What’s Blooming: Pink Grapefruit: A Citrus Paradise

Grapefruit TreeA quick inhale of the distinct citrus aroma of pink grapefruit and within seconds it invigorates the senses. Wafts of clean, refreshing sweetness with just the right amount of tangy tartness create an alluring scent that is only matched by the delicate blushed flesh the tropical fruit brings to the table time and time again. Winter’s crisp, clean chill has a secret: it always brings the delicious and nutritious citrus pink grapefruit to the forefront of kitchens across the nation.

Ironically, the winter citrus fruit, also known by its Latin name Citrus Paradisi1, is reported to have been discovered during the 18th century in the tropical island of Barbados by a group of clergymen looking for the Garden of Eden’s Tree of Knowledge.2 Later that century, the food would be recognized as grapefruit in the island of Jamaica, due to the way it grows hanging in clusters like grapes.3 Since then, grapefruit, the irresistible result of a natural cross breeding between the sweet orange and pomelo citrus fruits, eventually became a viable commercial crop produced in countries including Israel, South Africa and Brazil. However, the U.S. states of California, Arizona and Texas supply commercial grapefruits as well, with Florida providing 75 percent of the world’s supply.4

Kin to citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and tangerines, the grapefruit is highly popular for its Vitamin C content—a powerful antioxidant that protects the body’s cells and enhances the functionality of the immune system. Vitamin C is also critical for collagen formation, healthy gums, iron absorption and wound healing.5 According to WebMD.com, the pink grapefruit delivers 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 6 percent of Vitamin A.

Categorized as white (blond), pink or ruby red, the identity of a grapefruit is not necessarily based on the color of its skin, which ranges from yellow to pinkish-yellow, but is rather derived from the color of the fruit’s flesh7, which can be found with or without seeds. The carotenoid phytonutrient, lycopene, which is found in plant foods that offer health benefits and provides vibrant color to foods like carrots and tomatoes, is noticeably present in the flesh of pink grapefruit and more potent
in the ruby red variety, hence their captivating hues. The white grapefruit is void of this carotenoid. However, the grapefruit generally encapsulates amazing nutritional value overall.

Known for its fibrous content, which aids in the challenge of losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight, the pink grapefruit could arguably be considered a superfood.

Despite its overall nutritional value, it’s best to check with a healthcare practitioner about consuming grapefruit juice, since certain pharmaceutical drugs become more potent when combined with the liquid.

When experiencing a sudden craving for pink grapefruit, it’s important to remember some key points regarding the selection of the produce. For example, imperfections like discoloration, scratches or scales don’t affect the taste or texture quality of the fruit 8 However, beware of overly soft spots at the stem end of the fruit. Grapefruit should feel heavy for their size and be slightly springy when lightly squeezed. And just as with any fruit, always be mindful to wash off the skin to remove any harmful dirt or bacteria before consumption. Room temperature grapefruit will yield a juicier taste experience as opposed to refrigerated fruit. Whether served sliced, peeled and eaten like an orange, broiled with honey, added to green salad, infused into an exotic salsa or utilized to flavor specialty drinks or premium desserts, pink grapefruit always lends itself as a refreshing, flavorful ingredient that adds unique taste flair and aesthetic appeal each and every winter season.Health Benefits of Grapefruits

2,4,6 Schaufelberger, K. (2012) WebMD. Pink Grapefruit: Packed With Vitamin C
Retrieved October 2012
1,3,7,8 Grapefruit (2012).The World’s Healthiest Foods
Retrieved October 2012
5 Turcotte, M. (2012).Livestrong.com: The Limitless Potential of You
What Are the Benefits of Pink Grapefruit?
Retrieved October 2012