Learn how adding grapefruit to your daily diet can help you overcome acne.


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Grapefruit: The other best fruit for your skin

Grapefruit's combination of low sugar and high vitamin content make it one of the best power foods for combating acne


With a naturally sour flavor, grapefruit isn't everyone's favorite source of citrus, but once you get used to it, it makes for both a delicious and super healthy snack. In fact, grapefruits are second only to berries when it comes to the best fruits for skin care. So grab a spoon, slice one in half, and learn why you should add this fruit to your breakfast each morning.


I start almost every day with half a grapefruit and some Greek yogurt. If you do too, you may not need a multivitamin, because grapefruits are totally packed with nutrients.


Why grapefruits put other citrus fruits to shame


While oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes all have some great health benefits, none of them are quite as powerful as grapefruits. One thing all citrus fruits are known for is vitamin C. This versatile antioxidant plays a big role in skin protection and repair. When most people think of vitamin C, they think of oranges or orange juice, but it turns out that grapefruits contain more vitamin C than any other citrus fruit (just half of one provides about 80% of your RDA). And that's not all. They also pack a lot more vitamin A and are richer in almost every B vitamin (with nearly twice as much vitamin B5 as oranges). It all adds up to make grapefruits one of the best sources of power vitamins for acne prevention.


Besides vitamins, grapefruits also provide skin-healthy bioflavanoids that help fight bacteria, including lycopene (which is known to aid in cancer prevention and guard against excess UV radiation) and naringin (which reduces toxicity in the liver).


However, while all these nutrients are nice, one of the best things about grapefruit is what it doesn't include. Several citrus fruits, such as oranges and tangerines, contain fairly high amounts of sugar. They skew towards the top of the fruit-sugar scale, making them less attractive as everyday additions to an acne-free diet. All that fructose can work to offset their health benefits. In contrast, grapefruits are much lower in sugar, earning a spot on the low-to-mid range of the scale. Sure, they're a bit more sour, but the nutritional value is worth it, and personally I love the taste of a fresh grapefruit (sweet stuff tends to wear on my taste buds, but grapefruit I can eat every day). Just don't be a junkie and sprinkle sugar on top!


What about grapefruit juice or topically applied remedies?


For those who prefer to drink their citrus, grapefruit juice has both benefits and downsides, similar to any fruit juice. On the up side, since the juice is more concentrated, it can provide an even higher amount of vitamins per serving than eating the raw fruit does. Unfortunately, you lose out on certain benefits, such as the fiber. This is compounded by the fact that many brands of juice add sugar to sweeten the flavor. The end result is that eating grapefruits is still better for you than drinking grapefruit juice in most cases, but the juice isn't bad.


Some acne remedies recommend applying grapefruit slices or juice directly to your skin, and indeed many skin care products now include it among their ingredients. The extract is touted as having anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and like most citrus fruits, applying it topically can also promote exfoliation. If your skin has a high pH level, grapefruit's acidity (pH of approximately 3.3) may help to balance it.


That said, other citrus fruits may be more potent for topical use. For instance, many acne home remedies turn to lemon juice instead, thanks to its higher acidity and stronger effect in stimulating exfoliation.


Best use and a few words of caution


There are very few foods out there that are better for your skin than grapefruits, and they're even easy to eat without getting your hands sticky! Just slice one in half (stem-side up, not along the core) and grab a small spoon. It's like a fruit bowl already prepared, and a great addition to a healthy breakfast. Just be aware that some of the phytochemicals in grapefruit may block the action of certain drugs (including drugs that lower cholesterol). Ask your doctor about any potential complications if you are currently taking medications.


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