes squint and your mouth pucker. But if you’re sidestepping grapefruit because of its tartness, you’re also sidestepping an array of health benefits.

Why should you start tossing a little grapefruit in your daily diet? It’s as easy as APC.

Antioxidants

In the health world, few words get as much applause and attention as “antioxidants.” And grapefruits are filled with the stuff. In addition to giving grapefruit its pretty pink and red color, the antioxidant lycopene is responsible for fighting runaway cells (free radicals) that have the potential to damage cells and cause cancer.

As grapefruit juice contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants (along with grape, apple, and cranberry juice), you can get your grapefruit-based antioxidants in liquid form. Regardless of whether you eat or sip on your antioxidants, getting plenty of grapefruit in your diet gives you an advantage over a number of cancers.

Having a hard time choking down that grapefruit? Drizzle a little honey on top. It’ll cut the tart and leave you with a great big pile of health-boosting perks.

Pectin

A type of fiber found in grapefruit, pectin’s main benefit isn’t keeping you regular. It’s keeping you out of the long reach of high cholesterol. A number of studies have found that the pectin found in any kind of grapefruit lowers bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein cholesterol). If you eat red grapefruit, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of reduced triglycerides – the chemical form fat takes on in foods and in your body.

Along with pectin’s magical ability to lower cholesterol levels, it also helps reduce cholesterol’s effects on the arteries. In other words, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can help your arteries avoid the narrowing that occurs when excess cholesterol and fats build up inside the artery walls, a process that leads to heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in America.

C

Everyone hails the high vitamin C content of oranges, but did you know that grapefruits also contain this essential vitamin? With enough vitamin C in your system, you can battle a number of conditions with confidence, from the common cold to cancer. Chowing down on a vitamin C-filled grapefruit can also reduce the severity of asthma, arthritis, and other diseases that are brought about by inflammation.

With so many wonderful reasons to grab a grapefruit, it only makes sense to add some pink and red to your diet.

Keep Away from Medicines

Though grapefruit juice has a number of health benefits, it isn’t for everyone. If you take medication on a regular basis, you may need to avoid grapefruit juice as it can modify how much medicine gets in your bloodstream.

Normally, enzymes lining the small intestines destroy a certain portion of the medication you take, causing only a limited amount from making its way to your blood stream. However, grapefruit juice wields the power to prevent your intestinal lining from working appropriately. When grapefruit juice keeps these enzymes from doing their jobs, you wind up with an extremely large amount of medicine in your body, which can be dangerous.

Certain medications that treat high cholesterol, seizures, depression, high blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythms are all likely candidates for this frightening effect. If you’re taking any of these medications, talk with your physician before drinking grapefruit juice with, before, or after taking your medication.

If you’re stuck on grapefruit juice, ask your physician if there is an alternative medication that can be taken safely with grapefruit juice.

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