Grapefruit 101

As we burrow into winter, let’s brighten up our fruit bowls with the tastiest, tartest winter fruit around…grapefruit! But first, let’s learn a bit, starting with the important question.


Why are grapefruits called grapefruits?

Grapefruits are actually a pretty recent discovery. They originated in 18th century Barbados, and are thought to be a cross between an orange and a pomelo. They coined their name for the way they grow in clusters like grapes

Varieties of grapefruit

  • Red: With a red-blushed skin, these are the sweetest, and contain the most lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
  • Pink: These are mildly sweet and great for juicing.
  • White: With a pale/yellow skin and light fruit, these are the least sweet.


How to pick the perfect grapefruit

  • Avoid soft, water-soaked spots, as these are a sign of decay. Aim for firm fruits that are heavy for their size. These will be the juiciest!
  • They’re in season from early winter until spring, though you’ll find them in most groceries year round.

How to store grapefruit

  • These fruits are juiciest and sweetest tasting at room temperature, so store them on the counter if you’ll eat them within a few days.
  • For longer storage (3 to 4 weeks), refrigerate your grapefruits in the vegetable crisper drawer.


Grapefruit nutrition information

per 1 cup chopped red grapefruit (230 g)

  • Calories: 97
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 4 g, 15% of Daily Value (DV)
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • 120% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
  • 54% DV of Vitamin A: Provides the provitamin version of this fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it comes from a plant source and your body converts the plant pigment into active Vitamin A. It is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity and cell growth/differentiation.
  • Also lycopene! The red color of grapefruit comes from lycopene, the same powerful antioxidant in tomatoes and watermelon.


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