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Grapefruit For Diabetes

People with diabetes suffer from fluctuating blood sugar levels caused by the body’s inability to process glucose. One of the main ways a diabetic patient can control blood sugar levels is by losing weight and changing his diet and eating habits. It is important to visit a doctor or dietician to find out what foods can be eaten, what foods should be avoided, and what foods can treat the condition. A proper diabetes diet can provide relief from symptoms and prevent complications that generally result from the disease. For example, if you suffer from diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease and blood pressure.
As a result, you will have to cut down on red meat and dairy products as these can increase cholesterol levels and cause heart problems. The American Diabetic Association recommends that people with diabetes should eat a diet high in fiber. Foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals help in lowering blood sugar levels and maintaining insulin levels naturally.

Amongst the various fruit that are beneficial for diabetes, studies show that grapefruit for diabetic patients is highly recommended. Grapefruit contains the antioxidant – naringenin that is responsible for the bitter taste of this juicy citrus fruit. The effect of naringenin on diabetes is equivalent to two different drugs used to treat the condition. Since diabetes occurs because the body is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels, naringenin increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It also helps maintain weight, which is a very important part of diabetes treatment. The heavier you are, the lower the effects of insulin in the body. Being overweight also puts you in a high-risk category for other health problems. Thus grapefruit for diabetes is doubly beneficial in terms of treatment.

Ways to Have

One way to increase the consumption of grapefruit in your daily diet is by having grapefruit seed extract. Grapefruit seed extract is an extract made using the rind, pulp and seeds of the fruit. Grapefruit seed extract has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties that also help rid the body of excessive toxins. The effects of this extract may vary from person to person but on the whole, it helps increase the fiber content in your diet. Since a high fiber diet is necessary for the treatment of diabetes, speak to your doctor about including grapefruit seed extract in your diet. Keep in mind that the high fiber content of grapefruit seed extract can have a mild laxative effect and should be taken only in small doses at a time. Large quantities of the extract can also interfere with the efficacy of certain drugs so research your concerns about interaction before combining this extract with your regular medication.

Grapefruit Juice And Diabetes

Apart from eating the fruit, you can also drink freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and benefit from all its nutrients and vitamins. Grapefruit juice can help treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C that helps boost immunity along with natural sugars and smaller quantities of vitamins A, E, K, and B complex. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice also contains high levels of calcium, potassium, folic acid, and phosphorus in addition to lycopene and flavonoids that can fight cancer and many other diseases. However, care should be taken that not too much grapefruit juice is consumed as it can interfere with other medications and cause other harmful complications. Too much grapefruit can increase the chances of side effects from drugs used to treat cholesterol and heart problems. More on health benefits of grapefruit juice

Pink Grapefruit And Diabetes

There are several varieties of grapefruit available in the market today. The effects of pink grapefruit and diabetes are well known. Studies now show that the red grapefruit may also have a beneficial effect on diabetes. In fact, compared to white grapefruit, ruby red grapefruit packs in more antioxidants and heart benefits. Rich in vitamin C, red grapefruit can boost immunity, as well as help balance out blood sugar levels. Just make sure that you eat moderate portions of red or pink grapefruit and do not go overboard. One serving of grapefruit is equivalent to half section of grapefruit of a three-fourth cup of grapefruit segments.

Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. This leads to consistently high sugar levels and this in turn increases the risk of other health problems such as kidney disease and heart problems. Research shows that grapefruit can have a positive effect on type 1 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity in the body. Being a rich source of chromium, grapefruit also stabilizes glucose levels in the body.

In type 2 diabetes, the cells in the body become resistant to insulin or the pancreas stop producing the hormone. Grapefruit can affect type 2 diabetes as it promotes the burning of fat in the liver rather than storing it after a meal is eaten. This results in weight loss and reduces your chances of developing any other health problems as a result of diabetes. The antioxidants in grapefruit also combat the damage caused by free radicals in the body. The pectin in grapefruit prevents swings in glucose levels by increasing the number of insulin receptors in cells and sensitizing them to insulin.

Try and eat a bit of the rind of grapefruit as well, for the best results. Combine grapefruit with greens like salads or smoothies made with vegetables for a variation in your diet and as a sweet addition to an end of a meal.

Grapefruit And Diabetes Drugs
As mentioned earlier, grapefruit and diabetes medication can contradict each other’s effects. High levels of naringenin in grapefruit can make the body reject manmade drugs and prevent certain medications from working, as they should. Excessive amounts of grapefruit halt the metabolism of drugs in the body and increase the levels of blood toxicity as a result. This blocking effect could last for longer than 24 hours after the grapefruit is eaten and hence drugs and grapefruit should be taken with at least a gap of a day in between them. Always take grapefruit only in moderation and any grapefruit extracts or supplement only under the supervision of your doctor or dietician.
Submitted on January 16, 2014