Sunshine on a Plate: Grapefruit

In the midst of grey, cold winter days, it’s easy to get the blues.  I don’t suffer from seasonal effective disorder, but totally can get cranky after too many days in the house and not enough sunshine!  Enter the grapefruit.  No, it doesn’t provide any vitamin D, like you would get from actual sunshine.  But for me, it definitely embodies the freshness that I miss during this time of the year.  Plus, it is chock full of nutrients.  At just a little over 100 calories for one whole grapefruit, you also get 120% of your DV for vitamin C and more than 1/2 of your DV for vitamin A.  One whole grapefruit will also get you nearly 20% of your days needs for fiber.  And they taste so, so good.  Right now you can find them in your market because it’s peak season!

Grapefruit

This Scarlett Red Grapefruit was the perfect side for my soup this week.

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat grapefruit:

  • Straight.  Just cut in half, cut around the outside to release the flesh from the peel and scoop out with a spoon.
  • Broiled with a sprinkling of brown sugar – this is like fruit brulee and is a great healthy dessert for those who just have to have something in the evening.  I feel you.
  • Sectioned and atop salad.  When paired with dark green leafy veggies, the vitamin C in the grapefruit helps make the iron in the greens more bio-available – performing double duty to help that salad really do you good.
  • Mixed in fruit salad.  The sweet-sour flavor of grapefruit pairs beautifully with other sweeter fruit to make fruit salad more interesting.  It can also really wake up frozen fruit if you’re using those in the winter months.

As always, eating the whole grapefruit (or any fruit) is so much better for you than just drinking the juice.  When you choose the juice, you get a lot more calories, less fiber, and more total sugar in a similar quantity. Choose the whole fruit whenever you can.

BTW, I should mention that for some people, you need to be careful eating grapefruit.  While it’s totally delicious and nutritious, for those folks taking some types of medications.  Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian if you’re taking these meds to see if you need to avoid grapefruit.

Are you a citrus lover?  Like/Hate grapefruit, tell me why.

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