Grapefruit is the fruit of the month. Grapefruit originated in the West Indies and was introduced to Florida in the 1820s where it is grown today. It started out with just white flesh, but mutations have created pink to red grapefruits. Grapefruit grow in clusters (hence the “grape” part of the name). Grapefruit are in season from November to April. When selecting a grapefruit pick one that is glossy, round, smooth and heavy for its size. Avoid any grapefruit with brown and/or soft spots. They can be stored at room temperature for ~ 1 week, or in the refrigerator for 8 weeks.
The Grapefruit Diet
The famed “Grapefruit Diet” has been around since the 1930’s as a quick-fix weight loss diet. According to WebMD, “The premise of the Grapefruit Diet is based on an alleged “magical” ingredient in grapefruits, that, when eaten with protein, theoretically triggers fat burning and causes weight loss. The diet is designed to promote fast weight loss; unfortunately, the weight lost is primarily from fluids and not fat and generally returns as soon as the dieter goes off the diet.”
The Grapefruit diet is simply a low-carb, moderate protein diet averaging 800-1,000 calories a day, with 1/2 a grapefruit or 8 ounces of grapefruit juice included with every meal. With or without grapefruit, you’ll likely lose weight on this extremely restrictive diet. Is it healthy? No. Will you be likely to maintain the weight loss? No. Has science proven grapefruit has a magical ability to burn fat? Unfortunately not.
The Truth about Grapefruit:
“The low glycemic index, high fiber, and low-calorie nature of the fruit may reduce insulin levels and help dieters feel full and eat fewer calories.” —WebMD
– 1/2 a grapefruit contains 70% of the daily value of vitamin C
-Pink grapefruit contains the antioxidant lycopene, which might have anti-tumor properties.
-Grapefruit juice ranked among the highest in antioxidant levels
-Phytonutrients called limonoids, found in grapefruit and other citrus, inhibit tumor formation
-Naringenin, a flavonoid concentrated in grapefruit, helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells
-Pectin in grapefruit slows progression of atherosclerosis and lowers LDL cholesterol
-It prevents kidney stones
Important Fact about Grapefruit to be aware of
Certain drugs (especially cholesterol medications) react with grapefruit and grapefruit juice. It can slow the normal detoxification and metabolism processes in the intestines and liver, which slows the breakdown and eliminate these drugs. Make sure to ask your dietitian, doctor, or pharmacist about any interactions that could happen with any medications you are taking.
Check out 30 Grapefruit recipes (for all meals of the day) from Martha Stewart like Grapefruit and Watercress Salad, Grapefruit and Mint Mojito, or Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies.