Grapefruit

Grapefruit belongs to the tropical fruits of the Rutaceae family. Grapefruit fruits growing on trees outwardly resemble bunches of grapes, which was the reason for the formation of its name, which contains the combination of two foreign words of English origin grape (" grapes ") and fruit ("fruit"). In the 1930s, grapefruit was called"citrus of paradise "or Citrus paradisi in Latin. Grapefruit is native to Barbados. It is believed that it appeared as a result of natural crossing of orange and pomelo. The plant is not found in the wild in nature. Grapefruit is an evergreen plant that is afraid of frost. Like other citrus fruits, it can easily crossbreed. It is worth noting that the unique properties of grapefruit have not yet been fully studied and proven.

General characteristics

Grapefruit grows in the Caribbean, Israel, South Africa and Brazil. The height of this evergreen tree reaches 15 meters. The ripened fruit is about 15 cm in diameter. Grapefruit pulp has a sour taste, and its white veins add bitterness.

Grapefruits begin to be harvested in early February after almost a year of ripening. There are about twenty varieties of grapefruit in the world, which differ from each other in the color of the peel and pulp: from yellow to light red.

The fruits are eaten mostly raw, which is explained by their ability to be stored for a long time. Grapefruits are also used to make jams, juices, liqueurs and candied fruits. In cosmetology, essential oil is made from the fruits of the fruit.

Chemical composition and nutritional value

Grapefruit pulp contains a huge amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The energy value of the edible part of the fruit is 35 kcal per 100 grams.

Nutritional value per 100 grams of edible part of grapefruit
Nutrient Amount Average intake per day for an adult
Calories 35 kcal 1684 kcal
Proteins 0.7 g 76 g
Fat 0.2 g 60 g
Carbohydrates 6.5 g 211 g
Dietary fiber 1.8 g 20 g
Water 88.8 g 2400 g
Ash 0.5 g
Vitamin A 3 mcg 900 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.05 mg 1.5 mg
Vitamin B2 0.03 mg 1.8 mg
Vitamin B5 0.21 mg 5 µg
Vitamin B6 0.04 mg 2 mg
Vitamin B9 3 mcg 400 mcg
Vitamin C 45 mg 90 mg
Vitamin E 0.3 mg 15 mg
Vitamin PP 0.3 mg 20 mg
Potassium 184 mg 2500 mg
Calcium 23 mg 1000 mg
Magnesium 10 mg 400 mg
Sodium 13 mg 1300 mg
Phosphorus 18 mg 800 mg
Iron 0.5 mg 18 mg

Useful properties

Grapefruit is the “champion” in terms of the amount of vitamin C, outperforming even such citrus fruits as lemon and tangerine. The content in it of various acids of organic origin, essential oils, pectin, phytoncides and naringenin makes it possible to use it in the treatment of various diseases, cosmetology, dietology, aromatherapy and cooking. The special properties of naringenin, which is found in the white septa of the fetus, help with elevated cholesterol levels in the blood and in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. That is why it is not recommended to remove the white veins in the grapefruit. In addition, naringenin, as well as bergamottin, effectively disinfect the air. That is why it is recommended to use aroma lamps with grapefruit essential oil in the cold season. This fruit essential oil is alsocan warm up and accelerate blood circulation if applied to the skin. That is why doctors prescribe massage using grapefruit oil as an additional tool in the treatment of joints and during the rehabilitation period after torn ligaments.

The pulp of the fruit, even with frequent use, does not affect the increase in blood sugar, which is ideal for diabetic nutrition. The recommended daily allowance for diabetics is one grapefruit per day. Grapefruit is also referred to as a diet food that helps in the fight against excess weight. It should be noted that a cream based on the essential oil of this fruit and caffeine is successfully used to combat excess weight and cellulite. Thanks to these two components, excess fluid is removed from the body, which leads to a decrease in body weight.

The natural antioxidants in the fruit help slow down the natural aging process of the skin, speed up the body's metabolic processes, and promote faster healing of skin wounds.

Due to the content of glycosides and vitamins in citrus, grapefruit helps to lower blood pressure. In addition, it beneficially eliminates disorders in the liver, reduces the amount of sugar in the blood and strengthens the walls of the arteries.

For people suffering from gastrointestinal problems due to low acidity, it is recommended to take about 200 grams of grapefruit juice per day. It is useful for older people to use citrus to lower blood cholesterol, improve sleep, normalize the nervous system and eliminate headaches. For women during menopause, grapefruit is especially useful due to its tonic effect. Moreover, citrus has a clear antitumor effect on the body.

Grapefruit juice can relieve swelling. Therefore, it is useful to drink freshly squeezed grapefruit juice for pregnant women. The zest of the fruit is able to eliminate heartburn in the body. However, grapefruit peel should be used with caution due to possible chemical treatment.

Harm and contraindications

Experts say that some substances contained in grapefruit can be not only beneficial, but also harmful. It is known that the juice of this citrus cannot be combined with certain drugs. Be sure to consult your doctor before you start taking any medications, as well as birth control pills, in order to combine them with taking grapefruit juice. Eating grapefruit while taking birth control pills can reduce the expected effect and lead to an unplanned pregnancy or serious harm to the body. The juice from the fruit may cause an increased effect of certain drugs and may causeside effects.

Eating a large amount of grapefruit in food can adversely affect the functioning of the liver, slowing down the process of removing harmful substances from the body. For people with an increased level of acidity of gastric juice in the body, with nephritis and hepatitis, it is not recommended to include this fruit in the diet. It is also not recommended to use it for those who are allergic to citrus fruits. Long-term use of fruits can worsen tooth enamel.

Along with other citrus fruits, grapefruit should not be added to the diet during lactation. This is due to a possible allergy in a child, which manifests itself on the skin in the form of a small rash and swelling.

Nutritionists do not recommend combining grapefruit with mushrooms, fresh milk, white rice, and white flour products because these foods together are difficult to digest in the body and can lead to to diarrhea and a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen.

American scientists in 2006 as a result of research revealed in grapefruit a special substance furanocoumarin, which slows down the work of hemoproteins. Thus, by consuming fruit and drugs at the same time, the liver “processes” the components of the fetus, and the components of the drug at this moment circulate inside the body, reaching a dangerous concentration in the blood. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration even mandates that drugs be tested for compatibility with grapefruit juice. It is worth noting that this juice, purified from furanocoumarin, does not have similar side effects.

It has been determined that grapefruit juice should not be combined with the following drugs:

  • antibiotics;
  • ​​
  • anticoagulants;
  • antihistamines;
  • anxiolytics;
  • antiarrhythmic;
  • antidepressants;
  • hormonal;
  • antiviral;
  • antifungals;
  • anticancer;
  • antitussives.

Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any medications for compatibility with grapefruit.

Grapefruit skin lovers should also pay attention to the fact that almost all grapefruit growers treat grapefruits with special chemicals during cultivation to protect them from harmful insects.

How to choose and store

You can choose a fresh and good grapefruit, taking into account a number of factors:

  • bright peel indicates a high content of beta-carotene in the fruit and the sweetness of the fruit;
  • the fetus must be heavy,soft and whole;
  • aroma must be pronounced;
  • Red fruits contain the most antioxidants.

Fruit is best stored on the lower shelves in the refrigerator or fruit and vegetable container. The recommended shelf life for ripe grapefruits is up to 10 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 days at room temperature.

Medicinal properties

Treatment with grapefruit and grapefruit juice is used in the following cases:

  • to improve appetite;
  • for heartburn;
  • in cardiovascular diseases;
  • high blood pressure;
  • for gallstones;
  • for insomnia;
  • to improve mood.

To get rid of heartburn, you need to grate grapefruit zest, dry it and consume a teaspoon once a day, chewing slowly. For the prevention of heart disease, it is recommended to consume one fruit during breakfast several days a week. For gallstones, four teaspoons of olive oil should be taken on an empty stomach, followed by 100 grams of grapefruit juice. To get rid of insomnia, it is recommended to take half a glass of juice with pulp before going to bed. Grapefruit oil helps to improve mood and the quality of learning.

Grapefruit recipes

In cooking, grapefruit is used in combination with seafood, meat, liver and beef tongue. Juice, soft and alcoholic drinks, preserves, jams, jams and fruit salads are prepared from the fruits. Sauces and marinades with the addition of grapefruit juice have a special taste.

Vegetable and shrimp salad

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams shrimp boiled;
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • 1 lemon;
  • bunch of dill;
  • a bunch of leaf lettuce ;
  • 1 grapefruit.

Cooking technology

Finely chop lettuce and dill. Whisk olive oil in a blender with lemon and add dill. Add dressing to cooled shrimp, mix and add lettuce leaves. Grapefruit thoroughly peeled, cut into pieces and put on top of the lettuce.

Grapefruit ice cream

Ingredients:

Cooking technology

Peel all ingredients, mix inblender until smooth and pour into molds. Put the spread out mass in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Ice cream can be served with condensed milk or grated chocolate.

Smoothie

Ingredients:

Cooking technology

Peel fruits, chop together with lemongrass in a blender. Serve with the addition of ice cubes.

Diet

The fruit is widely used for dietary purposes. Nutritionists recommend eating half the fruit of this citrus 30 minutes before meals. It is also recommended to eat fruit instead of breakfast or drink juice from the pulp of citrus before going to bed.

In addition, the grapefruit diet is widely used for weight loss. It lasts from 3 to 14 days. For breakfast, you need to eat one citrus, for lunch - boiled or steamed fish, lean meat and vegetable salad, for dinner - vegetable salad, and in the evening before going to bed, drink a glass of grapefruit juice with pulp. While following the diet, it is necessary to consume 1.5-2.5 liters of fluid daily and exercise. You can supplement the diet with a course of massage using essential oils to enhance the positive effect.

Sources
  1. Ashurova N. G., Karomatov I. J., Amonov K. U.: Medical significance of grapefruit, 2017.
  2. Ivanova N. N., Khomich L. M., Perova I. B., Eller K. I.: Nutrient profile of grapefruit juice, 2018.