Cholesterol : In Season: Grapefruit

By Michael T. Murray, ND

Named the "grapefruit" because it grows in clusters similar to grapes, this citrus fruit is at its peak during the winter months. Grapefruit were first noted on the island of Barbados in 1750, where it was thought to be a natural crossbreed between the orange and pomelo. By 1880, grapefruit had become a major crop in Florida.

Nutritional Highlights:
  • Grapefruit are a good source of flavonoids, water-soluble fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid.
  • A 3 and a half ounce serving of grapefruit, approximately half of an average red or pink grape fruit is only 42 calories.
Health Benefits:
  • Studies have shown pectin found in grapefruit to be effective at lowering cholesterol, resulting in a decreased risk for heart disease.
  • Consumption of grapefruit helps normalize hematocrit levels, or the percentage of red blood cells, correcting problems such as anemia, dehydration, and risk of heart disease.
  • Grapefruit contains the carotene lycopene, a photochemical that helps battle heart disease, cancer, and macular degeneration.
  • Grapefruit also contains D-limonene, which helps the liver rid the body of toxic chemicals responsible for tumor formation.
Grapefruit are a great addition to any meal. Try eating half a grapefruit with your breakfast, or even having a glass of grapefruit juice to help wake you wake you up in the morning. Brighten up a green or fruit salad by adding chunks of grapefruit.
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