Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Great Grapefruit!

The summer season is here and it’s time for cool citrus drinks, but don’t rely on only a summer of lemonade. Instead, step up to the tartness of grapefruit, and gather an array of additional health benefits.

In the health world, few words get as much applause and attention as "antioxidants." You’ve read enough of my posts and Recipe Rx’s to know that. Well, what do you think gives a grapefruit its’ pretty pink and red color? It’s the antioxidant lycopene.

Grapefruit juice contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants (along with grape, apple, and cranberry juice), and 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.

Still can’t handle the bitter tart taste? Try a little honey on top. It'll be sweet and sour and loaded with health-boosting perks!

Another benefit of grapefruit is a type of fiber found in it; pectin. Pectin's main benefit isn't keeping you regular, though. Instead, it helps fight 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.
(are you listening my fellow 40+ year olds???)

Like other citrus, grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C. Aside from aiding in the fight against the common cold, a vitamin C-filled diet can also reduce the severity of asthma, arthritis, and other diseases that are brought about by inflammation.

A Cautionary Note on Medications:

Despite the number of health benefits, grapefruit isn't for everyone.

Normally, enzymes lining the small intestines destroy a certain portion of the medication you take, causing only a limited amount to make its way to your blood stream.

However, grapefruit juice wields the power to prevent your intestinal lining from working in that manner. 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 adding grapefruit to your diet.
And, if you're already a big fan of grapefruit, don’t worry. Perhaps your physician can recommend an alternative medication that can be taken safely with grapefruit.

Until next time – Live Life Well,

John Aaron Villarreal


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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

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