Botanical Name: Citrus paradise
Grapefruit is a large orange-like fruit that belongs to the citrus family. It is called grapefruit because like grapes, it grows in clusters of three to twelve or more. The grapefruit tree is about the size an orange tree and reaches a height of twenty to forty feet. The diameter of a grapefruit, depending on its variety, can range from four to six inches. The fruit’s rind looks like that of an orange, but its flesh comes in white, pink and red. Its albedo (the white matter under the skin) is about a quarter to half an inch thick. It contains around 50 seeds and some varieties are seedless. Grapefruit has a bitter and sour taste.
The United States produces about 97 percent of the world’s supply of grapefruit, and Florida and Texas together produces about 90 percent of the grapefruit grown in the United States.
Grapefruit Health Benefits:
- Fresh grapefruit contains organic salicylic acid which helps in removing or dissolving inorganic calcium which tends to accumulate in the cartilage of the joints; it is most often seen in people with arthritis.
- Eating grapefruit pectin (pulp, fiber) everyday may lower blood cholesterol by up to 19%. Experts in medical field also speculates that grapefruit chemicals may even clean out some of the arterial debris by partially dissolving plaque buildup that narrows and hardens arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Studies show that people with high blood cholesterol who ate fifteen grams of grapefruit pectin a day in capsules form for four month had an average drop of about eight percent in cholesterol. Note: Grapefruit juice is not high in pectin and does not depress blood cholesterol as much as the fruit pulp.
- Grapefruit juice significantly increases the activity of liver detoxification and helps to protect against lung and colon cancer. Its compound not only increases the death of cancer cells, but also the production of normal colon cells.
- Grapefruit can also stop cancer cells from spreading in breast cancer patients, by ridding the body of excess estrogen.
- A decoction of the pulp of grapefruit is thought to be valuable as a drug-poison eliminator.
- The pink and red varieties of grapefruits are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts to vitamin A. They are also high in lycopene, an antioxidant that can help repair skin tissues and can even help improve sperm count.
- Grapefruit juice is beneficial in the digestion of meat.
- Grapefruit contains an antioxidant that helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cells.
- Grapefruit is beneficial for diabetic, because it can reduce blood sugar circulating in the system.
- Grapefruit can be used as an effective treatment for malaria as it contains naturally occurring “quinine”. To extract the “quinine”, boil a quarter of a grapefruit and strain the pulp.
- Grapefruit when taken before bedtime can help give you a goodnight sleep.
- Grapefruit juice when taken first thing in the morning can help prevent constipation.
Grapefruit Nutrient Content: Per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A: Trace
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .04 mg.; Riboflavin .02 mg.; Niacin .2 mg.
- Vitamin C: 40 mg.
- Calcium: 22 mg.
- Iron: .2 mg.
- Phosphorus: 14 mg.
- Fat: .2 gm.
- Carbohydrates: 10.1 gm.
- Calories: 40
Benefits of Grapefruit Oil:
- Grapefruit oil has mood lifting properties.
- Grapefruit oil is often used for cellulite treatments because it helps break down superficial fat and helps improve the lymphatic system.
- Grapefruit oil can help cleanse the skin and helps in the treatment of several skin conditions, including acne.
- Grapefruit essential oil can help keep the hair healthy and strong; it can also help promote hair growth.
- Grapefruit oil when added to massage oil can help ease muscle stiffness through lactic acid removal.
- Grapefruit oil can help suppress strong appetite. Inhale a few drops of oil to suppress the hunger pang.
Medicinal Benefits of Grapefruit Rind: Grapefruit rind contains vitamin P, an important vitamin for healthy gums and teeth. This vitamin can be extracted by simmering the rind in water for about twenty minutes. Strain and drink.
- Buy grapefruit that is firm, but springy to the touch, well-shaped, and heavy for its size – the heavier the fruit the better. The heavy fruits are usually thin-skinned and contain more juice than those with coarse skin.
- Choose the pink and red variety because they are sweeter and contains more nutrient.
- When eating or juicing grapefruit, peel off the skin but leave as much of the albedo intact as possible as it contains the highest amount of valuable bioflavonoids and other anti-cancer agents.
- Grapefruit often has a reddish brown color over the normal yellow, which is called “russeting.” Russeting does not affect the flavor in any way.
- Keep grapefruits at room temperature before juicing to get the most out of it. To prepare, quarter the fruit and peel off the skin.
- The grapefruit is less acidulous than the lemon and is a good substitute when oranges or their juice cannot be tolerated, or when the alkaline reserves in the body need to be augmented.
- There is less sugar in grapefruit than in oranges.
- Grapefruits may stop the metabolism of drugs, leaving the drugs in the body thus creating the risk of toxic poisoning. Doctors may tell you that grapefruit is the cause of the toxicity, but in fact, it is really the drug that is causing the toxicity. If you are not under medication, grapefruit juice can do a lot of good for you. However, despite all its goodness, always remember to take only in moderation.
- Excessive consumption of any citrus juices can leach calcium from the body system, causing decay of the bones and teeth.