what are the benefits of drinking grapefruit juice

Grapefruit Juice Benefits: Why You Should Drink It & When to Avoid It

Grapefruit juice (otherwise known as citrus paradisi) is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals to help keep your immune system strong, and offers benefits for your liver, skin, hair and heart.

Here is a closer look at evidence based grapefruit juice benefits.

Grapefruit Juice General Benefits

One medium grapefruit contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Thiamine, Folate and Magnesium, which are all essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to maintain good health.

Grapefruits also contains zinc, copper, iron and B Vitamins. Although these vitamins and minerals are in smaller amounts, in combination they help to keep your immune system functioning well and offer protective factors to the skin.

Grapefruit Juice Benefits for Skin

health benefits of grapefruit juice

Grapefruit has a high water content, which is beneficial for keeping your body, including your skin, well hydrated. The water content in grapefruit will help to flush out toxins in your body, leading to brighter, healthier looking skin.

Vitamin C, one of the main vitamins found in grapefruit, contains powerful antioxidants that assist with collagen production. Vitamin C, combined with other vitamins and minerals in grapefruit nourish your cells for tighter, younger looking skin.

Saving a little fresh grapefruit juice to make your own homemade body scrubs, cleansers and toners also has a wonderful effect on your skin.

Fresh grapefruit juice (particularly the red and pink varieties) also contains lycopene, an essential component to reducing inflammation and redness within the skin. Beta Carotene, found in Vitamin A, aids in brightening your skin and collagen production.

The natural antibacterial properties of fresh grapefruit juice also help to keep your skin healthy from the outside, protecting your skin against free radicals in the environment.

Grapefruit Juice Benefits for Heart Health

Grapefruit provides the body with naringin, which belongs to a subclass of flavanones that may have a benefit on the cardiovascular system.

Naringin has been studies in animals and reported to be beneficial for neuroinflammation, bone mineral content and blood lipids.

In postmenopausal women, a 16 year follow up study was conducted, identifying grapefruit as a flavonoid rich food which provided a significant reduction in mortality from chronic heart disease.

If you have a pre-existing heart condition, heart disease or comorbidity, please seek medical advice before adding fresh grapefruit juice to your diet. Grapefruit juice is known for interacting with prescribed medications for cardiovascular disease. Further information can be found in this article here and the paragraphs below.

Grapefruit Juice Benefits for Weight Loss

grapefruit juice benefits

Grapefruit has been associated with reduced appetite,

A study undertaken by Nutrition & Metabolism London followed 85 obese adults for a 12 week period.

Grapefruit juice is filled with important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium, making it an excellent juice to add to your diet.

Besides that, grapefruit juice can also provide you with the necessary dietary fibers. When you take this all into consideration, grapefruit juice is remarkably healthy and gives you access to countless health benefits. For example, drinking grapefruit juice can really help you strengthen your immune system through all its nutrients and that’s always something to strive for!

However, just because grapefruit juice is healthy and good for you, that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard with drinking it. it’s important to keep your grapefruit juice intake within normal proportions.

Who Should Avoid Grapefruit Juice?

benefits of drinking grapefruit juice

Now that it’s established that grapefruit juice is good for you, it should be noted that this is not the case for everyone.

Concretely, grapefruits contain certain chemical substances such as Furanocoumarin. This substance affects the functioning of your metabolism and the way your body breaks down drugs in the small intestine.

Drinking grapefruit juice is not a good idea when you’re taking particular types of medication. This includes medications such as statins for high cholesterol.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration drinking fresh grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit should be avoided when taking the following types of medications:

  • Cholesterol lowering medications, such as Zocor and Lipitor (simvastatin and atorvastatin)
  • Blood pressure lowering medications such as Adalat CC and Procardia (nefedipine)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm medications such as Nexterone and Pacerone (amiodarone)
  • Antihistamines in the fexofenadine range such as Allegra
  • Some medications for anti anxiety including buspirone
  • Corticosteroids in the budesonide range including Entocort EC and Uceris. These are used to treat Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis
  • Cyclosporine drugs used to treat organ transplant rejection including Neoral and Sandimmune

There are different effects with different medications. Some medications, such as fexofenadine, may not be as effective when taken with citrus juices or other types of juices such as apple. Statin medications, may have the opposite effect and too much of the medication could enter the bloodstream, causing negative side effects.

It is important to speak with your doctor and/or pharmacist if you plan to add grapefruits or their juice to your diet. They will give you the best advice on whether any medications you are taking may be affected.

It is also important to note that fruits crossed with grapefruits, such as pomelos, tangelos and seville oranges may have the same type of interactions in the body. If you are on any of the above medications, avoid these citrus fruits as well until you speak with your health professional.

Is It Good To Drink Grapefruit Juice Before Bed?

This is one instance where I’d recommend eating the fruit rather than drinking the juice before bed.

The high vitamin C and potassium will benefit your body in healing and recovery whilst you rest overnight. However, the concentrated sugars in grapefruit juice may give you a burst of energy rather than encourage sleep.

Grapefruits are low in calories, having just 82 calories in one medium fruit. They contain 4 grams of fiber. Eating the fruit whole before bed will ensure a steady balance of your blood sugars, which can also help balance your circadian rhythm cycles.

The fiber level may assist with feeling fuller for longer. If you intermittent fast, this could be helpful in maximizing your fasting period.

Grapefruits also contain lycopene. Studies have shown that increased consumption of lycopene was associated with an easier transition into sleep at night. Tomatoes are another rich source of lycopene.

If you suffer with heartburn or acid reflux, don’t consume grapefruits or their juice before bed. If you are a reflux sufferer, you will undoubtedly know that citrus fruits can worsen the symptoms, which are often worse at night.

What Happens If You Drink Grapefruit Juice every Day?

benefits of grapefruit juice in the morning

If you make it a point to drink grapefruit juice every day, there are a couple of things that will happen to you and your body.

First off, drinking grapefruit juice daily will strengthen your immune system, due to the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamins and minerals supports your immune system health and may help to keep colds and flu at bay.

As you age, it is important to have adequate levels of vitamin C for the production of collagen in your skin. Drinking grapefruit juice daily supports this. You are likely to see smoother skin and wrinkle reduction too. Vitamin C also aids in wound healing, so any minor scrapes or cuts should heal up quick fast with daily grapefruit juice consumption.

Furthermore, drinking juice with added pulp will assist with feeling fuller. The increased fiber from the pulp will take longer to digest, helping with the feeling of fullness. Feeling fuller means you generally eat less, therefore a reduction in calories from food will help with weight loss.

If your cholesterol is on the higher side, but you don’t yet need medication, adding grapefruits to your diet daily may help to lower the LDL cholesterol levels. Your LDL levels are the ones that are considered “bad” cholesterol. If you do need medication for your cholesterol, see our section above about the medications that interact with grapefruit juice and speak with your doctor first.

The Journal of Metabolism also reports that the daily consumption of grapefruit could assist with keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.

What Are The Side-Effects Of Too Much Grapefruit Juice?

Of course, consuming grapefruit juice isn’t all rainbows and butterflies if you overdo it. While it may primarily be remarkably healthy, there are certain side-effects that you need to keep in mind as well.

For example, drinking grapefruit juice too much can have a negative impact on your teeth. Specifically, grapefruit contains both sugars and citric acid. This makes for a dangerous combination that can facilitate tooth erosion. So, if you have rather sensitive teeth, drinking too much grapefruit juice is something to be avoided, for sure.

It is reported that citrus juices can also contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease by weakening the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus. Not to mention the pH of grapefruits is between 2.90 and 3.25, so the acidic nature of the fruit may worsen reflux symptoms.

You should also not mix grapefruit juice with raw sweet potato juice. Both of these juices have excellent health benefits, but should be consumed at separate times.

Is Ruby Red Grapefruit Good For You?

Grapefruits can appear in various colors, shapes and varieties. Did you know that there are 10 varieties of grapefruits? Ruby Red is one of those, as a Redblush, Triumph, Sweetie, Thompson, Duncan, Foster, Paradise Navel, Oroblanco and Marsh.

Just like other varieties, the Ruby Red Grapefruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibers. However, what truly makes this type of grapefruit stand out is the chemical lycopene. This chemical is not only responsible for the distinguishing color of this type of grapefruit, but it also serves as an extremely crucial antioxidant.

Because of this, the Ruby Red Grapefruit has numerous health benefits and really gives your body the power to fight off all kinds of pathogens. Consequently, this type of grapefruit can really provide your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive!

How Do I Juice A Grapefruit?

Grapefruits are one of the easiest fruits to juice. Here’s a quick overview on how to juice grapefruits depending on the type of juicer you have:

Centrifugal Juicers: Peel the skin off the grapefruit and place the whole grapefruit in the centrifugal juicer. The juice and pulp will be separated. See my paragraph below for ideas on what to do with the skin and pulp.

Masticating Juicers: Peel the skin off the grapefruit. Depending on the size of your masticating juicer, you may need to cut the grapefruit into quarters and feed into the juicer one by one. The juice and pulp will be separated. See below for ideas on what to do with the pulp and skin.

Citrus Juicers: This is the fastest and easiest way to juice grapefruit, or any type of citrus fruit. Cut the fruit in half across the middle. If you have an electric citrus juicer, place the flesh side down on the juicer and push down gently. The juicer will spin extract the juice from the fruit.

the health benefits of grapefruit juice

Manual Juicers: Cut the grapefruit in half across the middle and place the cut side on the manual juicer. Squeeze and twist the grapefruit whilst placing pressure down on top to extract the juice.

If you don’t have either an electric juicing machine or manual citrus juicer, roll the grapefruit on a flat surface (such as a countertop or cutting board) for a couple of seconds to ensure that you will get a lot of juice out of it. Then, cut the fruit in half. Use a fork to scoop out the flesh and juice. You can then push this through a strainer into a glass to separate the juice and pulp.

What Can You Do The Pulp and Peel?

what are the benefits of drinking grapefruit juice

Lastly, people often forget that you can do a lot with the peel of different kinds of fruit and that’s also absolutely the case when it comes to grapefruits!

For example, you can make zest, powder, or vinegar out of grapefruit peel. Afterward, you can use these things to spice up your meals or to provide them with a special touch. However, you can also just as easily make a scrub or face mask on the base of grapefruit peels.

If you use a centrifugal or masticating juicer to make grapefruit juice, don’t discard the pulp! You can save this and use it in baking, in particular fruit based cakes and muffins. It freezes well for future use.

If you don’t want to use the pulp, don’t just throw it in the bin. Compost the pulp, or if you like to grow your own veggies, cucumbers, broccoli, beans, turnips and squash favor acidic soils. Mix the leftover pulp in with the soil for an acidic boost.

If you have a flowering garden, hydrangeas, daffodils, camellias and azaleas also thrive in more acidic soils. Waste not want not!

Verdict

All in all, grapefruits are one of the most healthy types of citrus fruits available. Unless contraindicated, including freshly squeezed grapefruit juice or fresh grapefruits as part of a balanced diet is recommended.

Commercially prepared juices often contain concentrates and added sugars, this is not something I recommend consuming. If you are unable to get hold of fresh grapefruits, choose another fruit or vegetable to juice. Remember to juice fruits and veggies that are ripe and in season for maximum nutrition and cost effectiveness of juicing.


References:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Mink PJ, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM, Harnack L, Hong CP, Nettleton JA, Jacobs DR Jr. Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;85(3):895-909. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/85.3.895. PMID: 17344514.

American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs

Bailey DG, Dresser GK. Interactions between grapefruit juice and cardiovascular drugs. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2004;4(5):281-97. doi: 10.2165/00129784-200404050-00002. PMID: 15449971.

Nutrition & Metabolism (London)

Silver HJ, Dietrich MS, Niswender KD. Effects of grapefruit, grapefruit juice and water preloads on energy balance, weight loss, body composition, and cardiometabolic risk in free-living obese adults. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Feb 2;8(1):8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-8. PMID: 21288350; PMCID: PMC3039556.

US Food and Drug Administration

Grapefruit Juice and Some Drugs Don’t Mix: 07/18/2017

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