Grapefruit Fact Sheet

The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its bitter fruit, and which was originally bred in Barbados and has become a popular fruit since the late 19th century.


Health Benefits of Grapefruit

Grapefruit is rich in many nutrients and phytochemicals that promote health. It is rich in vitamin C and also contains B vitamins. It is a low-calorie fruit which raw juice improves digestion by increasing the flow of gastric juices. The red and pink varieties are high in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, and in the antioxidant lycopene.

Grapefruits, just like oranges and lemons, contain flavonoids, citric acids, and pectins. These compounds protect against cancer and heart disease. Grapefruit pectin reduces the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque and strengthens blood vessels.

It also helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis, fever, and various inflammatory disorders when eaten on a daily basis. Like ginger, it works to prevent colds.

Buying and Storing Grapefruit

When buying grapefruit, look for firm fruits that are heavy for their size. Thin-skinned fruits usually have more juice than coarse-skinned ones. Rough, ridged, or wrinkled skin can be a sign of thick skin, pulpiness, and lack of juice.

Grapefruit often have skin defects such as scale, scars, or discoloration. This usually does not affect how the fruit tastes.

You can store whole grapefruit at room temperature up to about a week, or for several weeks in the refrigerator. If you store them in the refrigerator, make sure you return them to room temperature before eating them; they will be juicier and sweeter.

Once you’ve peeled a grapefruit you should refrigerate any leftovers right away. Store in an airtight glass container and use it within a couple of days.

Preparing Grapefruit

Peel grapefruit and discard the seeds.

Grapefruit can be added to salads. They are delicious cold or warm with fish, shrimps or crab, or they can be added to a salsa of mango, avocado and lime juice.

They can also be eaten for breakfast or dessert, and be added to fruit compote.

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