This popular citrus fruit can be summed up in three words: bittersweet, juicy and colourful. But how much do you actually know about the grapefruit, which you are sure to have eaten at some time, either on its own or in muesli? Find out more about this vitamin-rich fruit in our 5 fascinating facts!
Fact 1: Grapefruit loves the summer
The grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is a cross between the sweet orange and the pomelo (also known as the shaddock). It was discovered in Barbados in the early 18th century. This round fruit likes a warm climate and grows in the tropics, subtropics and also in deserts. By the way, the grape part of the name alludes to the way in which the fruit ripens in grape-like clusters on the tree. The USA is the biggest producer of grapefruit. But we also import them from South Africa and Mexico. They are available to buy between May and October.
Fact 2: They make a striking impression in every colour
The grapefruit definitely makes a colourful splash with flesh that can be yellow, pink or even deep red in colour. Reddish marks on the almost 1 cm thick skin are an indication that the fruit has a dark red flesh. And the more intense the colour, the sweeter the taste. This exotic beauty’s attractive colour is due to the natural colourings carotene and lycopene. Naringin is responsible for the bitter taste.
Fact 3: Grapefruit is a health freak
Grapefruit is very low in calories yet rich in vitamins, making it ideal for a healthy diet. This juicy and delicious treat contains only 38 kcal but more than 44 mg of vitamin C in every 100 grams! This is almost half of an adult’s daily recommended intake of vitamin C. The grapefruit should also not be underestimated as a source of potassium, calcium and magnesium. For this reason, it can be added to smoothies, fruit salads, porridge or even the barbecue with a clear conscience! Simply cut in half and eat with a spoon for a particularly handy snack.
Fact 4: It doesn’t mix with medication
If you are on medication and like to eat grapefruit, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist, as it may lead to unwanted side effects. The reason for this is that the bitter-tasting compound in grapefruit (naringin) can inhibit or activate specific enzymes. As a result, certain substances in medications are broken down faster or slower than required. Many compounds may be affected in this regard. They include drugs taken to treat cardiovascular disease, blood thinners and lipid-lowering drugs.
Fact 5: As ripe as it gets
Unlike apples, bananas, pears, nectarines and many other fruits, grapefruit does not ripen after it is harvested. This is because it produces little or no ethylene, the “ripening gas”. Once it is harvested, this delicious fruit is fully ripe, which is why it should of course be picked only after the ripening process is complete. Grapefruit can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Bitter makes you fitter!
Your Dole Team