Category: Cold & Flu

Grapefruit: The Queen of Citrus

Last week we officially crowned the mighty orange as the “King of Citrus.” This week it’s time to turn our attention to the grapefruit, the “Queen of Citrus.”  In the world of clinical nutrition, the healing and therapeutic values of grapefruits are nothing short of royalty.  They boost your metabolism, build your immune system, increase your resistance to disease, and even curb your appetite!  Let’s take a closer look.


Notable Personality Factors:

Grapefruits—particularly the pink variety—are the ultimate emotional adaptogen: They lift deflated spirits and soothe anxious hyperactivity by balancing hormones and moods. In fact, I like to think of grapefruits as glad foods. When you want to feel bright, right, and cheerful, grab a grapefruit!  Just like oranges, grapefruits are also a great way to start the day.

Therapeutic and Healing Powers:***

As with other citrus fruits, grapefruits are good for the immune system. They’re rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that build your Immune Power and help you fight off long-term illnesses such as cancer.  And that’s just the beginning!

I consider grapefruits to be a leading circulatory antiseptic. In other words, this powerful citrus fruit is a potent blood cleanser.  That is precisely why it’s so valuable in the prevention and treatment of bacterial and viral infections. Whenever you sense mucus accumulating in your throat or sinuses, or whenever you feel pressure in your ears, think grapefruits. They have excellent therapeutic value against colds, coughs, the flu, and bronchial or sinus infections. Not only do they help purify the blood, but their high acid content enables them to break down and dissolve accumulated mucus in the glands, sinus, and throat. As we discussed last week, the over-accumulation of this kind of mucus can create an environment for bacteria and viruses to thrive.  By preventing the build-up of excess mucus, grapefruits go a long way in preventing and treating upper respiratory infections.  I’ve also found that you can use grapefruit and its rind to lower fevers and alleviate earaches.

Grapefruits are not only emotional but also physiological adaptogens: When the body needs to produce more red blood cells, grapefruits stimulate bone marrow. That’s one of the reasons they’re a useful adjunct against anemia. Conversely, when the blood’s red cell count and hemoglobin levels are too high, such as in a condition called polycythemia, grapefruits’ adaptogenic properties decrease the excess production.

I prescribe grapefruits for any cardiovascular condition. In addition to cleansing the blood, they lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels with the aid of their pectin content, and prevent atherosclerosis and clotting. I’ve also found grapefruits to be a valuable component in a diet geared toward the prevention of Alzheimer’s, senility, and stroke.  It’s important to note, however, that grapefruits and grapefruit juice can interact with certain prescription drugs.  Individuals on blood pressure medications, for example, should not consume grapefruits unless directed otherwise by their physician or primary healthcare provider. In fact, to be safe, it’s best to ask your doctor about any prescription drugs you might be on and any potential contraindications.

Finally, it’s important to highlight that grapefruits also have a favorable influence on the metabolism. Anyone interested in permanent weight loss should be certain to have grapefruits and grapefruit juice as part of a daily diet. Both eliminate appetitis—an overactive appetite—while natural boosting your metabolism.  If you’re feeling ravenous, have a glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice mixed with one tablespoon of brewer’s yeast and one tablespoon of spirulina or Revita—it will satisfy both your appetite (your emotional desire for food) as well as your hunger (your physiological need for food), and keep your weight loss plan on track!

Nutrient Value:

Grapefruits are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, flavonoids, and folic acid. In addition, grapefruits are a great source of lycopene and beta carotene, two powerful antioxidants.  Their water-soluble fiber has also been well documented to have cholesterol-lowering properties.

Selection and Care:

To ensure juiciness, choose grapefruits by weight rather than by size. Pick firm, thin-skinned, ripe grapefruits; avoid spongy, soft, indented ones. And note the ends of the grapefruit: When they are pointed, the fruit is likely to be thick-skinned and less juicy. The pink or red grapefruits have higher concentrations of vitamin A, enzymes, and fat-burning metabolites, so look for Ruby Red or Star Ruby from Florida or Texas crops.

Optimal Use and Combining:

Like all fruits, it’s best to eat grapefruits fresh, raw, and whole. Grapefruits combine well with other citrus, but don’t mix well with alkaline melons or sub-acidic apples and berries. A salad of pink grapefruits with pineapples and bananas is my personal favorite in the winter and spring. Papayas also make excellent partners for pink grapefruits. Grapefruits invigorate nuts and granola, so make them a part of your trail mix when hiking or camping. And as part of a seasonal juice fast, emphasize fresh squeezed grapefruit and Valencia orange juices. Both are extremely beneficial to blood pressure and overall wellbeing.

***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.

Orange: The King of Citrus

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the role that nutrition plays in our day-to-day lives.  It impacts the way we feel, the way we look, our energy, and our mood–and that’s just the begining!  Our nutrition can help prevent disease, initiate a healing process, combat stress, and more!

Do you know what makes the mighty orange a particularly important part of a smart nutritional program?  Let’s take a closer look.

Notable Personality Factors:

Oranges have long been the icon of the citrus fruits. For this reason, I like to think of the orange as the “King of Citrus.”  Oranges promote alertness and confidence, increase energy levels, invigorate, and are good for circulation. That’s why they are so great to start off a day with.  They brighten spirits, boost mental attitude, and bring hope. Fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning is truly an eye-opener.

Therapeutic and Healing Powers:***

The flavonoids and bioflavonoids in oranges, combined with their high vitamin C content, make the fruit a strong ally of the immune system. These phytonutrients and antioxidants play an important role in fighting off degenerative disease, slowing the aging process, and maintaining the immune system’s infinite potential to self-govern, self-rejuvenate, and self-repair.

Oranges’ assortment of phytonutrients and enzymes are also of particular benefit to the prevention of upper respiratory infections. What I’ve learned over the years is that oranges have a detergent action, loosening mucus in the upper respiratory passages (the exact opposite effect of mucus-forming milk and dairy). When your upper respiratory system is backed up with mucus, it can create an environment for bacteria and viruses to spread.  That’s why oranges are an essential nutritional tool in the treatment and prevention of bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, and sore throat. I regularly prescribe this citrus to combat common bacterial infections as well as viral infections such as the cold and flu. A glass of fresh squeezed o.j. goes a long way in helping to treat and prevent such nasty bugs.

It’s also important to point out that oranges are good for the arteries. They keep cholesterol low, prevent plaque buildup in the blood vessels, and are beneficial to blood pressure.

Nutrient Value:

As mentioned above, the vitamin C, bioflavonoid, and phytonutrient content of this fruit make it a standout. The orange is also endowed with respectable levels of folic acid, vitamin B1, and carotenoids. Finally, its important to note that its pectin content has cholesterol-lowering value.

Selection and Care:

The orange originated in southern China and Southeast Asia, and has become the leading fruit crop in the United States. I prefer thin-skinned California Valencia oranges for juicing, because they’re sweeter and less sharp than other varieties. For eating, use thicker-skinned navels and Florida oranges. Tangerines and tangelos have similar personality traits to their sister citrus.

Select oranges that are heavy for their size. Avoid spongy, soft, puffy, or indented oranges. Surface scars and mottling are not important, so don’t fret over these superficial flaws.

Optimal Use and Combining:

Oranges are best used for juice or cut into segments as part of a fruit salad. They combine well with other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit or pineapple. Bananas and papayas also match up. But avoid mixing oranges with melons and other alkaline fruits. Citrus and melon are a poor food combo. And although oranges agree with strawberries in smoothies or fruit salads, they don’t get along as well with apples, grapes, and other sub-acid fruits. For a gratifyingly crunchy snack, mix oranges with nuts, especially almonds, or with high-protein granola.

Finally, as with all fruits, oranges have the highest therapeutic and nutritional value when they are fresh and whole.  In other words, fresh squeezed orange juice is far superior to orange juice from concentrate, which has been overly processed and devitalized of much of its phytonutrient content.  Similarly, fresh, living, raw oranges are going to deliver far superior health benefits than oranges from a can.

***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.

3 Foods to Avoid to Prevent the Cold & Flu

In the first part of our series on the Cold & Flu, we discussed the big picture on what causes the Cold & Flu and how you can prevent them. In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at some specific strategies you can use to prevent the Cold & Flu, particularly as it applies to your nutrition.

Have you ever considered whether there is a relationship between the food you eat and your risk for coming down with the common cold, the seasonal flu, or an upper respiratory infection? How about your ability to recover from the cold and flu? Are there certain foods that make it more difficult for your body to get back to a state of balance, health, and wellbeing?

In this 3-minute clinic we outline the 3 foods to avoid—particularly around the change of the seasons—that can compromise your immune system and upper respiratory system and put you at increased risk for the cold and flu.

For additional strategies, check out our video on 3 Foods to Eat to Prevent the Cold & Flu!

“Welcome to the 3 minute clinic, and today we are going to continue to talk about how to prevent the cold, the common cold during the winter season, and the flu. That’s right, we are going to talk about what you can do and how to empower yourself so that you don’t get sick this season. So that when Christmas comes, or the holidays come, you’re having fun, you’re enjoying your family, you’re enjoying your friends, and you’re not stuck socially in the bed, “oh I can’t go out, and I don’t feel well” and the headaches and the backaches and the sore throats. So that’s what we’re going to talk about now. Because most folks are going to talk about catching the flu, it’s going around the office, it’s going around the nursery, its going around the school, and they’re catching it. They’re suffering with it. That’s what’s going to happen, now here’s what you have to know. And what’s interesting to me is that many physicians don’t know what I’m going to tell you right now. I’m going to tell you a secret that unfortunately most physicians don’t know. Now the number one risk factor, the number one risk factor of getting colds and flues is nutritional stress. That’s right! What happens you see, is what we call the over-stressed, under-nurtured syndrome. People are under high levels of stress. So when you have too much stress, which most people have, but when you under-nurture yourself or eat the wrong foods, that sets you up to tilt. That’s what the flu is. That’s what the common cold is. You tilt! You see, your body has an overload and it has to rest and repair itself. So here’s what you want to know, nutritional stress is the single most important factor in developing the flu. Now here’s how I look at it, you know I like my patients to do well, and I don’t like my patients to beat themselves. And so what’s the most important thing here? Those of you who follow sports know that turnovers make the difference. The team that makes the most turnovers, unfortunately is the team that loses. When you eat the wrong foods, to me that’s a nutritional turnover. Now here’s the thing you have to know, the most important thing from this lesson today is you have to know what not to eat. You see, knowing what not to eat is the most important thing in preventing the flu. There are three categories of foods that you must know that you want to stay away from. The number one food that contributes to the flu is eggs. It’s amazing to me that mothers continue to give their kids eggs. You know, seven to eight out of every ten visits to pediatricians are for upper-respiratory troubles. Sore throat, ear aches, sinus infections, flues, bronchitis, laryngitis—isn’t it interesting that most of their practice is upper-respiratory infections. And yet, do they realize that eggs are the number one thing that contributes to these problems? The second most common food group is dairy products / milk products. Cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, that’s what we’re talking about. And the third category of foods have to do with sugars, artificial sugars meaning desserts, and cookies, and unnatural sweets, and refined white flour. The white rice, the white bread, the white pasta, the white foods. So here’s what I want you to remember, to prevent the flu you must know what not to eat. And the three categories of foods you want to stay away from during this winter flu season when everything’s going around, and everybody’s catching the flu are eggs, dairy products, artificial sweets and white, refined flour. So that’s the tip for today, make time for wellness, know what not to eat and make time to prevent the flu.”

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categories Cold & Flu, Disease Prevention, Nutrition, Video | meltzer July 8, 2011 | comments Comments Off