Eat Grapefruit for the Health Benefits
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The grapefruit is one of the most popular fresh fruits in America. Each year, more than one and a half million tons are shipped from Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona. Unlike the orange, the grapefruit has never been particularly popular as a fruit juice. And it's a good thing, too–it is much healthier to eat grapefruit than to drink its juice. In this article we will discuss the many health benefits of the grapefruit.
Like most citrus fruits, the grapefruit comes in many different varieties. More often than not, these varieties are determined by the color of the fruit's flesh. The three most popular types are the white, the pink, and the red grapefruit. But when it comes to health benefits, the only known discrepancy is between the white and pink/red varieties. Let us take a moment to review the history of this fascinating fruit.
The grapefruit is one of the newest members of the citrus fruit family. First discovered on the island of Barbados in 1750, it is a cross between a Jamaican orange and a pomelo from Indonesia. The grapefruit is easily the most popular hybrid in the history fruit.
When it came to America in the second decade of the 19th century, the grapefruit was an unpopular fruit. Fruit lovers in Florida, where the fruit was first planted, almost unanimously agreed that it was simply too sour. It certainly didn't help that the grapefruit had to compete directly with the more established and much sweeter Florida orange.
The grapefruit would remain a stranger in a strange land until 1929 when a new American variety of grapefruit was discovered in South Texas. Though it was nothing more than a simple mutation, the fruit that would come to be known as “the Ruby” is responsible for the growth of the grapefruit industry in the United States. The Ruby had red flesh instead of white or pink and it was much sweeter than either of its forebears.
While the Ruby Red became a household name because of its taste, researchers have since discovered that it is also the healthiest variety of grapefruit on earth. In fact, both the pink and red varieties are better for you than the original white grapefruit. Not that there are many obvious discrepancies. The fruits are virtually identical when it comes to carbohydrates, cholesterol, fat, sodium, and calories. But if you take a closer at the nutritional information before you eat grapefruit, you will notice the difference in vitamin A.
Both the red and the pink varieties of the fruit are an excellent source of the vitamin, while the white grapefruit has only a trace amount of vitamin A. What does it do? Vitamin A is a powerful moisturizer that helps prevent excessive drying of the body's largest organ, the skin. It also works as a powerful antioxidant to protect healthy cells from inimical free radicals. So, if you make the choice to eat grapefruit, make sure that you buy the red and pink varieties over the white.