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Botanical Name:Citrus paradisi
Species: C. × paradisi
Common Name : Grapefruit
Other Names:Citrus grandis, Pomelo, Mahanimbu, Batabi limbu in bengali
Habitat : Grapefruit is native to tropical & subtropical regions of the world.
The grapefruit is a sub-tropical citrus tree grown for its fruit which was originally named the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados.
Description:The grapefruit tree reaches 15 to 20 ft (4.5-6 m) or even 45 ft (13.7 m) with age, has a rounded top of spreading branches; the trunk may exceed 6 in (15 cm) in diameter; that of a very old tree actually attained nearly 8 ft (2.4 m) in circumference. The twigs normally bear short, supple thorns. The evergreen leaves are ovate, 3 to 6 in (7.5-15 cm) long, and 1 3/4 to 3 in (4.5-7.5 cm) wide; dark-green above, lighter beneath, with minute, rounded teeth on the margins, and dotted with tiny oil glands; the petiole has broad, oblanceolate or obovate wings. The white, 4-petalled flowers, are 1 3/4 to 2 in (4.5-5 cm) across and borne singly or in clusters in the leaf axils. The fruit is nearly round or oblate to slightly pear-shaped, 4 to 6 in (10-15 cm) wide with smooth, finely dotted peel, up to 3/8 in (1 cm) thick, pale-lemon, sometimes blushed with pink, and aromatic outwardly; white, spongy and bitter inside. The center may be solid or semi-hollow. The pale-yellow, nearly whitish, or pink, or even deep-red pulp is in 11 to 14 segments with thin, membranous, somewhat bitter walls; very juicy, acid to sweet-acid in flavor when fully ripe. While some fruits are seedless or nearly so, there may be up to 90 white, elliptical, pointed seeds about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) in length. Unlike those of the pummelo, grapefruit seeds are usually polyembryonic. The number of fruits in a cluster varies greatly; a dozen is unusual but there have been as many as 20.
These evergreen trees are usually found at around 5-6 m tall, although they can reach 13-15 m. The leaves are dark green, long (up to 150 mm) and thin. It produces 5 cm white four-petalled flowers. The fruit is yellow-skinned, largely oblate and ranges in diameter from 10-15 cm . The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in color depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink and red pulps of varying sweetness. The 1929 US Ruby Red (of the Redblush variety) has the first grapefruit patent.
The fruit has only become popular from the late 19th century; before that it was only grown as an ornamental plant. The US quickly became a major producer of the fruit, with orchards in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. In Spanish, the fruit is known as toronja or pomelo.
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The fruit was first documented in 1750 by the Rev. Griffith Hughes describing specimens from Barbados. Currently, the grapefruit is said to be one of the “Seven Wonders of Barbados.” It had developed as a hybrid of the pomelo (Citrus maxima) with the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), though it is closer to the former. It was brought to Florida by Odette Philippe in 1823. Further crosses have produced the tangelo (1905), the minneola (1931), and the sweetie (1984). The sweetie has very small genetic and other differences from pomelo.
The grapefruit was known as the shaddock or shattuck until the 1800s. Its current name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes. Botanically, it was not distinguished from the pomelo until the 1830s, when it was given the name Citrus paradisi. Its true origins were not determined until the 1940s. This led to the official name being altered to Citrus Ã— paradisi. Grapefruit peel oil is used in aromatherapy and it is historically known for its aromatic scent.
The 1929 Ruby Red patent was associated with real commercial success, which came after the discovery of a red grapefruit growing on a pink variety. Only with Ruby Red the grapefruit transformed into a real agricultural fruit. The Red grapefruit, starting from the Ruby Red, has even become a symbol fruit of Texas, where white “inferior” grapefruit were eliminated and only red grapefruit were grown for decades. Using radiation to trigger mutations, new varieties were developed to retain the red tones which typically faded to pink, with Rio Red is the current (2007) Texas grapefruit with registered trademarks Rio Star and Ruby-Sweet, also sometimes promoted as “Reddest” and “Texas Choice”.
Colors & Flavors:
Grapefruit comes in many varieties, determinable by color, which is caused by the pigmentation of the fruit in respect of both its state of ripeness and genetic bent. The most popular varieties cultivated today are red, white, and pink hues, referring to the inside, pulp color of the fruit. The family of flavors range from highly acidic and somewhat bitter to sweet and tart. Para-1-menthene-8-thiol, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances which has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared with other citrus fruits.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of many nutrients and phytochemicals, for a healthy diet. Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C,pectin fiber, and the pink and red hues contain the beneficial antioxidant lycopene Studies have shown grapefruit helps lower cholesterol and there is evidence that the seeds have high levels of antioxidant properties. Grapefruit forms a core part of the “grapefruit diet”, the theory being that the fruit’s low glycemic index is able to help the body‘s metabolism burn fat.
Grapefruit seed extract has been claimed to be a strong antimicrobial with proven activity against bacteria and fungi. However, studies have shown the efficacy of grapefruit seed extract as an antimicrobial is not demonstrated. Although GSE is promoted as a highly effective plant-based preservative by some natural personal care manufacturers, studies indicate the universal antimicrobial activity associated with GSE preparations is merely due to contamination with synthetic preservatives.
A 2007 study found a correlation between eating a quarter of grapefruit daily and a 30% increase in risk for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. The study points to the inhibition of CYP3A4 enzyme by grapefruit, which metabolizes estrogen.
Grapefruit stimulates the appetite and is used for its digestive, stomachic, antiseptic, tonic, and diuretic qualities.
Grapefruit and Weight Loss Diets
Over the years a number of people have promoted the grapefruit as possessing a unique ability to burn away fat. People following grapefruit diets lose weight because they eat little else-a practice that can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Grapefruits, however, are a good food to include in a sensible weight-loss diet; a serving contains less than 100 calories, and its high-fiber content satisfies hunger. If you’re trying to lose weight, make grapefruit your first course to help prevent overeating. It’s also an ideal snack food.
Grapefruit and Cholesterol Control
Grapefruits are especially high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol.
Grapefruit for Cancer Control
Recent studies indicate that grapefruits contain substances that are useful in preventing several diseases. Pink and red grapefruits are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that appears to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers have not yet identified lycopene’s mechanism of action, but a 6-year Harvard study involving 48,000 doctors and other health professionals has linked 10 servings of lycopene-rich foods a week with a 50 percent reduction in prostate cancer.
Other protective plant chemicals found in grapefruits include phenolic acid, which inhibits the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines; limonoids, terpenes, and monoterpenes, which induce the production of enzymes that help prevent cancer; and bioflavonoids, which inhibit the action of hormones that promote tumor growth.
Ayurvedic Uses:Vata-kaphha nashak, mild laxative, digestive, appetiser, loss of appetite, abdominal colic, worms, vomiting, nausea.
Other Uses of Grapefruit
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory disorders find that eating grapefruit daily seems to alleviate their symptoms. This is thought to stem from plant chemicals that block Prostaglandins, substances that cause inflammation.
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Click to see ->Grapefruit diet
Grapefruit can have a number of interactions with drugs, often increasing the effective potency of compounds. Grapefruit contains naringin, bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin, which inhibit the cytochrome P450 isoform CYP3A4 in the intestine. It is via inhibition of this enzyme that grapefruit increases the effects of buspirone (Buspar), carbamazepine, several statin drugs (such as simvastatin), terfenadine, felodipine, nifedipine, verapamil, estradiol, tacrolimus, dextromethorphan (significant only at recreational doses), benzodiazepines, and ciclosporin. The effect of grapefruit juice with regard to drug absorption was originally discovered in 1989. However, the effect became well-publicized after being responsible for a number of deaths due to overdosing on medication.
People who are allergic to citrus fruits are likely to react to grapefruits, too. The sensitivity may be to the fruit itself or to an oil in the peel.
CLICK & SEE :-> Grapefruit raises breast cancer risk
Click & see : Grapefruit Juice Dangers Q&A
Interactions With Drugs and Medicines:-
Grapefruit has serious interactions with many commonly prescribed medications.
Grapefruit juice inhibits a special enzyme in the intestines that is responsible for the natural breakdown and absorption of many medications. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, the blood levels of these medications increase, which can lead to toxic side effects from the medications.
Grapefruit juice research has suggested that flavonoids and/or furanocoumarin compounds are the substances that act to block the enzyme in the intestines that normally metabolizes many drugs.
The grapefruit juice-drug interaction can lead to unpredictable and hazardous levels of certain important drugs.
These medications should not be consumed with grapefruit juice unless advised by a doctor:
Statins (Cholesterol Lowering Drugs):
* Baycol (Cerivastatin)
* Mevacor (Lovastatin)
*Seldane (Terfenadine, taken off the U.S. market)
Calcium Channel Blockers (Blood Pressure Drugs):
* Valium (Diazepam)
* Versed (Midazolam)
Propulsid (Cisapride, taken off the U.S. market)
* Neoral (Cyclosporine)
* Prograf (Tacrolimus)
Toxic blood levels of these medications can occur when patients taking them consume grapefruit juice. The high blood levels of the medications can cause damage to organs or impair their normal function, which can be dangerous.
The following drugs may potentially have interactions with grapefruit juice, but this potential has not been scientifically studied. Use caution:
* Cilostazol (PletalÒ)
* Losartan (CozaarÒ)
* Tamoxifen (NolvadexÒ)
Related Topic: Interactions of Grapefruit with Medications For a detailed description of how grapefruit affects the metabolism of prescription drugs.
Click to see-> List of drugs affected by grapefruit