Sweet and juicy, grapefruits have long been a diet staple. But more than just low in calories, grapefruits pack an impressive nutritional payload. They are rich in pectin, a type of fiber known for lowering cholesterol. This citrus fruit is also high in potassium essential for normal blood pressure and vitamin C which the vitamin linked to fewer wrinkles. In fact 1/2 a grapefruit supplys almost 70% of our daily vitamion C needs– at just 30 calories. Usually differnt types of a fruit or vegetable have pretty much the same nutritional content. But grapefruits are different. P ink or red grapefruits ( usually from Texas) are also rich in beta carotene– a precursor to skin- friendly vitamin A. The white grapefruit ( common in Florida) which tastes pretty much the same, has very little beta carotene.
Problem with Grapefruits?
Grapefruits have an unusual impact on common medications– they make them stronger. Apparently, grapefruits contain compounds that inhibit drug metabolism which makes it more available to the body. This impact seems to affect some people more than others so its hard to know if its something you should worry about. The list of drugs which are boosted by grapefruits is long, including Lipitor to lower cholesterol, Synthroid thyroid supplements, codeine for pain, Prilosec for acid reflux and Zoloft for depression. This impact can last for up to 72 hours. Since grapefruit juice seems to be much more of a problem than the actual fruit, current recommendations are to avoid taking medication with the juice. If you take several of these meds, ask your doctor if grapefruits can pose a problem.
Grapefruits also have a reputation as a fat-burner. It only it was true. There are no special enzymes in these orbs that will use up calories calorie or increase fat loss. But they offer enough real nutritional benefits to make them an awesome fruit choice in winter when they are in season.