The best time to enjoy grapefruits is the winter season, so it makes sense that February is National Grapefruit Month. Not just a healthy breakfast food anymore, grapefruits are very versatile and can be used in everything from zesty entrees to refreshing desserts. Here are a few grapefruit recipes and the health benefits of this tangy-sweet citrus fruit.
Health benefits of grapefruit
Grapefruits are full of fiber
Grapefruits are fabulously high in fiber. In comparison to other citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits contain close to double the amount of fiber – about 12 whopping grams of fiber per whole grapefruit. Considering the daily recommended amount of fiber for adults is between 25 and 35 grams, eating one whole grapefruit a day will provide you with nearly half of your daily need. Because of the high amount of fiber in grapefruits, they are beneficial for colon health and for keeping cholesterol at a healthy level.
Grapefruits are packed with vitamin C
Another health benefit of grapefruits comes from their high amount of vitamin C. Eating grapefruits all year round will help keep your immune system in good shape to fight off colds and flu. You may even consider upping your grapefruit intake during the winter months when illnesses tend to run rampant.
Grapefruits are antioxidant-rich
Finally, grapefruits are extremely high in antioxidants, which can help combat cancer and boost heart health. Regular consumption of grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and all fruits and juices that contain antioxidants is also beneficial for your overall health.
How to select grapefruit
Opt for grapefruits that are fairly round in shape and heavy for their size, indicating a thinner skin and more juicy flesh. Avoid blemished grapefruits since they may have been overhandled. Give the grapefruits a gentle squeeze and choose the ones that are slightly soft. Skip the grapefruits that feel overly soft or mushy. Give the grapefruits a sniff and select the ones with a nice fruity, citrusy fragrance, which is an indication of ripeness – the riper the grapefruit, the higher level of antioxidants.
How to store grapefruit
If you plan to eat your grapefruits within three to four days, simply store them at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. If you plan to eat them later than that, store them in the refrigerator where they can last for up to three weeks.
How to prepare grapefruit
Rinse grapefruits under cool water before you cut them. You can cut them in half, peel them like oranges, or cut away the peel and in between the membranes to segment them.
How to cook with grapefruit
Grapefruits can be eaten plain as a snack or part of a meal, tossed into salads and desserts, or turned into vinaigrettes, salsas and sauces. This tangy-sweet citrus is a great match for chicken, salmon, halibut and shellfish. Grapefruit zest can also be used anywhere a recipe calls for zest of an orange, lemon or lime.
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