Grapefruit | What is Grapefruit | What are the Health benefits of Grapefruit | Grapefruit Juice Health benefits | Uses of Grapefruit | Nutritional Value of Grapefruit
The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its bitter fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Jamaica. When found in Barbados it was named the “forbidden fruit”; it is also called the “shaddock”, after its creator.
These evergreen trees are usually found at around 5–6 metres (16–20 ft) tall, although they can reach 13–15 metres (43–49 ft). The leaves are dark green, long (up to 150 mm, or 6 inches) and thin. It produces 5 cm (2 in) white four-petaled flowers. The fruit is yellow-orange skinned and largely oblate, and ranges in diameter from 10–15 cm. The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in color depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink and red pulps of varying sweetness. The 1929 US Ruby Red (of the Redblush variety) has the first grapefruit patent.
The fruit has only become popular from the late 19th century; before that it was only grown as an ornamental plant. The US quickly became a major producer of the fruit, with orchards in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. In Spanish, the fruit is known as toronja or pomelo.
Grapefruit has many micronutrients that are beneficial to one’s health. Grapefruit contains vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate and many
Grapefruit Varieties, Colors and its Flavors:
* The California and Arizona Variety: They are available all year round and mostly have a pink or red flesh. Some popular types in this variety include Ruby, Star Ruby, Rio Red and Marsh Ruby, as well as the White or Golden grapefruit
* Pummelos: Is the Chinese grapefruit and is thick and large with green or yellow peel. The interior is either white or pink, milder than regular grapefruit and very aromatic. Pummelos are in season November through March, and are especially popular for the Chinese New Year
* Sunkist Grapefruit: It is a solid and juicy variety and has smooth skin and less seeds. This cultivar is available for 11 months in a year from November to October.
* Oroblancos and Melogolds: They are the two new sweet and mild flavoured varieties. They may have green skins, even when they are ripe from the inside.
* Grapefruit comes in many varieties, determinable by color, which is caused by the pigmentation of the fruit in respect of both its state of ripeness and genetic bent.
* The most popular varieties cultivated today are red, white, and pink hues, referring to the internal pulp color of the fruit.
* The family of flavors range from highly acidic and somewhat bitter to sweet and tart.
* Grapefruit mercaptan, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances which has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared with other citrus fruits.
Uses of Grapefruit and its Juice:
>> What are the Health Benefits of Grapefruit and Grapefruit Juice:
>> Acidity: Although grapefruit has a sub acid taste, its juice actually has an alkaline reaction after digestion. This has a profound effect in the treatment of acidity in the digestive system that causes a host of other health problems.
>> Atherosclerosis: Pectin in this fruit has been found to be effective in reducing the accumulation of arterial deposits, and the vitamin C helps to strengthen and maintain the elasticity of arteries.
>> Breast cancer: In another study, the bioflavonoids found in grapefruit was discovered to even halt cancer cells from spreading in breast cancer patients, by ridding the body of excess estrogen.
>> Common cold: A common cold is usually your body telling you that you are overworked. A regular drink of grapefruit during a stressful period gives your immune system the boost needed to prevent it coming on.
>> Cholesterol: A certain compound found in grapefruit helps reduce the excessive production of cholesterol from the liver.
>> Diabetes: A diabetic can safely eat a grapefruit. In fact, more consumption of this fruit will help reduce the starches and sweets in the system. If you have a tendency towards diabetes, consume more grapefruit juice to prevent it.
Nutritional Value of Grapefruit:
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||138 kJ (33 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||1.1 g|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.037 mg (3%)|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.020 mg (1%)|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.269 mg (2%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.283 mg (6%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.043 mg (3%)|
|Folate (Vit. B9)||10 μg (3%)|
|Vitamin C||33.3 mg (56%)|
|Calcium||12 mg (1%)|
|Iron||0.06 mg (0%)|
|Magnesium||9 mg (2%|
|Phosphorus||8 mg (1%)|
|Potassium||148 mg (3%)|
|Zinc||0.07 mg (1%)|
>> Digestive disorder: This juice helps to promote digestion by increasing the flow of gastric juices. Eat the fruit together with its rind for its extra fiber that aids bowel movements.
>> Fatigue: At the end of a long and tiring day, drink a glass of grapefruit juice with lemon juice in equal parts with a little honey, to dispel all fatigue and tiredness.
>> Fever: Besides drinking plenty of fluids, also drink grapefruit juice to reduce fever.
>> Insomnia: A drink of grapefruit juice before bedtime, helps to promote sleep and alleviates insomnia.
>> Pregnant woman: The bioflavonoids and vitamin C help to reduce water retention and swelling of the legs during pregnancy.
>> Sore throat: Drinking a freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice helps relieve sore throats and soothes coughs.
>> Stomach and pancreatic cancer: The anti-cancer agents in grapefruit (especially in the rinds) are particularly protective against these cancers in the digestive system.
>> Weight-loss: This fruit has a fat-burning enzyme and can help to absorb and reduce the starch and sugar in the body. It is widely consumed by people who are trying to lose weight. If you don’t fall under the category of people mentioned below (look at “Caution” colum), then take a glass of grapefruit juice twice a day and eat normally.
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