Besides canned pears and bananas, grapefruit was one of the only fruits my mom could get me to eat as a kid. Back then I covered it in sugar but these days I approach it with a more refined palette, which has made enjoying its natural flavors – and robust health benefits – all the easier.
Health benefits: Grapefruit is an extremely flavorful citrus fruit that’s tangy, tart and sweet enough to please even the pickiest palettes. As a bonus, it also boasts some amazing health benefits. For example, just one fruit provides nearly 25 percent of your recommended amount of vitamin A; and 75 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, ward of colds, fight free radicals, and reduce inflammation.
According to Whole Foods, the pink hue found in grapefruits is not only pretty but also indicator of lycopene, which is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s been found to help fight tumor activity and cell-damaging free radicals.
Red grapefruits are thought to contain equally impressive levels of antioxidants as grapes, which are well known for warding off certain types of cancer and cell repair. Grapefruit has also been found to help lower cholesterol because of its high soluble fiber content, and contain a flavonoid concentrate called naringenin, which helps repair DNA in human prostate cancer cells. For this reason, men are encouraged to consume a whole fruit or an equal amount of juice daily. Women should do the same to help prevent kidney stones.
Nutritional statistics: One cup of grapefruit sections with juice contains approximately 97 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 16 g sugar and 2 g protein.
Cooking methods: While grapefruit can be thoroughly enjoyed as is, more adventurous cooks can use them in recipes for salads, bruschettas, muffins, jams, curds, cocktails, smoothies, juices and more. To pick a ripe red grapefruit, look for one that’s medium to large in size with pale, yellowish skin with pink spots. Minor scratches and imperfections are fine, but you’ll want to avoid picking a fruit with dull or wrinkled skin or one that’s too soft when squeezed.
Once you get your grapefruit home, what do you do with it? Take a tip from Hale Groves and peel your grapefruit like an expert. Either go the conventional route by halving your fruit and then scoring the segments with a knife or spoon before digging in. Or employ the “french” method by cutting off both ends, removing the skin with a knife, slicing both sides of the exposed membranes and then lifting the fruit segments out to enjoy. Try this second method to impress all of your friends and family with your fancy knife skills.
So there’s nothing to be afraid of or intimidated by when it comes to this healthy citrus fruit. Try just a few of the recipes below to start incorporating grapefruit into your diet today.
Broiled Grapefruit with Honey Yogurt and Granola by Cookie and Kate
Gluten Free Grapefruit and Pistachio Muffins by Vanilla Bean Blog
January 20th, 2013