With the summer fruits fast dwindling from our shelves, it is encouraging to know that during Winter an array of delectable fruits such as apples, pears, and an assortment of citrus, including grapefruit will be readily available.
One of grapefruit’s ancestors is the Jamaican sweet orange, and another is the Indonesian pomelo, which a certain sea captain apparently brought to Jamaica and bred the first fruit.
This fruit is not as sweet as oranges, mandarins and other citrus fruits, and is sometimes sidelined, although it did gain popularity in the 1970’s owing to the emergence of “the grapefruit diet”, which claimed to promote weight loss. Although it does not have any magical fat burning properties, it is low in calories and keeps one well hydrated, as well as fighting off winter ailments.
Because of grapefruit’s pungent, slightly bitter taste, which may not cater to some people’s taste buds, some prefer to eat it with sugar or honey and add cinnamon, clove or nutmeg.
The fruit can be white, yellow or red in colour; the latter is often referred to as “blood grapefruit”.
Nutritionally, it is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. A half a grapefruit per day will supply 78% of one’s daily allowance of vitamin C. Consuming grapefruit can reverse and prevent gum disease. Participants in a study revealed an increase of vitamin C in the body, and essential minerals like copper and potassium, are an added bonus to health. With its copious amounts of enzymes, high water content and less sodium, there is ample reason to consume it. The brighter coloured varieties contain lycopene, also found in tomatoes, which has the ability to fight free radicals. By drinking a litre of grapefruit juice a day, the formation of kidney stones can be prevented, and swelling in the kidneys reduced.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, has been linked to a decrease in certain types of cancer, like that of the stomach, colon and bladder. A study in the nutritional biochemistry journal found that grapefruit can help repair damaged DNA in human prostate cells.
The science of Aromatherapy strongly supports the theory that the therapeutic action of grapefruit can inspire wellbeing of mind, body and spirit. So in future, when in the produce aisle, forget that grapefruit will make your palate cringe and your face scrunch up, and give this wonderfully beneficial fruit it’s due.
Matsimela Home Spa has drawn on the benefits derived from the fragrance of citrus, by incorporating orange and lime into 2 of its ranges. Try them. You’ll be glad you did.