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The grapefruit is a tart citrus fruit that is popular alone or as part of a breakfast meal, as well as for its tangy juice. Since the 1930s, the fruit also has been the basis for a popular weight-loss plan. Fruit lovers don’t have to be on a diet to enjoy the benefits of this citrus fruit, which can be enjoyed in a number of different kinds of grapefruit salad. A tasty and healthy grapefruit salad can be made by combining the fruit’s wedges with salad greens, avocado, spinach, celery, apple slices or pomegranate seeds, or a combination of several of these ingredients. A grapefruit salad made of the citrus fruit with blueberries, feta cheese and mint is another pleasing and colorful choice.
The fruit is good not only for breakfast or in a grapefruit salad, but also as a stand-alone snack. The wedges can be eaten plain or with a sprinkling of sugar to counterbalance the tartness. Some citrus lovers enjoy adding grapefruit to flavored gelatin, or using it instead of strawberries as a shortcake topping for dessert. A slaw can be made from grapefruit combined with cabbage, and a shrimp salad can be made by adding grapefruit and avocado. A colorful side dish can be made by combining red or white grapefruit with goat cheese and beets.
The health benefits of grapefruit lie in its high content of vitamins A and C. The fruit also is a source of lycopene, an antioxidant praised for its ability to fight cell damage. Grapefruit juice, too, is believed to have strong antioxidant properties. Limonoids, the phytonutrients contained in the fruit, inhibit the formation of tumors. Pectin, another substance in grapefruit, can lower cholesterol levels. A British study concluded that drinking the fruit’s juice daily can inhibit kidney stone formation.
Choosing grapefruit is not difficult and is best accomplished by selecting fruit that is firm with a feeling of heaviness. Any fruit that has brown spots should be avoided. Shoppers should look for bright yellow color and an appearance of freshness. For sweetness, it is best to choose a grapefruit that has some reddish color on parts of its yellow skin. Varieties include ruby, pink and white, and all of these types can be stored in a refrigerator for as long as two months. Left out of the refrigerator, a grapefruit can last for up to seven days.
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