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GRAPEFRUIT

(see warning below about Grapefruit and medications)

Salt makes a grapefruit taste sweeter.

Grapefruit ripen completely on the tree. They can be left hanging on the tree for up to a year before harvesting.

Grapefruit that come to a point at the stem end have thicker skins.

It takes 12 to 15 grapefruit to make 1 gallon of juice.

Eat half of a grapefruit in the morning along with your cereal. Take small cans of grapefruit juice with you for lunch instead of soda. Include peeled segments in your salads, or eat just plain with a dash of cinnamon.

Grapefruit is available all year, with most abundant supplies from January through May. While Florida is the major source of fresh grapefruit, there also is substantial production in Texas, California, and Arizona. Several varieties are marketed, but the principal distinction at retail is between those which are "seedless" (having few or no seeds) and the "seeded" type. Another distinction is color of flesh. Pink- or red-fleshed fruit is most common, but white-fleshed varieties are also available.

Grapefruit is picked "tree ripe" and is ready to eat when you buy it in the store.

Look for: Firm fruits, heavy for their size, are usually the best eating. Thin-skinned fruits have more juice than coarse-skinned ones. If a grapefruit is pointed at the stem end, it is likely to be thick-skinned. Rough, ridged, or wrinkled skin can also be an indication of thick skin, pulpiness, and lack of juice.

Grapefruit often have skin defects such as scale, scars, thorn scratches, or discoloration. This usually does not affect how the fruit tastes.

Avoid: Soft, water-soaked areas, lack of bright color, and soft, tender peel that breaks easily with finger pressure are symptoms of decay.

Household Tips

  • For a great natural facial, boil the peels of an orange and grapefruit with 2 cups of non-carbonated mineral water. Strain the liquid into a bottle and apply to face twice daily. Keep refrigerated.
     
  • For a refreshing skin bracer, blend the juice of half a grapefruit with warm water. Splash it on a just washed face to tighten pores.
     
  • For rough, red elbows, dip and rub elbows into grapefruit halves. This will soften elbows in only a few days.
     
  • For softer cuticles and whiter nails, mix 3 cups of warm water with the juice of half a grapefruit. Soak fingers for 5 minutes. Repeat weekly
    Florida Citrus Cookbook (1985), Florida Dept. of Citrus
     

Nutrition Information

    • Grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C. One serving provides 80% of the recommended daily value for adults.

    • Half a grapefruit or ½-cup of grapefruit sections provides 1 serving from the Fruit Group of the Food Guide Pyramid.
     

Nutrition Facts
Serving size 1/2 grapefruit or 1/2 cup of grapefruit sections (123g)
Amount Per Serving & % Daily Value*

    Calories 40
    Fat Cal 0
    Total Fat 0g 0%
    Saturated Fat 0g 0%
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 0mg 0%
    Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    Sugars 8g
    Protein 1g 2%
    Vitamin A 6%
    Vitamin C 80%
    Calcium 2%
    Iron 2%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


WARNING!   If YOU DRINK GRAPEFRUIT JUICE AND TAKE MEDICATIONS READ THIS:

     A cold glass of grapefruit juice is part of the morning routine for a lot of people. What you may not realize, however, is that this same juice might interact with drugs you are taking. The interaction between grapefruit and some medications was discovered by accident when researchers were looking for an interaction between a particular blood pressure medicine and alcohol. Grapefruit juice was used as a vehicle to mask the taste of the alcohol. While the alcohol did not affect the amount of the drug circulating in the body, the grapefruit juice greatly increased the levels of the medication.

     Some medications which may be affected by grapefruit juice include: midazolam (Versed®), cyclosporin (Sandimmune®, Neoral®), lovastatin (Mevacor®), simvastatin (Zocor®), ®), pravastatin (Pravachol®), and Thyroid medications.

     Certain prescription antihistamines, such as Astemizole which is in Hismanal® and terfenadine which is in Seldane® and Seldane-D®, could also be affected by grapefruit juice. With these particular medications, increased drug levels could be associated with arrhythmias which could be fatal.

     If you are taking a medication that should not be taken with one of these drugs, Erythromycin, itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), mibefradil or (Posicor®), the safest course of action is to assume that it would interact with grapefruit juice. An example of this is cisapride (Propulsid®), which is used to treat certain gastrointestinal problems.

     If you drink grapefruit juice regularly, it would be a good idea to inquire about its possible interaction with any medications you may be taking or any new drugs that are added. Some sources recommend not drinking grapefruit juice within 2 hours before and 5 hours after a drug that may interact with it. A safer approach would be to substitute another citrus juice, such as orange juice, which has the same vitamins but has not demonstrated the drug interactions.

     Remember that eating grapefruit or taking grapefruit supplements may also interact with the same medications. Some drinks that are flavored with fruit juice could be flavored with grapefruit juice. Check the label, if you are not sure.


 

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