Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Foodie Friday: Grapefruit
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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The actual beginnings of the grapefruit are not clear; the best indications are that the tart fruit is a hybrid cross between the sweet orange and sour shaddock (a citrus fruit as well). However, there is no documentation of the intentional cross. Somehow, this fruit that so many people love to eat has evolved and has become a common citrus fruit in the American diet. However, I have to admit, it’s the only fruit that I’ve never loved. I still remember eating grapefruit for the first time in the second grade. I was in our school cafeteria eating lunch. I took a bite, thinking it was an orange, and had to spit it out as the flavor didn’t agree with me. The good news is most people love this nutritious fruit and find it to be tantalizing to their tastebuds.

What are the benefits of the grapefruit?
• Like many members of the citrus family, grapefruit is rich in vitamin C. Half a grapefruit has 80% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
• Fresh grapefruit contains salicylic acid, which helps to dissolve extra calcium in the body. This build up leads to joint discomfort if not removed.
• Grapefruit contains high levels of the lycopene, a caretenoid phytochemical. Phytochemicals help the body function more smoothly and improve overall health (although not part of the Dietary Guidelines).
• The high water content of grapefruit helps to boost metabolism.
• Grapefruit is a very low calorie food; half a grapefruit has under 40 calories.
• Skin complexion may improve with high grapefruit diet.

In the 1970s, the Grapefruit Diet gained popularity as a way to lose weight quickly. This diet claims that the grapefruit has a “magic” enzyme that when paired with protein triggers weight loss. While the grapefruit is an amazing fruit, the diet is phony. The quick 10 pounds users report is just water weight, not an actual reduction in body fat. I encourage you to incorporate grapefruit into a healthy, balanced diet which includes a rainbow of colors!

What is your favorite way to eat grapefruit?

Research Assistance by Kaylee O’Connell

What do you think?

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