Easy Ways to Eat More Grapefruit

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Fruit Information
How to eat more delicious rio ruby red grapefruit

Fruits and vegetables are not just important to your health, they’re critical – in fact, health experts and organizations the world over recommend a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Because many varieties of fruit tend to be higher in calories and natural sugars than vegetables, some health experts place an emphasis on vegetables (the American Heart Association, for example, asserts that two servings of fruit and three servings of veggies make up the “right” five-a-day mix.

Grapefruit is lower in sugar than many fruits, and lower in calories, too – in fact, a half-cup serving of grapefruit sections contains fewer than 50 calories. Additionally, grapefruit is not just a healthy food, it’s a superfood – high in vitamins C and A, rich in potassium and loaded with fiber, grapefruit strengthens your immune system, lowers your risk of infection, helps your body heal from cuts and wounds, improves eye health, reduces your cholesterol and even relieves stress. Plus, pink and red varieties (like our famous Rio Ruby™ Red Grapefruit) also contain lycopene, a proven cancer fighter. Grapefruit has also been shown to regulate digestion and, famously, aid in weight loss.

With Everything Going for It, Why Does Grapefruit Get a Bad Rap?

Despite all these wonderful health benefits, grapefruit remains one of the least-purchased citrus varieties. Why? Because of its reputedly bitter taste. This is due to the fruit’s high amounts of naringin, a flavonoid that has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but also a bitter flavor.

But don’t let grapefruit’s bitter reputation deter you from trying this healthy living fruit…there are ways to slip the superfood into your daily diet with nary a hitch!

Not all Grapefruits are Created Equal

Have you ever seen someone sprinkle sugar over a grapefruit half before digging in and figured there was no point in adding a healthy food to your diet it you had to cover it in sugar to make it palatable? We get it – while a little brown sugar can add delightful sweetness to a sour grapefruit, it might seem strange to add it to a plain fruit.

Here’s a tip…when folks add sugar to fresh grapefruit, it’s usually to sweeten a white grapefruit, the most bitter variety. Red grapefruit varieties (like our own Rio Ruby Grapefruit) tend to be much sweeter!

A hybrid citrus fruit made from crossing a pomelo (one of the original citrus fruits) and a sweet orange, grapefruit first appeared during the 1700s in the Caribbean. Larger than an orange with a pale yellow skin and pale yellow, almost white flesh, white grapefruit groves began to be cultivated in South Texas, where the growing conditions were ideal. It was in the Rio Grande Valley that a spontaneous mutation appeared on an ordinary grapefruit tree – grapefruit with a rosy blush to their thin skins, and flesh that was bright red with a sweetness that toned the sourness down to refreshingly tangy.

Rio Ruby™ Red Grapefruit are much lower in naringin than their white-fleshed cousins, and they quickly became the most popular grapefruit in the world. You won’t need to add sugar to these gem-colored beauties!

How to Eat More Grapefruit

Rio Ruby™ Reds are so sweet and good, you’ll have no problem eating them plain. There are few things more refreshing and satisfying than half a grapefruit with your morning breakfast, but if your grapefruit is still a little too tart for your taste, bypass the sugar bowl and reach for the saltshaker instead. It might seem counterintuitive, but a pinch of salt will actually make your grapefruit taste sweeter because the salt will block the bitter-sensing tastebuds on your tongue, so the fruit’s sweetness stands out without becoming too sweet. (And unlike sugar, the salt won’t add any calories!)

Here are some other quick and easy ways you can enjoy grapefruit as a part of a healthy diet:

  • Add the fruit or the juice to your morning smoothie. Grapefruit adds a nice refreshing flavor and complements the sweetness of many other fruits.
  • Broil it. If you slice a grapefruit in half and put it under the oven broiler for five minutes, the heat will caramelize the flesh and bring out its natural sugars. Great for breakfast, a snack or even a healthy dessert!
  • Add the fruit or the juice to your morning smoothie. Grapefruit adds a nice refreshing flavor and complements the sweetness of many other fruits.
  • Spread soft cheese over fresh grapefruit segments. Looking for a light lunch or quick snack idea? Apples and pears aren’t the only fruits that go well with cheese! Try grapefruit with brie, feta, cream cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, gorgonzola and more.
  • Chop fresh grapefruit into salads. Grapefruit goes well in green salads, particularly when paired with bitter greens such as radicchio or dandelion greens or when the salad includes salty ingredients such as smoked salmon or feta cheese.
  • Swap out soda for grapefruit juice. Juice your Rio Ruby™ Red Grapefruit and pour it into a reusable bottle you can take with you. It’s a perfect pick-me-up after a workout, and not only is it lower in sugar content than soda, it’s also caffeine-free and full of vitamins and minerals.
  • Use grapefruit with meat and fish dishes. Slices of grapefruit work just as well as lemon slices with fish and poultry dishes. You can also bake a citrus-flavored breading for meat and fish fillets using fresh breadcrumbs dunked in grapefruit juice.
  • Make grapefruit candy. There’s a lot of nutrition in the grapefruit’s peel, and it’s easy to candy it with organic sugar as a high-energy treat to take along on a hike (or to dip in antioxidant-rich dark chocolate as an elegant dessert).
  • Speaking of dessert…Grapefruit works as well as any other fruit when it comes to desserts. Add fresh grapefruit chunks to your favorite Jell-O flavor for a lighter dessert, or use them in place of strawberries in shortcake for an interesting twist.

When to Be Wary of Grapefruit

While grapefruit has many health benefits, it can interact negatively with some medications. Both grapefruit and grapefruit juice can affect the way some drugs are metabolized, causing them to lose their effectiveness or increase side effects. Check with your doctor before making grapefruit a regular part of your diet if you take medication for the following conditions:

  • High cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Organ transplant
  • Allergies (itchy eyes, sneezing, hives)
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