Meet grapefruit, a citrus fruit with many beneficial effects. What is it about?

Grapefruit is a tropical fruit known for its sweet yet sour taste.

Do you know how it can be stored?

Or what are its species?

Come and learn as much as possible about grapefruit with us!

Grapefruit, a fruit full of vitamin C

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a taste that can range from bittersweet to sour. It contains a number of essential vitamins and minerals. People can consume the fruits whole or as juice or pulp. Grapefruit first appeared in the 18th century as a result of crossing pomelo and orange. People called it “grapefruit” because it grows in clusters, similar to grapes.

Each cluster on the tree produces upwards of 12 to 20 grapefruits at a time. Its flesh is usually light yellowish, soft and full of juice, with a distinct slightly sour taste. A few varieties have pink or red flesh.

Fresh whole grapefruit and one sliced.

Health benefits of consuming grapefruit

Grapefruit has many health benefits such as:

  • It is low in calories and provides significant amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • It benefits your immune system. It contains several vitamins and minerals known for their role in protecting the body from infection .
  • Eating grapefruit before meals helps with weight loss . Its fiber and water content promotes a feeling of fullness and thus reduces calorie intake.
  • It reduces insulin resistance, which can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes .
  • It contains nutrients and antioxidants that have been proven to help protect the heart by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • The citric acid in grapefruit can help reduce the formation of kidney stones .
  • It contains several types of antioxidants that help prevent the development of some chronic conditions , including heart disease and cancer.
  • It has a high water content, which helps us stay hydrated .
  • Thanks to vitamin C and citric acid, it helps protect the skin from sunburn, aging and inflammation . It also promotes skin hydration and protects against the formation of wrinkles.

Adverse effects of consuming grapefruit

In some individuals, consumption of grapefruit and its juice may lead to adverse drug interactions . This is because it contains substances that an enzyme our body uses to metabolize certain drugs. If you eat grapefruits while taking these medications, your body may not be able to break them down.

This could cause an overdose and other side effects. Medications most likely to interact with grapefruit include: immunosuppressants, benzodiazepines, most calcium channel blockers, carbamazepine, and some statins.

In some cases, eating grapefruit can lead to tooth enamel erosion . Citric acid, found in citrus fruits, is a common cause of enamel erosion, especially if consumed in excess.

However, there are a few things you can do to preserve your tooth enamel while still enjoying your grapefruit:

  • Never suck on grapefruits or other sour fruits or put them directly on your teeth.
  • After eating the fruit, rinse your mouth with water and wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
  • Eat fruit together with cheese . This helps neutralize acidity in the mouth and increases saliva production.

Nutritional values of grapefruit

In the following table, see a comparison of the nutritional values of fresh grapefruit and selected citrus fruits in 100 grams.

Nutritional values Grapefruit
Energy 42 kcal 47 kcal 29 kcal 53 kcal
Fats 0.1 g 0.1 g 0.3 g 0.3 g
Carbohydrates 11 g 12 g 9.3 g 13 g
Fiber 1.6 g 2.4 g 2.8 g 1.8 g
Sugars 6.9 g 9.4 g 2.5 g 11 g
Proteins 0.8 g 0.9 g 1.1 g 0.8 g

Vitamins and minerals in grapefruit

Also look at the amount of minerals and vitamins that 100 grams of fresh grapefruit vs. contains selected types of citrus fruits.

Vitamins and minerals Grapefruit
Vitamin A 58.00 mcg 11.00 mcg 1.00 mcg 34.00 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.043 mg 0.087 mg 0.040 mg 0.058 mg
Vitamin B2 0.031 mg 0.040 mg 0.020 mg 0.036 mg
Vitamin B3 0.204 mg 0.282 mg 0.100 mg 0.376 mg
Vitamin B6 0.053 mg 0.060 mg 0.080 mg 0.078 mg
Vitamin B9 13.00 mcg 30.00 mcg 11.00 mcg 16.00 mcg
Vitamin C 31.2 mg 53.2 mg 53.0 mg 26.7 mg
Vitamin E 0.13 mg 0.18 mg 0.15 mg 0.20 mg
Vitamin K 0.0 mcg 0.0 mcg 0.0 mcg 0.0 mcg
Calcium 22.00 mg 40.00 mg 26.00 mg 37.00 mg
Copper 0.03 mg 0.04 mg 0.04 mg 0.04 mg
Iron 0.08 mg 0.10 mg 0.60 mg 0.15 mg
Magnesium 9.00 mg 10.00 mg 8.00 mg 12.00 mg
Phosphorus 18.00 mg 14.00 mg 16.00 mg 20.00 mg
Potassium 135.00 mg 181.00 mg 138.00 mg 166.00 mg
Selenium 0.10 mcg 0.50 mcg 0.40 mcg 0.10 mcg
Sodium 0.00 mg 0.00 mg 2.00 mg 2.00 mg
Zinc 0.07 mg 0.07 mg 0.06 mg 0.07 mg

How to choose a good grapefruit and how to store it?

Buy grapefruits in winter , because this is when citrus fruits ripen and are more likely to be fresh. You can get them in every supermarket. Choose a grapefruit that is heavy for its size and a little soft when squeezed . There should be no cuts or stains on it. Buy grapefruits ripe, because they do not ripen after picking. A yellow (or pinkish) skin means that the grapefruit is fully ripe.

Store grapefruits at room temperature , out of direct sunlight. So it will last you up to a week . If you want to extend their shelf life for another week or two, put them in the fridge in the fruit and vegetable drawer . Even peeled fresh grapefruit parts can be stored in an airtight container or zip lock bag in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze grapefruit . And how to do that?

  1. Cut the washed and peeled grapefruit into pieces and put it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  2. Cover the tray with foil.
  3. Put the tray in the freezer for a few hours until the grapefruit is completely frozen.
  4. Then remove it from the freezer, transfer it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and return it to the freezer.
  5. This way it will last you up to 12 months.

How to use grapefruit in the kitchen?

There are several ways to enjoy grapefruit:

  • Cut it into slices and enjoy it alone .
  • Mix it with arugula, crumbled cheese, balsamic and pecans and you have a luxurious salad .
  • Blend it into a smoothie along with other fruits and vegetables.
  • Make a great fruit cup together with yogurt and honey.
  • Squeeze the juice from it for a refreshing drink .
  • Prepare a fruit salad of grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, tangerines and grapes.
  • You can macerate it and you will get a great sour marinade for ceviche, for example.
  • Add freshly squeezed juice to ice cream or sorbet .
  • It goes well with fish and pork .
  • Prepare a refreshing Paloma cocktail from grapefruit juice and tequila.
  • Refresh your summer beer with it.
  • Make jelly, marmalade or syrup from it.
  • Combine diced grapefruit with cilantro and chili peppers to create a unique salsa .
  • Toss in sliced grapefruit, cooked shrimp and avocado and serve on a bed of romaine lettuce.
  • Sprinkle the grapefruit with natural sweetener and grill for two minutes until caramelized, then drizzle with manuka honey.
  • Incorporate grapefruit juice into your favorite pancake recipe .

Spices that pair well with grapefruit include cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Fresh ginger and herbs such as mint, basil, tarragon and rosemary are also a good combination. It also works surprisingly well with chili peppers , both hot and mild.

Collage of recipes with grapefruit - salad, grilled grapefruit, donuts and drink in mugs with thyme.

How to consume grapefruit on its own?

You can consume grapefruit in two ways . Either cut it in half horizontally and eat each segment with a spoon, or peel it with your hands or a knife and cut into segments (similar to eating an orange). Some people sprinkle sugar on top to balance out the sour taste, but that’s not exactly healthy.

If you still like to sweeten your grapefruit, try using non-caloric stevia instead of sugar. Another option is to use salt . The salt makes the grapefruit sweeter. It blocks the bitter receptors on our tongue. Salt also makes it easier for volatile compounds to get into the air, which means you can smell more grapefruit and that will increase the perception of sweetness.

Grapefruits should be rinsed under cold water before eating, even if you won’t be eating the skin, because cutting into unwashed fruit can transfer dirt or bacteria that may be on the surface of the skin to the edible flesh.

In addition, they are usually coated with a thin layer of wax to prevent moisture loss. Organic grapefruits are also coated with wax, but from an organic source such as palm oil.

You should eat grapefruit in the morning. Avoid consuming it at night as it can cause heartburn.

Grapefruit Brûlée

You know what happens when you sprinkle a grapefruit with cane sugar (or use coconut sugar for a paleo version), cinnamon and ginger and then roast it in the oven for 5-7 minutes? Magic. Pure magic. Top it off with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped nuts, and you’ve got either a decadent breakfast addition or a healthy dessert within minutes.

Grapefruit brulee on a plate, decorated with Greek yogurt and chopped nuts.

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice, 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, ½ teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. While whisking constantly, add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix thoroughly.
  3. Finally, stir in a teaspoon of poppy seeds.
  4. This dressing goes well with winter vegetables.
Grapefruit and poppy seed dressing in a glass with a spoonful of poppy seeds and fresh grapefruit placed next to it.

Recipe for candied grapefruit peel

  1. Remove the skin in large chunks from organic grapefruits.
  2. Remove as much pith as possible.
  3. Blanch in boiling water 5 times (10 minutes each time) and then scrape off the remaining pith.
  4. Cut the peel into strips, boil in 2 parts sugar to 1 part water for about 45 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Remove the rind from the syrup, place it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave it to dry overnight.
  7. The next day, roll the strips in sugar and store in an airtight container.
  8. Use as a garnish in a glass with iced tea, lemonade or a cocktail, chop it up and add it to pie and bun dough, salad dressings, sauces, stews and the like.
Candied grapefruit peel on a plate.

Types of grapefruit

There are more than a dozen varieties of grapefruit in different shades and levels of sweetness. In general, the darker the pulp, the more antioxidants the grapefruit contains.

  • White grapefruit is slightly more acidic than pink or red varieties. Its taste is sharply refreshing with a bit of pungency. Since they are not bred, they contain seeds. They have bright yellow skin and a slightly flattened shape.
  • Pink grapefruit has a slightly tangy sweetness that stands out especially well in grapefruit juice, and falls between the red and white versions on the color and sweetness spectrum.
  • The ruby red grapefruit has a darker shade and is sweeter than the other two types. It also has a less sharp, bitter edge.
Yellow, pink and red grapefruit.

A few interesting facts about grapefruit at the end

  • Grapefruit has become a popular fruit in various parts of the world, and its cultivation has spread to most citrus-growing countries, especially China, the United States, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and Cyprus.
  • It is a hybrid originating from Barbados as a random cross between a pomelo and a sweet orange.
  • It is said to be one of the ” Seven Wonders of Barbados “.
  • Grapes are harvested by hand , mechanical harvesting is not used.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)