Botanists believe that the grapefruit was created by crossing a Pummelo (the largest citrus fruit) with a sweet orange. It is available in a variety of colours like pink, yellow, ruby and white. The colouration is the result of fruit pigmentation representing the degree of ripeness. Looking at grapefruits growing on trees, one sees a strong resemblance between the way clusters of grapefruits grow and grape clusters, hence the name. The fruit typically ranges from four to six inches in diameter and is a rich source of phytonutrients.
Sweet & Sour Grapefruit Juice
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 teaspoon honey
Cut the grapefruit in half and juice manually in a citrus juicer. Blend in the honey and enjoy over ice.
One half of an approximately four inch diameter grapefruit contains 41 calories. It delivers only one calorie from fat, no cholesterol or sodium. This serving also delivers 5.6 grams of dietary fibre, 4.6 grams of carbohydrates, and almost nine grams of sugar. The same serving provides nearly 60% of the daily requirements of vitamin C, and almost 6.5% of vitamin A. Additionally it supplies fair amounts of vitamin B1, B2, B6, biotin, choline and folate as well as pantothenic acid along with trace amounts of vitamin E. Grapefruits are a good source of potassium and copper while fair sources of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and calcium. They also house a number of phytochemicals like lycopene and liminoids.
Grapefruits have a bad reputation when it comes to interacting with certain medications. In fact research indicates that there are 85 drugs with which grapefruit reacts negatively. The chemicals called furanocoumarins in grapefruit block an enzyme in the intestine which metabolises lots of medicines. The net result is that more of these medications get absorbed into the body, making them stronger and leading to undesirable side effects. If you are on any medication, it is best to check with your doctor to ensure that it does not interact with grapefruit.
Health Benefits of Grapefruits
Being an exceptional source of vitamin C, grapefruit helps to support a strong immune system. It also averts the damage caused by free radicals by eliminating them thus preventing the inflammatory surge they cause. Inflammation is the cause of serious diseases like osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Free radicals left in the body can oxidize cholesterol and result in plaque build-up in the arteries, which is the forerunner of heart attacks and stroke. The lycopene in grapefruit is linked with anti-tumor properties. Consumption of foods rich in lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer according to latest research. The limonoids in the fruit also prevent tumour formation by promoting the production of a detoxifying enzyme that makes toxic substances in the body more water soluble and hence easier to remove. The pectin in grapefruit lowers cholesterol as well as slowing the process of atherosclerosis.