My goal with Live Simply Natural is that it be a resource to help you feel empowered when making nourishing lifestyle choices. I’m a big believer that eating a well-balanced diet is a great way to feel good from the inside out. So I’m breaking down everything you need to know to unlocking the nutritional powerhouse of the most common whole food ingredients. Today I’m sharing a winter and spring time favorite – GRAPEFRUIT!
Produce Guide: Grapefruit
Grapefruits vary in color from white, yellow, pink or red. Although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring. Large in comparison to other citrus fruits, grapefruits could be described as mouth-wateringly tart with a hint of sweetness. I like to describe them somewhere between a lemon and an orange. Grapefruits are tasty all by themselves and typically this is how I enjoy them most of the time but you can also added them to any type of fruit or green salad. They’re also a unique and delicious addition to salsa. If you’re looking for a juicy burst of refreshing flavor, grapefruits certainly can deliver.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is primarily known for supporting the immune system. Vitamin C also prevents free radical damage that triggers inflammation, and is therefore also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Red grapefruit contains a bit more flavonoids and lycopene content not seen in the white varieties. Lycopene is the same compound found in tomatoes and is known for lowering triglycerides, which contains the highest capacity among all the carotenoids to help fight free radical damage, and protects the skin from UV rays. In addition, grapefruits contain lots of fiber and potassium, as well as folate, thiamin, vitamin B6, and calcium.
NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN OF GRAPEFRUIT
* a half raw grapefruit (source)
- Fiber | 2 g (8% DV)
- Protein | 0.9 g (2% DV)
- Carbohydrates | 13.1 g (4% DV)
- Vitamin C | 38.4 mg (64% DV)
- Vitamin A | 1415 IU (28% DV)
- Phosphorus | 22.1 mg (2% DV)
- Magnesium | 11.1 mg (3% DV)
- Potassium | 166 g (5 % DV)
- Calcium | 27.1 mg (3 % DV)
- Iron | 0.8 mg (10% DV)
HOW TO BUY
When shopping for grapefruits, you should always look for the same things: Look for yellow to gold skin with a rosy blush and choose one that is heavy for its size, an indication that it is juicy. If you are unsure give it a gently squeeze. Your fingers should sink into the grapefruit slightly, but the skin should bounce back to its normal shape as soon as you release the pressure. Turn the fruit halfway and squeeze it once again. You shouldn’t feel any soft spots. If you do, the fruit is probably damaged or going bad. A ripe grapefruit will feel firm all the way around.
HOW TO STORE
When properly stored, grapefruits should 7 to 10 days. I recommend storing your grapefruits in a small basket at room temperature to allow for better air circulation. if you want your grapefruit to last longer, store them in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. They’ll can last up to three weeks when stored this way.
HOW TO PREPARE
Choosing the best way to prepare or peel your grapefruit really depends on what your using it for. If you adding it to salads than I suggest thinly sliced as it not only looks prettier but allows for the hint of refreshing flavor to disperse throughout the whole salad. If your wanting grapefruit chunks in your recipe than I recommend slicing off both ends of your grapefruit, setting the grapefruit on your cutting surface and working all the way around the grapefruit in small strips. Cut off any pith that you missed. Then slide your knife along the membrane of each section popping them out gently.
Looking for more recipes with grapefruit? Check out our favorite here!
WHAT’S YOUR FAV?
What ingredient do you guys want to learn more about? And if you have a favorite way to eat grapefruit, tag @livesimplynatural or #livesimplynatural so the LSN community can get inspired by your dish too :)