I am going to discuss a few of the many nutritional and health benefits of ruby red grapefruit as well as provide you with some ymmy recipes. First off, for all the dieters out there, grapefruits are a lower-calorie fruit. Compared to a navel orange – one navel orange about 3 inches in diameter provides 70 calories and 18 grams of carbohydrates while half of one large grapefruit provides only 37 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore grapefruit can be part of a weight loss diet by helping to reduce calorie intake.
Ruby red grapefruit has lycopene. Yes, that same nutrient that was found to be beneficial in tomato products. It helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men and for everyone else it helps can protect your heart. The pectin in grapefruit also helps protect your heart by slowing the progression of atherosclerosis and even lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in human studies. This effect was more pronounced with ruby red colored grapefruit.
Limonoids are a group of phytonutrients that inhibit tumor formation. Limonin’s presence in the body has been shown to prevent cancer cells growth and multiplication. In grapefruit, and other citrus, limonoids are readily absorbed and used by our bodies making them a great source of this compound and potentially cancer-fighting foods!
I have only named a few benefits of ruby red grapefruit – and trust me there are many more. Grapefruits are also a good source of folate, potassium, and fiber. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the taste. They are the best-tasting grapefruits. They are slightly sweet and not nearly as bitter as white grapefruits. At their best you can eat them without adding any sugar, though sometimes s very tiny sprinkle helps. My favorite thing to do is slice one in half, put it in a bowl, and scoop out the yummy fruit sections with a spoon. Other nice ways to use a grapefruit and its juice is in salads and to make a wonderful vinaigrette. Think lemon vinaigrette – only with fresh grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice!
Recipe: Grapefruit Vinaigrette
The above recipes are from one of my favorite cookbooks – Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville.
Here is the nutrition breakdown for one half of a grapefruit (123 grams):
- Calories: 37
- Total Fat: 0
- Cholesterol: 0
- Sodium: 0
- Total Carbohydrate: 9 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Other: Vitamin C – 76% daily value
I encourage everyone (except those on certain heart medications that need to limit their grapfruit intake) to go out and buy some of these before winter has passed us by. Eat up!