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ORANGE, GRAPEFRUIT OR LEMON: WHICH IS THE HEALTHIEST?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The general health benefits of citrus fruits within the Immune system is often considered because of the beneficial effects that citrus fruits hold to help prevent some types of cancer:

  • Citrus Fruits help to prevent Esophageal Cancer.
  • Citrus Fruits help to prevent Pharyngeal Cancer.
  • Citrus Fruits help to prevent Inflammation (due to the Nobiletin content of Citrus Fruits).
  • Citrus Fruits help to prevent Pancreatic Cancer.
  • Research: Swedish researchers have found that citrus fruits are one of the most chosen food groups of populations with low rates of pancreatic cancer.
  • Citrus Fruits help to prevent Stomach Cancer. 
  • Research: Officials at the National Cancer Institute (USA) believe that the increase the consumption of citrus fruits due to year-round availability has contributed to a reduction in the rate of stomach cancer in the USA.  One explanation is the high vitamin C content of citrus fruits - vitamin C is known to counteract nitrosamines, carcinogens that are implicated in stomach cancer.

 

HOWEVER:

There is a big distinction to be made in so far as the chemistry of the broad citrus group is not ideal to our body needs in a temperate climate.

 

 

THE ORANGE:

This fruit does contain chemical compounds that can over stimulate the liver when consumed in temperate climates, releasing undesirable toxins from the liver that are free to “roam” our system. We do not sweat out these toxins in our climate and, together with the increase in acidity, this is undesirable.

 

We need to be aware that the citric acid content within the orange is about 3.5 Ph and a conflict exists in colder climates because the body tries to sweat out the excess acids. In the absence of sweating, high acid residue can cause some undesirable liver problems. Another undesirable effect of consuming orange juice is tooth enamel erosion.

 

Mass produced oranges are also picked green and shipped to market to be ripened later, resulting in virtually no calcium and very little vitamin C. Instead of the orange providing you with alkalizing calcium it now contributes to the build-up of acidity in the body. Tree ripened fruit contain higher concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

 

When oranges (or grapefruit) are in an unripe state they are acid-forming. But when they are naturally ripe they are alkaline. For example, a banana with a few black spots that is almost ripe is more acidic, while a banana that is freshly ripened with a moderate amount of black spots is more alkaline.

 

 

THE GRAPEFRUIT:

There are health benefits that can be derived from the grapefruit and these include benefits for the heart, anti cancer and improved sleep patterns. However this fruit should be considered as a medicine food and caution (perhaps even more than the orange) should be used when consuming it. The grapefruit does inhibit the secretion within the GUT of essential enzymes which cannot function in the presence of this fruit and its chemical compounds.

 

We also need to be very aware that this fruit has some significant detrimental side effects in addition to the acid creating potential, 2 of which are highlighted below:

 

Drugs that are known to have potentially serious interactions with grapefruit products include:

 

  • Antiseizure drugs such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol)
  • Antidepressants such as buspirone (BuSpar), clomipramine (Anafranil) and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and triazolam (Halcion)
  • Calcium channel blockers such as felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia, nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular) and possibly verapamil (Isoptin, Verelan)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors such as saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase) and indinavir (Crixivan)
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor) and atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Immunosuppressant drugs such as cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf) and sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs such as amiodarone (Cordarone)

 

It is not just the drug interaction, but chemical compounds within the grapefruit also can adversely effect the “healthy person” that does have some evidence of:

 

Dementia

Digestive problems

Heartburn

Fatigue

Depression

Mood swings

And many more

 

 

Two recent articles that may be of interest are:

 

1. “09-Jan-2001 - Drinking grapefruit juice together with certain medicines can increase blood levels of the drug to harmful levels, a new report claims. Researchers at the clinical pharmacology department at Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England warned that grapefruit juice inhibits a chemical in the intestine needed to break down many drugs in the body.

 

The absence of this chemical can lead to higher blood levels and the drug may become more potent. This effect has been observed in nearly all calcium channel blockers, a group of drugs used to control blood pressure. Full details are published in the January issue of the journal Nature

 

2. 24-Jun-2002 - Health Canada, the Canadian government department responsible for keeping an eye on the health of its people, is advising people this week not to take certain drugs with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

 

In a recent statement, Health Canada writes that although interactions between grapefruit juice and certain drugs are well documented in the medical and scientific literature, this information may be unknown to the public.

Apparently there are several substances in grapefruit which interfere with the way the body handles certain drugs.

 

Consuming grapefruit juice (fresh or frozen) or grapefruit sections can increase, or less commonly decrease, the effects of some drugs, which could lead to serious or even life-threatening adverse reactions. As little as one glass of grapefruit juice (8 oz or 250 ml) can cause this effect.

 

Certain drugs and health products used in the treatment of the following medical conditions are known to cause this effect: anxiety; depression, high blood pressure; HIV/AIDS; cancer; irregular heart rhythms; infections; psychotic problems; erectile dysfunction; angina; convulsions; gastrointestinal reflux; high lipid (cholesterol) levels; and organ graft rejections.

 

Health Canada is advising the public not to drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit in any form, if under medication for any of the conditions listed above, until having talked it over with a doctor or pharmacist about the potential for an adverse reaction. The government body also advises, as a precaution, to avoid taking any drug with grapefruit juice until a doctor or pharmacist has said it is safe to do so.

 

 

THE LEMON:

The health benefits of the lemon can be recalled from “the good old days” when medical practice took notice of healing foods. We may remember that in every hospital in the UK we saw people bring in to the ward bottles of PLJ (pure lemon juice). When the products changed from pure lemon juice to a flavoured cordial, then the healing effects stopped.

 

We can also remember that PLJ was used for slimming although this statement is misleading as Lemons do not make people slim. What actually happens is that beneficial chemicals in this fruit actually cause the body to obtain its correct weight which is referred to as weight loss by marketing people.

 

A small sample of health benefits of lemons within the digestive system include:

Lemon (juice) alleviates Constipation.

Lemon (extract) kills some types of Intestinal parasites (especially roundworms).

Lemon dissolves gallstones (due to the limonene content of lemon). 

 

It is interesting that lemon (juice) significantly helps to eliminate kidney stones and alleviates the pain of kidney stones; this was an old and trusted herbal remedy before we found out that only proper medicine works!!!

 

 

  • There are several clinics that use lemons to boost the Immune system and suggest that consuming Lemon juice helps to prevent many forms of cancer (due to its Limonene content).
  • Lemon (juice drunk upon awakening in the morning) improves the function of liver metabolism
  • Lemons provide many benefits to the respiratory system and there is plenty of research that demonstrates that lemon juice alleviates some of the symptoms of the common cold.

 

It checks the excessive flow of bile and cleanses the mouth. It dislodges phlegm (cough) and expels wind from the digestive tract. It helps in digestion and removes constipation. It prevents vomiting, throat trouble, acidity and rheumatism.

 

Though lemon is acidic to the taste, it leaves beneficial alkaline residues in the body. This is why it is useful in all symptoms of acidosis.

 

Lemon-juice is a powerful antibacterial. It has been proved by experiments that the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases are destroyed in lemon-juice.

 

It also contains some vitamin A. Natural vitamin C is much more effective than the synthetic one. Vitamin C of lemon-juice is very effective because it is naturally combined with bioflavonoids (vitamin P). In addition to Vitamin C, lemon also contains niacin and thiamine (B vitamins) in small amounts.

 

One should not take concentrated lemon-juice. It should be diluted with water before taking it. Pure lemon juice contains acid which is injurious to the enamel of teeth, but this is not the case when diluted, unlike the orange.

 

The body is well cleansed if lemon-juice mixed with cold/warm water and honey is taken on an empty stomach early in the morning. Warm water may be used to get relieved of constipation.

 

Because in some countries the producers of lemons extend their keeping properties and improve appearance by coating them with the harmful chemical diphenyl and waxing the fruits, it is a wise precaution to buy organic or unwaxed and even then wash the lemon then rinse thoroughly before converting the whole fruit to juice.

 

The pulp left from the juicing is excellent for the skin and can also soothe the bites and stings of insects.

 

Doctors Morel and Rochaix demonstrated that the extract of lemon when vaporized will neutralize the bacteria of meningococcus, typhoid, pneumococcus and staphylococcus in 15 to 180 minutes.

 

A gastronomically inclined Frenchman, Charles Richet, is said by Dr Valnet to have discovered that the lemon juice added to raw oysters before eating them destroys 92% of the bacteria present within 15 minutes. A good reason to wait before you eat!

 

This information is relevant to the idea that lemon juice is a most important therapy to be used in all cases of infection of the respiratory tract and as a general tonic.

 

Provided that the juice is diluted with water, there is no danger in taking any reasonable quantity of lemon juice. Be sure to choose firm, clear coloured lemons that have not begun to wither. The first signs of ageing can be spotted where the stem was once attached to the fruit.

 

 

A NOTE ON COFFEE:

There was a most interesting article from a published paper called Coffee, Cirrhosis, and Transaminase Enzymes in The Archives of Internal Medicine

researchers found that a typical serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than typical servings of grape juice, blueberries, raspberries and oranges. These same anti-inflammatory properties may explain why coffee appears to decrease the risk of alcohol-related cirrhosis and liver cancer.

 

Here's a parting message from "Rob van Dam, a Harvard scientist and the lead author of The Journal of the American Medical Association review":

“I wouldn’t advise people to increase their consumption of coffee in order to lower their risk of disease,” Dr. van Dam said, “but the evidence is that for most people without specific conditions, coffee is not detrimental to health. If people enjoy drinking it, it’s comforting to know that they don’t have to be afraid of negative health effects.”

But I digress too much but there is a point that is relevant which is the popular view that oranges are the best source of antioxidants; they are not and neither is the grapefruit. When caffeine is consumed at the same time as grapefruit (especially grapefruit juice), the oral clearance of caffeine is decreased by 23%

 

 

 

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