Grapefruit are juicy and tangy citrus fruit that have an underlying sweet tone to them. They are related to the orange, lemon, and pomelo and come in blonde and red varieties.  The best way to start your the morning is with the electrifying and refreshing kick of grapefruit that is sure to wake you up.

Disease/Ailments:

Immune disorders
Chronic inflammation
Cancer prevention
Elevated cholesterol

Health benefits:

Immune support: Grapefruit is rich in vitamin C, which helps in supporting the immune system. It also prevents the free radical damage that triggers inflammation.

Antioxidant: In addition to vitamin C, grapefruit contains the carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene, which appears to have anti-tumor activity. Lycopenes fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells and lead to tumor growth.

Cancer prevention: With the antioxidant properties and immune system support, grapefruit is a beneficial food in cancer prevention and treatment. Grapefruit also contains limonoids, pytonutrients that inhibit tumor formation through the production of detoxification enzymes.

Cholesterol lowering: Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that reduces the triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and slows down the progression of plague build-up in the arteries.

Good source of:

Vitamin C, A

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: Don’t judge a grapefruit by its cover. Discoloration, scratches, or scales will not change the flavor or texture of the fruit. However, you should feel for soft spots that indicate decay. Try to pick fruit that are heavy for their size, because this indicates there will be a higher concentration of juice. Grapefruit is sold year-round but the peak seasons are October to May.

Storing: Grapefruit tend to be juicer when slightly warm rather than cool so you can store them in room temperature if you are planning on eating them within a week of purchasing. If storing in the refrigerator, they will keep fresh for up to 3 weeks.

Enjoying: Grapefruit is usually eaten by slicing the fruit horizontally and scooping out the sections with a spoon and knife. They can also be eaten like oranges and the thin membranes of each section can be peeled off to have the fruit not taste so bitter.

Resources & recipes:

-Mixed greens with grapefruit and cranberries: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/mixed-green-salad-with-gr_n_1062062.html

-Citrus Salad with Candied ginger: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/citrus-salad-with-candied_n_1058331.html

-Grapefruit relish: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/avocado-grapefruit-relish_n_1061552.html

-Broiled grapefruit: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/broiled-grapefruit-recipe/

 

 

References:

Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064.
Dahan A, Altman H. Food-drug interaction: grapefruit juice augments drug bioavailability–mechanism, extent and relevance. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jan;58(1):1-9. 2004. PMID:14679360.
Dreier JP, Endres M. Statin-associated rhabdomyolysis triggered by grapefruit consumption. Neurology. 2004 Feb 24;62(4):670. 2004. PMID:14981197.
Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
Gao K, Henning SM, Niu Y, Youssefian AA, Seeram NP, Xu A, Heber D. The citrus flavonoid naringenin stimulates DNA repair in prostate cancer cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2006 Feb;17(2):89-95. Epub 2005 Jun 20. 2006. PMID:16111881.
Gorinstein S, Caspi A, Libman I, Lerner HT, Huang D, Leontowicz H, Leontowicz M, Tashma Z, Katrich E, Feng S, Trakhtenberg S. Red Grapefruit Positively Influences Serum Triglyceride Level in Patients Suffering from Coronary Atherosclerosis: Studies in Vitro and in Humans. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 8;54(5):1887-1892. 2006. PMID:16506849.
Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Lancet. 2001 Mar 3;357(9257):657-63. 2001.
Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA et al. Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke 2002 Jun;33(6):1568-73. 2002.
Mahan LK, Stump S. Krause's Food Nutrition and Diet Therapy 10th Ed. WB Saunders Co 2000. 2000.
Matos HR, Di Mascio P, Medeiros MH. Protective effect of lycopene on lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage in cell culture. Arch Biochem Biophys 2000 Nov 1;383(1):56-9. 2000.
Mullen W, Marks S, Crozier A. Evaluation of phenolic compounds in commercial fruit juices and fruit drinks. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Mar 16; [Epub ahead of print] . 2007. PMID:17362029.
Turner, Vanamala J, Leonardi T, Patil B, Murphy M, Wang N, Pike L, et al. Grapefruit and its isolated bioactive compounds act as colon cancer chemoprotectants in rats. The 228th ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 24, 2004. 2004.
Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=25


About the Author

Ashley Kim

“Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners.” – William Shakespeare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *