Excellent source of Vitamin C, giving more than 100 percent of RDA. Protects immune system cells that fight the common colds/ other illness. Antioxidant reducing free radicals associated with inflammation, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Pink grapefruit among the highest in antioxidants. Studies of antioxidant lycopene suggest regular eating can dramatically lower risk of prostate cancer. Many other phytonutrients with great potential benefits. Compounds called limonoids trigger production of detoxifying liver enzymes. Bonus: Limonoids stay active in body up to 24 hours, making them more potent fighter of many toxins, many of which could be carcinogenic. Red and blond grapefruit contain soluble fiber, pectin, that reduces bad form of cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, providing cardiovascular benefits by preventing buildup in arteries. Regular eating of high-C foods (juices of grapefruit, apple and orange) lowers risk of forming calcium oxalate (kidney) stones.
Vitamin and Mineral Content
Vitamins – C, A and B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Minerals – Potassium
Helps reduce severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Grapefruit linked to lower risk of cancers of prostate, breast, mouth, skin, stomach, colon and lung. Flavonoid naringenin linked with anti-cancer properties, especially of the prostate, via its ability to repair DNA. (As we age, lifelong cell divisions increase the frequency of “duplication errors” [mutations] in DNA.) Naringenin may promote the health of DNA by preventing mutations. Note: Although studied individually, many phytonutrients or antioxidants give their benefits not from their solo action but the synergy of many acting in concert. Thus, prefer to get your nutrition from natural sources (fruits and vegetables) rather than from chemicals synthesized into single-variety supplements in pill form.
How to Grow
Grapefruit flesh similar to orange but larger and with sharper flavor. Some cultivars are yellow fleshed with seeds and slightly more tart in taste. Others have pink flesh, no seeds and generally sweeter. All varieties are self-fertilizing. Except that grapefruits need a few more nutrients, they are grown with the same soil requirements, maintenance, harvesting and pruning as oranges. See Oranges for details.
See Oranges, since these citrus cousins face the same pests.
When planting, dig the bed deep when amending the soil with organic nutrients. For optimal health benefits, try eating a serving of grapefruit or similar fruit every day either as juice, part of a dish or raw.