Many people think of grapefruit as the existential diet food. Why not right? I mean grapefruits are super low in calories. There’s even a diet called the “Grapefruit Diet”! But to be honest, that diet is way to limiting to be considered healthy, well-balanced, and even enjoyable in my book… However I have certainly not ruled out grapefruits just because of that fad diet. They offer so many wonderful nutritional benefits in such a small package.
Grapefruits look absolutely nothing like grapes. Did you know they’re actually an accidental hybrid of an orange and a pomelo (a citrus fruit native to southern Asia)? Grapefruits were given their misleading name because they grew in clusters on a tree, similar to grapes. are actually quite tart, tangy, and just the right amount of sweet. There are actually several categories of grapefruit, each bursting with varying hues of pink, red, and white.
Just like their orange and other citrus fruit relatives, grapefruits offer an abundance of vitamin C. By just eating half of a grapefruit, you can get over 60 percent of your daily value for vitamin C! Consuming enough vitamin C rich foods is very helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system. So if you’re feeling under the weather this winter, start your day out with a grapefruit and feel the magnificent benefits of vitamin C!
You may have heard that lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes… and ketchup. But did you know that lycopene is also found in grapefruit? Especially in the pink and red varieties. Hint hint, lycopene is a bright red antioxidant responsible for the color in many fruits and vegetables. Grapefruits also offer a good source of many other vitamins and minerals, including copper, potassium, and vitamin A. And like I mentioned earlier, grapefruits are also a great food to incorporate in your diet if you’re focusing on weight loss or weight management due to its low caloric content.
Instead of sticking to the traditional route of eating a grapefruit half for breakfast, maybe try this delicious tangy fruit another way. Add it to your next smoothie! Top it on a salad for some added tang and sweetness! Or possibly opt for a more adventurous recipe and try it cooked!
However you want to try it, be sure to pick one up in its peak season of winter to enjoy the most of this wonderful fruit!
Ashley is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian in the state of Texas. She graduated from Framingham State University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics and she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut. (more)