Grapefruits are nutritious and can elevate any meal

Image of hand holding a sliced grapefruit
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It’s the season for many citrus fruits, including grapefruit, which originated in the U.S. The grapefruit is a cross between the sweet orange and the pummelo and can have a red, pink or white flesh. Texas grows mainly all red grapefruit varieties, such as Ruby Red and Rio Red, that have become so popular due to their sweetness.

Grapefruits are a nutritious fruit to include in the diet. One medium grapefruit is a good source of fiber and provides 100% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C and over 50% for vitamin A. Despite the nutritional benefits, some may need to avoid this citrus fruit. Certain medications, such as some statins (simvastatin and atorvastatin) or antihistamines (fexofenadine) can interact with grapefruit and either cause there to be too much of the drug in the body or too little. Be sure to read the Drug Facts label on over-the-counter medications and read the information sheet that comes with prescription drugs. Ask your physician or pharmacist any related questions.

Customarily a breakfast fruit, grapefruit can also be enjoyed in lunch and dinner entrees and side dishes. It’s an excellent addition to most any salad (spinach, beet, or mixed fruit) and it pairs well with seafood, such as salmon and shrimp. Use it in baked goods, cocktails, and smoothies. Store whole grapefruit at room temperature up to a week, or for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Shrimp and Citrus Salad

2 teaspoons olive oil

10 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 cups baby spinach or mixed greens

2 grapefruits, halved and cut into segments (save juice)

1 orange, peeled and cut into segments

1 orange, squeezed and juiced

¼ red onion, sliced thin

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon salt

Wash hands with soap and water. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until opaque. Place shrimp on a plate to cool. In a large bowl, toss, spinach or mixed greens with grapefruit, orange, red onion, avocado and cooked shrimp. In a separate bowl, whisk grapefruit juice and orange juice to make ½ cup. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons olive oil, mustard, ginger, honey, and salt. Pour over salad, toss, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 260 calories, 15 grams fat, 550 milligrams sodium, 21 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 13 grams protein

 

Sources:
Food and Drug Administration. Grapefruit juice and some drugs don’t mix. www.fda.gov
John Hopkins Medicine. Grapefruit benefits. www.hopkinsmedicine.org  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.