• Dr Meltzer

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.

When the body needs to produce more red blood cells, grapefruits stimulate bone marrow.

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 & 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.

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