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Healthy Eating: Grapefruit

Updated on June 21, 2015
Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington is a newspaper editor, journalist and freelance ghostwriter and adjunct instructor.

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Image by א (Aleph), | Source

How something so bad can be so good for you?

I admit, I'm not crazy about grapefruit. I once used it as a punishment to myself for going off my fad diet. "If I cheat on my diet, I'll eat grapefruit," I said. And that's what I did. An older and wiser me knows that there are many health benefits in grapefruit and it should never be used as punishment.

Grapefruits contain Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. It is considered high in fiber and is considered to have protecting effects against some forms of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Its acids are a digestive aide; it's pulp is a fiber. While we commonly hear of cranberries as a cure for urinary problems, grapefruit will also help those.

In addition to consuming grapefruits, you can use them externally on you skin. Cut open a grapefruit and rub in on dark spots to fade them. It is also said at the Vitamin C in one grapefruit a day can revitalize your skin. As much as American culture has embraced the grapefruit, it is difficult to believe that it is not native to the country.

A little grapefruit history

As a matter of fact, grapefruits are fairly new to the United States. They were brought over by Count Philippe Odet, a Frenchman, in 1823. Odet brought them to the states from the West Indies. He planted a grove west of Tampa, Florida. Grapefruits were shipped from Florida to the upper east coast in 1885. Today, large commercial groves are spread out across the warmer areas of the United States -- California, Arizona, and Texas, in addition to Florida.

Originally, the fruit came from Indonesia and Malaysia. Some think the grapefruit is the hybrid mistake that came from combining a fruit called a pummelo and an orange.

How do you like your grapefruit?

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The differences in red, pin, and white grapefruit

To incorporate grapefruit into your diet, buy 100 percent, no-sugar added juice. You can also slice open a grapefruit and eat the pulp. When you visit your produce department, you will probably see grapefruit options -- red, pink, and white. Other than color, the difference between pink or red and white grapefruits is nominal. If you want more protein and less sodium, choose the white grapefruit. It provides 2 g of protein to the pink or red grapefruit’s 1.1 g. The white grapefruit has no sodium, compared to 2.3 mg of sodium in the pink and red varieties.

In conclusion...

For a low sodium snack packed with fiber and all the benefits a citrus fruit has, grapefruit is a great choice. If you have a hard time eating it, try peeling it into wedges and dipping into a little honey. Honey makes everything better!


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love grapefruit. I can eat it plain, with a touch of salt or even with a touch of sugar.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 4 years ago

      Nice little hub on the health benefits of grapefruit. I've had a grapefruit (or grapefruit juice) with my breakfast for the last, I don't know, going on thirty years. I don't know on balance what good it does me but, unlike you - I think they're delicious!