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Health Benefits From Grapefruit Juice

By Nicki Wolf

Grapefruit juice provides a sweet yet tangy flavor that may go well with certain meals. Many people drink grapefruit juice with breakfast. The juice offers a range of health benefits, from vitamin and mineral content to medicinal qualities. Read the label to be sure you're choosing 100 percent grapefruit juice and not grapefruit drink, which contains added sugar and other ingredients.

Low in Fat and Calories

A 1 cup serving of grapefruit juice contains 96 calories. While the juice has more calories than water, the amount is relatively low, for 16 to 32 percent of the typical range of 300 to 600 calories per meal. This beverage contains only trace amounts of fat, with 0.2 g.

High in Vitamin C

Grapefruit juice boosts your vitamin C intake, because each serving has 156 percent of the daily recommended intake. Vitamin C benefits your immune system, and it keeps your blood vessels healthy by encouraging the production of collagen. Drinking grapefruit juice helps you get more vitamin C if you are a smoker; smoking increases your risk of a vitamin C deficiency because it decreases the amount available in your body.

Good Source of Potassium

One cup of grapefruit juice contains 11 percent of the potassium your body requires daily. Potassium, an electrolyte, helps control muscle contractions, which makes it critical for maintaining normal heart and digestive functions. Many Americans consume an excess amount of sodium, which increases your potassium needs, so if there is a lot of sodium in your diet consider drinking more grapefruit juice.

Benefits

Consuming grapefruit juice might benefit your cholesterol levels. A study published in the February 2011 edition of “Nutrition and Metabolism” assessed 85 obese adults over a 12-week period. Researchers gave the subjects 127 g of grapefruit juice to drink before meals. The levels of HDL, the good type of cholesterol, increased significantly for this group.

Considerations

Grapefruit juice may interfere with certain medications, so speak to your physician about your diet if you take medicine for allergies, malaria or HIV, as well as antibiotics and calcium channel blockers. A study in the July-September 2010 issue of the journal “Revista Medico-Chirurgicala a Societatii de Medici si Naturalisti din Iasi” notes that the elderly and those with liver disease are among those most vulnerable to grapefruit juice-medication reactions.

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