Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is a subtropical citrus fruit that is popular for its sour and sweet taste. This fruit is rich in nutrients and offers many health benefits. All parts of the fruits including the pulp, seeds and peel are useful. The oil extracted from peel of grapefruit has many medicinal values and is used in the treatment of flu and the common cold. Grapefruits seeds extract is considered another valuable product made from the seeds, white membrane and pulp of grapefruit. In addition to providing many health benefits to humans, grapefruit seeds extract is also used in preventing the growth of mold and bacteria in farms, in disinfecting water, and in killing parasites and germs in animal feeds. It is widely used as an ingredient in many health and personal care products and is also available as a dietary supplement.
Nutritional value of grapefruit seeds
Grapefruit Seed has high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients called bioflavonoids that help in getting rid of toxic free radicals and also in fighting diseases. Hesperidin, which is a powerful immune booster, is present in one of these antioxidants. Grapefruit seeds is also rich in Vitamin C, tocopherols, liminoids, sterols, citric acid, and a few other trace minerals.
How grapefruit seed extract is made
The grapefruit seeds and pulp formed as the by-product of grapefruit juice production is first dried and then ground into a fine powder. The pectin and fiber in the powder is removed by dissolving it in filtered water and distilling it. This distilled mixture is then subjected to spray drying at low temperatures, at the end of which you get a concentrated powder. The next step is to dissolve this powder in glycerine and heating it. To this mixture, ascorbic acid and ammonium chloride are added and then heated under pressure. With the help of natural catalyst, this mixture undergoes catalytic reactions. The resulting mixture is then cooled, filtered and subjected to ultraviolet light treatment.
Potential benefits of grapefruit seeds
Having powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, grapefruit seed extract has disease fighting capabilities that helps in protecting your body and also in promoting your overall health.
Antioxidant properties of Grapefruit seeds
Grapefruit Seed contains various phytochemcials which have antioxidant activity. They help ward off free radicals and protects body cells from harmful oxidative effect of free radicals.
Grapefruit seeds promotes digestive health
Grapefruit seeds is considered a wonderful aid in enhancing your digestive health. Most of the common digestive disorders like such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain is often caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your digestive system.
Grapefruit seed for antimicrobial action
A study has confirmed effectiveness of grapefruit seeds in treating urinary tract infections. It suggests that a dosage of 5 to 6 seeds taken thrice a day is equivalent to other proven antibacterial drugs.
Grapefruit seeds extract has antibacterial properties that help in eliminating these dangerous bacteria. Candida albicans is a fungus that can grow and multiply in your digestive tract and cause digestive problems. Grapefruit seeds extract is effective in destroying these harmful bacteria and the advantage is that it does not eliminate the healthy bacteria in your stomach.
A study published in the journal of alternative and complementary medicine indicates that grapefruit seeds extract is very effective in destroying over 800 viral and bacterial strains, 100 fungus strains and many single and multi-celled parasites. The interesting fact is that you will not find any other natural anti-microbial that is as powerful as this one. It is widely used around the world as an antiseptic, antibiotic, antimicrobial agent. As an antibiotic it is as effective as the chemical antibiotic medications, but is free of the possible negative side effects which are usually caused by these medicines.
Grapefruit seeds and cholesterol
The antioxidants in grapefruit seeds helps in increasing the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and in lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. This helps in the prevention of plaque buildup and protects you from serious health conditions like heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis.
Grapefruit seeds is beneficial for diabetic patients
Studies show that grapefruit seesds is very beneficial for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Grapefruit seeds contains a powerful antioxidant called naringenin which has the ability to increase your body’s insulin sensitivity. It also helps in weight loss, which is an important factor for diabetic patients to maintain their blood sugar levels.
Grapefruit seeds boosts your immune system
As mentioned earlier grapefruit seeds has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent infection and diseases. The nutrients and antioxidants in this extract also helps in boosting your immune system. Another benefit is that it makes the pH of your body slightly more alkaline, which destroys the bad bacteria and provides a healthy medium for the good bacteria to thrive.
Grapefruit seeds inhibits certain types of cancer
Studies reveal that the liminoids found in grapefruit seed have the power to inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer including breast, colon, lung, stomach, and mouth cancers. Liminoids are phytonutrients that cause the cancer cells to self destruct while not causing any damage to the healthy cells.
Grapefruit seeds aid in weight loss
Grapefruit seed is found to be a natural solution for weight loss. It helps to shed those extra pounds by controlling your appetite and also by increasing your metabolic rate. Grapefruit seed increases body metabolism. This allows in proper digestion and better absorption of nutrients, all of which help in maintaining a healthy weight and in promoting a healthy body.
Grapefruit seeds for gingivitis
Grapefruit seed has strong antibiotic qualities, which helps in fighting off gum diseases and in maintain oral health. Crush some grapefruit seeds and used them to rub over your teeth and gums, it is a good way to prevent or treat gingivitis.
Grapefruit seeds extract for skin care
Grapefruit seed may play an important role in improving your skin and also in protecting your skin from damage. The extract is rich in nutrients including antioxidants, linoleic acid, vitamin E, flavonoids and proanthocyanidin that are vital for your skin health. Grapefruit seeds contain the most powerful antioxidant, Procyanidins that can help to eliminate the harmful free radicals and protect your skin from the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals. These antioxidants also increase the elasticity of your skin and prevent early ageing of your skin.
Since grapefruit seeds have anti-microbial properties, it is very effective in treating different kinds of skin problems caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Acne, eczema, candida, athlete’s foot, warts, rashes, and ringworm infection are a few of the skin related conditions that can be treated with the help of grapefruit seeds.
Benefits of Grapefruit seed for hair
Grapefruit seed may help keep our hair roots healthy and free from dandruff. It protects our scalp from microbial growth and keeps them protected from various skin diseases and helps promote hair growth. It increases our immunity within and
Grapefruit seeds for treating nail fungus
Because of its antimicrobial effects, grapefruit seeds extract is very effective in the treatment of nail fungus or onychomycosis. This condition is caused by fungus, mold and yeasts. For treating nail fungus, grapefruit seeds extract can be either taken orally or applied to the affected area.
Some other uses of grapefruit seeds extract
Grapefruit seeds extract finds use in many areas including medical field, gardening and cleaning. Because of its anti-microbial properties, it is used to destroy parasites like flea on pet animals. Its anti-bacterial effects make it an effective ingredient in mouthwash and also a good household cleaner. People use it to clean kitchens, bathrooms and other areas of the house that is likely to have more germs. It is also used in floor cleaning or carpet cleaning machines to destroy the germs and also in eliminating the odor caused by these microbes. Grapefruit seeds extracts can be used in cleaning tiles, swimming pools and also shower stalls. It is a very useful pesticide and so adding a few drops of the extract to the garden sprayer helps in fighting off the various kinds of fungus and pests that may destroy the plants. Mixing this extract in drinking water helps in disinfecting the water, thus making it safe to drink.
Side effects of grapefruit seeds extract
Grapefruits seed extract is generally safe to use, but some mild side effects have been reported in a few cases. As with any supplement, this extract may cause allergic reactions in some people. Grapefruit seed extract can inhibit the activity of enzymes in the small intestine and liver. When you are taking medications, the slowing down of enzyme activity can lead to poor digestion and increased concentrations of the medicines in your blood. Grapefruit seed extract can interact with statin drugs and cause muscle weakness. It can also inhibit the absorption of medications by your body, leading to decreased effectiveness of the drugs. Before taking any kind of supplement, it is important to check with your doctor to make sure that it is safe, especially when you are taking other medications. Pregnant ladies and lactating mothers are advised not to use grapefruit seeds extract because there isn’t much information as to whether it is safe to use the extract during this period. It has been found that grapefruit juice can increase the levels of estrogen in your body and put you at the risk of breast cancer. Although more research is needed to confirm these findings, people who have breast cancer or are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer should avoid using grapefruit seeds extract.
Commercially available Grapefruit seed extract is often contaminated benzalkonium chloride, parabens, and triclosan which has potential side effects to body. There is also controversy about how extract is often prepared using chemical solvents which changes the chemical structure of the grapefruit seed.Image Credits: Flickr - Liz West