The Health Benefits of Grapefruit + Heart Healthy Wake-Up Juice Recipe

I love grapefruit, always have. As a teenager, it was always a bit hit and miss as to whether I had time for any breakfast before dashing for the last possible bus I could catch to get me to school on time, which usually meant a quick slurp of black coffee and a slice of toast and Marmite eaten on the way!

Weekends, however, I generally had time for fresh grapefruit. Even then, I preferred it raw and sugarless – and not just because I was aware of its metabolism-boosting properties and was trying to lose weight! No mucking about putting it under the grill with brown sugar as was the fad then. In those days, the only variety available was the white one.

It is only in recent years, with my penchant for home-made muesli and, later, juicing, that this juicy, tangy and beneficial fruit silently disappeared from my breakfast menu.

This all changed when a gorgeous ruby red grapefruit appeared in my organic veg box last year. (They are slightly stronger, the pink are a little sweeter) I waited and waited to have it. I wanted to savour it. It was so salivatingly juicy and well worth the anticipation.

Next time, I decided to juice it. Recipe below.

It has long been known that the nutritional content of grapefruit is good for a healthy heart and in lowering blood pressure. A diet that includes fresh red grapefruit has beneficial effects on blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides.

But grapefruit has many health benefits. The high Vitamin C content in fresh grapefruit helps with the absorption of iron and calcium and also aids in unblocking the lymphatic system. The salicylic acid in grapefruit helps to remove inorganic calcium deposits which form in joint cartilage.

Grapefruit helps curb hunger, prevent cancer and is good for the skin. It also helps prevent the build-up of fat in the liver.

A glass of grapefruit juice a day is particularly beneficial in the colder months to help prevent colds and viruses.

(Pink and Red Grapefruit have slightly higher antioxidant levels than the white).

Here is a tasty, healthy juice combining heart-healthy fruit and vegetables high in Vitamin A and C. The apple and celery in this juice help to improve kidney function. Beetroot helps with circulation and lowering blood pressure. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral ingredient, which helps to prevent colds and can reduce symptoms of chronic degenerative conditions.

Heart-Healthy Wake-Up Juice

All ingredients are organic.

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NB There should be a small piece of ginger root too.

Peel a small orange and half a grapefruit leaving as much pith as possible, this is where all the micronutrients live.

Scrub the carrots, cucumber, small slice of ginger root (no idea why it’s absent in the photo!) and 2 small chioggia beetroot but keep the skin on (you can substitute with ordinary beetroot which are a little stronger). Wash the apples and keep the peel on. Wash the celery, keep any leaves on.

Begin with an apple and end with an apple when juicing to get the most out of the softer fruit.

Add ice if liked and if it’s not going to chill you to your marrow! (Writing this on a chilly Autumn morning).

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NB Some medications interact with grapefruit so please check with your doctor or pharmacist. Grapefruit contains a compound which interferes with the breakdown of certain drugs which means there can be a build-up and possible reaction.

 Copyright: Chris McGowan

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