Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that is known for its extensive benefits. Grapefruit is high in vitamin C; it is a low-carbohydrate fruit and contains molecules with antioxidant properties such as lemons.
However, recent studies suggest that grapefruit may have its contraindications. For example, it interacts with medications.
This article describes the nutritional properties, benefits, and contraindications of grapefruit.
What is grapefruit?
Grapefruit is a fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family. The grapefruit tree called citrus paradise is about 5 to 6 m tall.
Although it is believed to be native to Asia, its provenance is not precisely known. The grapefruit fruit is about 15 cm in diameter. It is covered with a thick, yellow, or pinkish rind, and the pulp has a characteristic bitter taste.
Eating grapefruit is associated with several benefits; it is low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants due to its bitter and spicy taste.
Like most citrus fruits, Grapefruits are a natural source of antioxidants such as vitamin C. In addition, another of its properties is its high content of polyphenols, flavonoids, and terpenes. Including these molecules in the diet is good for preventing oxidative processes over time. The benefits of grapefruit are:
- Prevent oxidation of free radicals
Red grapefruits have the most molecules related to this benefit. The presence of carotenoids in this grapefruit is one of the main benefits. For this reason, one of the benefits is said to prevent aging processes and the typical oxidation caused by the stress hormone cortisol.
- Better cardiovascular health
Grapefruit is high in potassium, a fundamental element in cardiovascular health. Consuming this fruit regularly will guarantee the health of your heart.
- More energy
Grapefruit works by enhancing the effect of some compounds that cause hyperactivity, such as caffeine. If you feel fatigued and the week is getting tough, you will have a guaranteed energy boost with a coffee and grapefruit juice.
- Better skin health
One of the benefits of grapefruit is its limonene content. This molecule is isolated in oils as an anti-stress therapy as well as it is used to regenerate the skin and eliminate toxic substances. Limonene also increases the activity of liver enzymes.
- Relieve hangover
The tannins and terpenes in grapefruit help relieve the headache and feeling of fatigue typical of excess alcohol. Due to its high citric acid content, one of the benefits is alleviating the heartburn of a hangover.
It is not a myth that grapefruit can have its contraindications. The interaction between some medications and grapefruit is a big problem.
It has even generated that some pharmaceutical companies must include: do not take with fruit juice on their labeling. They are referring precisely to avoiding grapefruit.
One of the properties of grapefruit is to interfere with liver enzymes—the result: more of the drug in the blood, which can intensify side effects or contraindications.
The contraindications of grapefruit are:
- Taking cholesterol-lowering medications (atorvastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin, etc.)
- Taking some medicines to reduce pressure (losartan, spironolactone, amiodarone, droneradone)
- Some psychopharmacological medications (queiapine, diazepam, midalozam, lurasidone)
- Erectile dysfunction drugs (sildenafil, tadalafil, tamsulosin)
Grapefruit can affect testosterone and estrogen levels.
For a man with normal testosterone and estrogen levels, grapefruit will not affect the body.
However, consuming grapefruit can bring more complications than benefits for a man with high estrogen levels or takes erectile dysfunction medications.
Also, the combination of grapefruit juice and taking birth control pills; it can cause estrogen levels in the blood to skyrocket. The result – is the formation of blood clots and other cardiovascular problems.
Does eating grapefruit work for weight loss?
Some claim that one of the benefits of eating grapefruit is losing weight fast. However, this is not true.
Grapefruit is one more fruit; it is not a magic bullet to lose weight. What can be said is that it is an excellent substitute for sweet foods.
Due to its low glycemic index, including grapefruit in your diet is an excellent way to end the craving for something sweet.
Furthermore, the sugar content of grapefruit is relatively low compared to other fruits, like grapes, apples, and bananas.
Although grapefruit provides a small number of carbohydrates, grapefruit is a good option if you have decided to reduce carbohydrates to lose weight.
- Among the benefits of grapefruit is its high content of vitamin C, limonene, and other terpenes.
- Grapefruit can interfere with medications. You should check their contraindications if you take medicines to treat cholesterol, pressure, or psychotropic drugs.
- Grapefruit is not a magic bullet for weight loss. However, if you have decided on a low-carb method, it is one of the allowed fruits.