https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.jsCitrus fruits are delicious and good for you. Some people believe that you should not eat grapefruit while taking certain drugs. Sunkist invited The Healthy Moms Magazine to ask Dr. Donnica Moore, a highly regarded women’s health expert and advocate, physician, educator and as a media commentator a few questions about grapefruit and why it should be included in a healthy diet.
HMM: What are the nutritional benefits of grapefruit? Why should women include grapefruit in their diets?
Dr. Moore: Grapefruit is a “superfood”. A “superfood” refers to foods that are naturally packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. When eaten as a part of a healthy diet, “superfruits” like citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits) may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, strengthen the immune system, help control appetite, aid with weight loss and promote skin health. Studies show that a person can actually lose weight while eating larger quantities of food by choosing foods high in fiber and water content such as citrus fruits. Why does this work? Because these foods contain fewer calories per gram, provide a greater feeling of fullness and help keep blood sugar levels more constant, thereby resulting in increased appetite control.
Citrus fruits are packed with beneficial antioxidants and essential nutrients that may promote heart health and may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. For instance, the flavonoids in fruits like grapefruit may help protect the heart by reducing inflammation in the arteries. And, studies show that frequent consumption of citrus fruit, as part of a healthy diet, may help decrease the risk of certain cancers, including stomach, prostate, pancreatic, gastric and other affected organs. A recent publication from the Nurses Health Study suggests that women who consumed the highest amount of citrus fruits per day (including grapefruit) had a decreased incidence of the most common type of stroke.
Citrus fruits are specifically considered to be a superfood for skin care because they contain phytonutrients that function as antioxidants, protecting you from free radicals that damage skin cells and lead to signs of aging.
HMM: How many servings of grapefruit do you recommend women have in a week?
Dr. Moore: This is a matter of personal preference. While most medical organizations recommend that adults consume 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, there is no specific recommendation for how many of them should be citrus fruits. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend making half of every meal or half the foods you eat fruits and vegetables. I personally try to have one of those servings per day as a citrus fruit, and now that Star Ruby grapefruit is in season and readily available, it’s easy for me to choose grapefruit for that serving.
HMM: Do certain medications have negative side effects if you are taking them and eating grapefruit?
Dr. Moore: Some prescription and non-prescription medications don’t mix well with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit can increase the absorption of some drugs into the bloodstream, which may lead to adverse affects. As a doctor, one thing I try to share with my patients is that the reason for concern only applies to some, specific kinds of medications – not all of them. Therefore, my best advice is to check with your doctor or pharmacist and ask them about whether the specific medicines you take may have an interaction with grapefruit. Don’t make assumptions! Chances are, you may find out that grapefruit is perfectly safe to enjoy with your medicines. Also: Use your doctor’s visit to also ask about whether you still need to take all your medications. It might be time to update dosages or time to discontinue a prescription.
HMM: Which drugs have bad interactions when mixed with grapefruit or other citrus fruits?
Dr. Moore: There are several medications which have had interactions with grapefruit, notably Valium and some of the statins. But if you take any medicines, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that yours isn’t on the list. It would be unfortunate to miss out on the nutritional and taste benefits of grapefruit if you didn’t have to.
HMM: If someone is taking a drug that should not be mixed with grapefruit are there any other ways that person can get the same nutrition that grapefruit provides?
Dr. Moore: Oranges provide many –but not all—of the nutritional benefits of grapefruit and have not been shown to interact negatively with medicines.
HMM: Do you have any other advice for busy moms on how to maintain a healthy balanced diet?
Dr. Moore: The best advice I can give busy moms on how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet is to remember that you don’t have time to be sick! Making your health and fitness a priority is as important for your family as it is for you.
About Sunkist: Sunkist is a cooperative – a not-for-profit company. With members, consisting of California and Arizona citrus growers. Sunkist is the oldest continually operating citrus cooperative in America and the largest marketing cooperative in the world’s fruit and vegetable industry.
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, manages Mom’s Natural Health and Wellness Store, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge.