Know before you eat!
The grapefruit was bred in the 18th century as a cross between a pomelo and an orange. It was given the name grapefruit due to growing in clusters, similar to grapes. There is a great deal of literature on grapefruit on how good it is for you and how bad it is. Lets clear things up a bit.
Grapefruits are low in calories but are full of nutrients, and an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. Grapefruit is 92% water, giving it one of the highest water contents of any fruit. Harvard Medical School states that grapefruit has a glycemic index of 25. This suggests that it does not significantly affect blood sugar and insulin levels.
Grapefruit has been studied and it has been demonstrated that eating grapefruit decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality. It can also help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, lower blood pressure and stimulate your immune system. Red and Pink grapefruit are even better for you, because they contain higher antioxidant levels, specifically beta carotene,and lycopene.
Before you go running out and buying grapefruit to eat, we need to look at some very real concerns. Grapefruit contains chemicals that inhibit a enzymes in the liver and intestine that are needed to break down toxins, over the counter medicines and prescription drugs in the body. The inhibition of these enzymes can lead to these drugs and toxins accumulating in your body. These natural chemicals in Grapefruit permanently bind with CYP3A4 enzymes. This means that until your body can produce more those enzymes will not help detoxify your body. The process to produce more enzymes takes 72 hours. While many drugs are deactivated by CYP3A4, there are also some drugs which are activated by the enzyme. Some substances, such as grapefruit juice and some drugs, interfere with the action of CYP3A4. These substances will therefore either amplify or weaken the action of those drugs that are modified by CYP3A4.
So what does all this mean? Grapefruit is good for you but if you are on any medication at all, check with your doctor and check for yourself if there are any adverse reactions. Also keep in mind that Grapefruit inhibits enzymes important in eliminating toxins from your body, so limit your intake of grapefruit. I would recommend taking a break from grapefruit of at least 6 day every two weeks. It takes your body 72 hours to recover from grapefruit. This includes all products that contain grapefruit including juice, ice-cream, deserts, and soft drinks.
Here is a partial list of drugs that Grapefruit inhibits.
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