Need a break from holiday food overload? Think grapefruit.
- Tangy and refreshing
- Not too sweet
- Loaded with nutrients
- Easy on the calories
- In season (in Northern Hemisphere), so at peak of quality
- Keeps well
The table compares a few key nutrients in red and white grapefruit. Protein and fat are negligible; vitamin D, B12 and E are not present. Grapefruit has small amounts of other B vitamins and minerals, but none are as significant as vitamin C. As you can see, red grapefruit has some vitamin A content (from the carotenoid lycopene).
*the official vitamin A measurement unit is now Retinol Activity Equivalents.
Grapefruit is ready-to-eat, and doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Eat it right out of the rind, with a serrated grapefruit spoon, or cut around the edges of each section with a grapefruit knife. It’s more laborious, but worth the effort, because it minimizes juice squirting off in all directions when you dig a spoon in.
You might think of grapefruit as a breakfast food, but it’s great at any time, and might be a good evening or afternoon snack, to shut off sweets cravings. I think of it as a stand-alone fruit. You probably wouldn’t put grapefruit sections on your oatmeal or in yogurt. Grapefruit juice might be a bit much in a smoothie, but it’s nice and refreshing on its own.
The only drawback (for me anyway) is the astringent effect on teeth and gums. People with sensitive teeth might want to rinse with water after eating grapefruit. Or eat them less often.
Embrace the Sour
One thing I do not recommend is adding a sweetener. I know some people have a habit of drizzling their grapefruit with honey or sugar (or artificial sweetener! GAH! No!). Grapefruit is tangy; learn to appreciate that. If you’re trying to cut back on sugary foods, grapefruit is a great learning experience.