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.

  • By Rima Linda, August 17, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    This is an interesting post. I love it very much. Well my 2 cent worth on this topic is there is no real secret to weight loss. It always comes back to - eating well and exercising right. In my view, fasting can work, but it should not be done to an extreme. Keep it to short time frame and not like months as I witness some people doing it.

  • By ed, August 17, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    You mentioned that you should not eat grapefruit if you are taking blood pressure medicine. I have also heard that grape fruit should not be eaten if you are taking cholesterol medication.

  • By meltzer, August 17, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Hi Rima, thanks for your thoughts! Balanced nutrition (focusing on foods that support the metabolism and metabolic healing) and exercising are certainly the foundation to long-term weight loss. Having ways to naturally curb your appetite and overcome Appetitis (emotional overeating), and tapping into the infinite potential of positive belief systems and self-inspiration are also great tools for long-term success.

  • By meltzer, August 17, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    Hi Ed, thanks for your comment. You’re correct, there are some cholesterol lowering drugs that grapefruit can interact with. For those individuals taking prescription drugs, it’s best to consult with your doctor to make sure that there aren’t any contraindications.

  • By Elle, August 18, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    What is meant by sub-acidic or alkaline fruits?

  • By Laurie, August 18, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

    Since buying your book on “Permanent Weight Loss”, I am in stage one - power cleansing; I have to admit I didn’t like the idea of having to drink grapefuit juice and then add brewer’s yeast. I have been a serious sugar addict all my life. Well, it has been four days and I am pleasantly suprised and very happy I don’t get hungry in between meals and I am completely amazed about not craving any sweets. I am enjoying your book too. I can see why you titled it “The Best Kept Secret To Permanent Weight Loss”.

  • By meltzer, August 18, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    Hi Laurie, thanks for your kind thoughts! As you’re experiencing, the grapefruit juice + brewer’s yeast (along with a balanced nutritional program and some of our appetite control exercises) can work wonders when it comes to taking away your cravings and appetite. Keep up the good work!

  • By Bryan Knowles, August 21, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

    I was so happy to read about grapefruit’s effect on metabolism. Finally a natural way to increase it and get other benefits s well. Why is it only grapefruit and not other citrus fruit enhance the metabolism?

  • By Charley Thweatt, August 22, 2011 @ 3:29 am

    oranges, grapefruit… why stop there?? There are so many wonderful citrus fruits that taste great and give us a nutritious boost! Tell us more!

  • By Amy Stroud, August 22, 2011 @ 3:42 am

    I have been eating grapefruit for years and I love them. Thanks for giving me even more reasons to keep eating (and enjoying) them!

  • By Lisa Pound, August 22, 2011 @ 5:13 am

    they truly are a fanastic snack-so hearty and “meaty”, and you are right, I do not feel hungry after I eat one!

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