Posts Tagged ‘health benefits of citrus’

Study shows grapefruits tackle diabetes as well as leading drug

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Scientists have found that the popular breakfast fruit works just as well as the common diabetes pill metformin in lowering harmful blood sugars.The breakthrough discovery could be a simple way to get Britain’s soaring diabetes and obesity crises under control.

US researchers have found that the so-called “grapefruit diet” which was popular in the Seventies and Eighties as the latest “Hollywood” diet secret followed by the likes of actress Brooke Shields may in fact have some scientific basis.

The team, from the University of California, Berkeley, gave one group of mice an antioxidant called naringin, a bioactive compound in grapefruit juice that has been identified as a key agent in weight loss.

They gave another group metformin, the most common glucose-lowering drug prescribed for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The mice were fed a diet that was either 60 per cent fat or 10 per cent fat for 100 days, and their metabolic health was monitored throughout the study.

Researcher Professor Joseph Napoli said: “The grapefruit juice lowered blood glucose to the same degree as metformin.

“That means a natural fruit drink lowered glucose levels as effectively as a prescription drug.”

The group of high-fat-diet mice that received naringin had lower blood glucose levels than the control group, but there was no effect on weight, suggesting that some other ingredient in grapefruit juice is also beneficial.

The study did not find as big an impact on mice that ate a low-fat diet.

The researchers also randomly divided mice into six groups, including a control group that drank only water.

Those drinking grapefruit juice got a mixture diluted with water at different concentrations, and sweetened slightly with saccharin to counteract grapefruit’s bitterness.

The researchers also added glucose and artificial sweeteners to the control group’s water so that it would match the calorie and saccharin content of the grapefruit juice.

At the end of the study period, the mice that ate the high-fat diet and drank diluted grapefruit juice not only gained less weight than their control counterparts, they also had a 13 to 17 per cent decrease in blood glucose levels and a three-fold decrease in insulin levels, which reveals greater sensitivity to insulin.

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes extra insulin to compensate for increased resistance to the hormone.Those that drank the grapefruit juice saw a two-fold decrease in insulin levels, but there was no significant change in weight or other metabolic factors.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, also found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18 per cent less weight when they drank clarified, no-pulp grapefruit juice compared with a control group of mice that drank water.

Juice-drinking mice also showed improved levels of glucose, insulin and a type of fat called triacylglycerol compared with their water-drinking counterparts.

Prof Napolli added: “We see all sorts of scams about nutrition. But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.”

Previous research has hailed the benefits of grapefruit for beating diabetes.

One study by experts in Jerusalem and Boston found that naringenin helps the liver to burn fat instead of storing it after eating while increasing the production of insulin.

This mimics the process in long periods of fasting where fatty acids are broken down instead of carbohydrates.

Naringenin gives citrus fruits – in particular grapefruit – a bitter taste.

Source: Express

The health benefits of citrus

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Loaded with vitamins and minerals.

The vitamin C in citrus fruits acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C also improves the absorption of non-heme iron (iron from plant foods like beans and nuts). Citrus fruits supply the B vitamin, folate, which plays a role in energy production, growth and development, and may help protect against heart disease. These fruits are also a source of potassium, which is important for muscle function, and fluid and electrolyte balance.

Unique phytonutrients.

Citrus flavanones have been linked to a reduced risk of stroke in women and a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Liminoids in citrus fruits have been found to inhibit tumor growth. More research is needed to understand how these phytonutrients work to improve health and protect against disease. Many are found in the peel and inner white portions of the fruit, so eating whole fruits and using zest and peels as flavorings for cooking will help you get the most benefit.

Super easy snack.

There are few foods easier to grab on the go than a piece of citrus fruit. Oranges, mandarins, tangerines, and many cross-varieties are easy to pack, peel, and section for a snack. Peeling also slows you down and contributes to more mindful eating. Just remember that some citrus, such as grapefruit, can interact with prescription medications. Be sure to check with your doctor if you take medications, especially those to fight infections or treat high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or heart conditions.

Multiple uses.

Not only is citrus delicious by itself, but the whole fruit can be used in many meals and snacks. Homemade juices are more refreshing with fresh oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and lime. Fruit sections can be blended into smoothies. Lean meats and roasted vegetables are delicious with a splash of fresh juice and citrus zest. Dry the peels of oranges, lemons, or tangerines and add it to loose leaf tea before steeping.

Long storage.

Unlike many fruits that spoil quickly, citrus fruits have a long storage life so you can stock up when they are on sale and enjoy them throughout the season. When refrigerated, oranges and mandarins stay fresh about two weeks, lemons keep for four weeks or more, and grapefruits and limes keep even longer, often five to six weeks.

 

Source: MyFoodDiary.org