Grapefruit – it doesn’t look like a grape. In fact, with a diameter that’s at least four to six inches in size, it’s quite a bit larger. And with white, pink or ruby red flesh, it’s not even similar in color. So why is it called grapefruit? Well, most would say that it has to do with the way the fruit grows – in clusters, much as grapes do – but I have an alternate theory. Grapefruit is grapefruit because, like grapes, it is packed with health.
The largest of the common citrus fruits, grapefruit is naturally loaded with vitamin C, making it a combater of infection, the common cold and free radicals. The lycopene, found in the red and pink varieties, reduces the risk of several cancers and heart disease, while the vitamin A, again more prevalent in the red and pink grapefruit, strengthens the immune system. The potassium, folate and fiber just make a good thing better.
The next time you’re at the store, pick up some grapefruit. You want one that is firm and heavy. It doesn’t have to be perfect in appearance, but it shouldn’t have any overly soft spots. And if you have options, go for the red or pink. They’re better than the white. When you get home eat the grapefruit like an orange, in wedges. Using a spoon detracts from the fiber content. Then, enjoy. It is, according to its Latin name – Citrus paradisi – a fruit of paradise.