The grapefruit enjoys either the best or worst PR team – depending on how you feel about the infamous Grapefruit Diet. It’s a 12-day, low calorie diet that promises participants a loss of up to 10 pounds. The diet has been around since the 1930’s. As is the case with most “get thin quick” diets, the results are more successful in the short term and don't really promote long term weight loss or health. But that doesn’t mean the grapefruit isn’t a valuable and delicious part of a healthy diet.
Developed in the West Indies in the 18th century, Grapefruits are now grown all over the world. Although according to the USDA, the United States is the world’s number one producer of grapefruits. Florida produces about 75 percent of the total grapefruit crop grown throughout the United States. And here’s a fact that surprised me - the sweetest and juiciest grapefruit can be found in supermarkets from December to June. They come from Florida and Texas. The grapefruits from California are easier to peel and segment, but they are not as juicy and their flavor is (again according to the USDA) only fair.
Grapefruits grow in bunches in trees, like grapes. Sometimes as many as 25 fruits in a cluster hang from a tree. In fact, that is the origin of the name.
According to the Fruits & Veggies More Matters website, grapefruits are fat free; saturated fat free; sodium free; cholesterol free; high in vitamin A and high in vitamin C. Did you know that half a grapefruit provides 80 percent of an adult’s recommended daily vitamin C? Grapefruits also provide pectin, a soluble fiber which may lower cholesterol. Finally they are a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin and niacin.
When selecting a grapefruit, the USDA suggests you choose the ones that are glossy, round, smooth and choose grapefruits that are heavy for their size. Once you select your grapefruit and bring them home, store grapefruits at room temperature for 1 week or under refrigeration for 2 to 3 weeks.
Win a Grapefruit
I feel smarter, healthier and hungrier now. If only I had a good recipe. That’s where we’re hoping our readers can step in. We’re looking for some good grapefruit recipes. Post a recipe in the comments below or on our Facebook Page for a chance to win Gracie Grapefruit Garden Hero – pictured above. Please post recipes before 8:00pm CST Wednesday, February 8th, and we'll announce the winner the following morning!