Florida Fruit: The Antioxidant Powerhouse Grapefruit

By Lindsey Johnson

Grapefruit is a native Florida fruit full of health benefits. Grapefruit season kicks off as the weather turns cooler, usually around November, with peak sweetness from January through May. According to Medical News Today, grapefruit is packed with many nutrients, most commonly known for vitamins A and C. Besides these vitamins, grapefruit contains several other antioxidants including lycopene, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. High in fiber and water, grapefruit aids digestion by helping prevent constipation. Grapefruit has been associated with reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer and high blood pressure. Grapefruit may also have benefits in weight loss and weight maintenance, help protect skin from sun damage and aging and improve immune function. Yes, please!

While grapefruit’s nutritional makeup makes it a strong disease-fighting food, grapefruit is not appropriate for everyone. Talk to your doctor before consuming grapefruit if you take certain medications such as calcium channel blockers, statins and some psychiatric medications. Those with kidney infections or chronic kidney conditions should also steer clear as the high potassium level of grapefruit can be detrimental. Due to high acid content, those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, may experience increased heartburn or regurgitation. While vitamin C assists in collagen production making skin look vibrant and clear, consuming excessive amounts of citrus has been associated with the possibility of increased risk of malignant melanoma.

For many people, grapefruit is a wonderful addition to a well-rounded diet. As with any food, if grapefruit is safe for you to eat, consume in moderation.

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