More than six hundred thousand Americans die of heart diseases every year. Heart diseases claim more lives than any other illnesses in the United States. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one American experiences a heart attack every 43 seconds.
Are You At Risk?
If you eat a typical SAD (Standard American Diet), then you may be at risk. Don’t be a statistic. There are a number of things you can do to lower your risk. Of course, you know what they say. Cut the bad fat. Cut the bad cholesterol. Eat more omega-3-rich foods. Be more physically active. Are there other things you can do?
A new study shows there is. It turns out a glass of grape juice a day can keep the cardiologist away. According to this new study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking one glass of grapefruit juice every day keeps your blood vessels healthy and lowers your risk of heart diseases.
This study was able to identify the phytochemicals that promoted healthier blood vessels and improved blood circulation. They are the flavanones, the health-boosting agents you commonly find in citrus fruits. The study suggests that drinking grapefruit juice daily reduces your risk of getting a heart disease.
Citrus Fruits and Blood Vessels
The cardiovascular benefits of eating fruits have long been documented. But new studies on citrus fruits in particular gives us new insights into the role of these fruits in the prevention of heart diseases. Many people don’t know this. They eat fruits because of their vitamins and antioxidants. Little do they know about the other benefits of drinking certain types of fruit juices.
Another study that was done by researchers at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in France looked into the effects of grapefruit juice consumption on the blood vessels of the subjects.
This research project involved 48 subjects, all of whom were women 50-65 years old, the age group where they are particularly at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
The subjects were divided into two groups. Group 1 was given approximately half a pint of grapefruit juice, which is rich in flavanones. Group 2 was given a similar juice drink that didn’t have flavanones.
After six months, the health of the subjects’ blood vessels were evaluated through a method called flow-mediated dilation. This method of testing the health of your arteries involves measuring the flexibility and elasticity of the walls of your artery.
Normally, arterial walls are flexible and elastic. You want to keep your blood vessels elastic and flexible. The more elastic your blood vessels are, the more efficiently they allow and facilitate blood flow. Hardened arteries due to buildup of cholesterol plaques are a telltale sign of arteriosclerosis, something I’ve talked about for so many years.
Anyway, the results of the French study, though predictable, led to a promising discovery, at least, for people who are at high risk of heart diseases. Those who consumed grapefruit juice showed a marked improvement in their cardiovascular health. Those who consumed the alternative drink, which didn’t have flavanones, showed little change, if anything, to their cardiovascular health.
The new findings about the health benefits of grapefruit juice is insightful. If anything, it offers middle-aged men and women another way to keep heart diseases at bay. This doesn’t mean, though, that they should forgo other healthy living tips, such as exercising regularly and eating the right foods.
Read more about the health benefits of grapefruit.
A Grapefruit Juice Recipe
Grapefruit juice on its own has its unique fragrant aroma, but is a little bitter or sour. Either you love it or you hate it. It’s an acquired taste and I grew to love it! I found various easy combos that enhances the taste and its nutrients.
Preparing grapefruit juice is easy. You can do it at home with your slow juicer or a citrus juicer. Here’s a juice recipe that I like using grapefruits. Click on image.
Caution: Individuals who are on medication should ask their doctors first before drinking grapefruit juice as there is a possibility of your body rejecting your medication, when you are consuming grapefruit or its juice.