Grapefruit is one of the many citrus fruits people eat for breakfast. Like other citrus fruits, grapefruit is rich in vitamin C. But grapefruit is different from other citrus fruits because it has lycopene, a known cancer-fighting chemical. Grapefruit juice provides the same benefits as eating grapefruit itself. Grapefruit also has unique phytochemicals (a.k.a. bioflavanoids) that help promote skin health and general health. The skin consists of collagen which creates keratin, a protein building block found in skin cells. The skin is also the largest organ of the body and is exposed to pollutants and UV rays. Good nutrition, including eating grapefruit, is important for healthy skin.
Grapefruit is rich in vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production in the skin. Of the citrus fruits, grapefruit has the highest concentration of vitamin C. Grapefruit also has the highest concentration of lycopene, a phytochemical that is also found in tomatoes. Lycopene reduces the effects of free radicals, which can cause cancer. Grapefruit also has a phytochemical known as naringin. Naringin reduces toxins in the liver, which results in healthier skin. However, Naringin also can prevent the liver from breaking down aspirin, Depakote, calcium channel blockers, cholesterol-lowering drugs and other drugs. Ask your pharmacist or physician about eating grapefruit if you are taking any drugs, either prescription or non-prescription.
Grapefruit in Skin Creams
Many people have skin conditions such as dandruff, acne, impetigo and rashes. Grapefruit extracts in creams can help remedy these problems. Dandruff and psoriasis come from inflammation in the skin. Grapefruit drops can alleviate inflammation of the skin. Teenagers, pregnant women and some young adults suffer from acne. Grapefruit extracts increase the pH of the skin, which may reduce acne. Companies like Neutrogena sell products that include grapefruit extracts. Impetigo is a skin condition that causes itching. Grapefruit extract can help reduce rash eruptions.
Add Grapefruit to Your Diet
There are many ways to help your skin by incorporating grapefruit into your diet. Instead of drinking orange juice in the morning, drink grapefruit juice. Add grapefruit slices to salads. Squeeze grapefruit juice into meat sauces, or other sauces, to give entrees a tangy taste.
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Megan Clancy has been writing for 20 years, since childhood, including poems, academic theses, newspaper articles and online. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and a Master of Science degree in medical genetics. She returned to school at California State University Long Beach to get training in journalism.