Grapefruit, a tart and tangy citrus fruit with a sweet flavor at its core, got its name from the West Indies, where the tree was bred for the first time in the 18th century. It is believed that the tree was named such possibly owing to the fact that the fruits of this plant emerges in bunches of three to twelve or even more - akin to the clusters of grapes. People in India as well as in Malaysia have been cultivating this fruit for over 4,000 years now. Grapefruit was not much popular for several years owing to its somewhat bitter flavor. However, a group of cultivators in Florida shipped crates of grapefruit to Philadelphia and New York with a view to persuade the people to try the fruit.
As far as the size of the grapefruit tree is concerned, it has resemblance to the orange tree and usually grows up to a height of anything between 20 feet and 40 feet. Similar to the orange tree, the grapefruit tree also bears flowers during the spring. In places like Arizona and California, the fruit matures all year round. While grapefruit is available throughout the year, it is plentiful during the period between January and May.
While superior quality grapefruit is usually firm, it has a spongy feel when touched. They have a perfect shape and quite heavy considering its size. In fact, the heavier the fruit is the better it is. While buying grapefruit, try to avoid selecting the soft, sagged or flaccid fruits. The grapefruits that are comparatively heavier generally have a very thin skin and are more succulent compared to those having a rough skin or the ones that are puffy or those that appear springy when touched.
Usually, this fruit has a reddish brown color above the regular yellow hue, which is known as 'russeting'. However, russeting has no influence whatsoever on the flavor of the fruit. In fact, majority of the flaws present on the skin of the grapefruit are of minor nature and they do not affect the edible quality of the fruit in any way. Nevertheless, you may find some fruits which have spots on the skin hinting that they are decomposed. Such fruits are not wanted, since the decaying of the fruit spoils its taste. You may distinguish the decayed fruits from the soft, discolored areas on the stem end of the fruit, which may also appear as a pale part, and break off easily when even little pressure is applied. On the other hand, if the skin of a grapefruit is coarse, creases or wrinkled, be sure that the skin of the fruit will be thick and it will not be as tasty as the thin-skinned fruits.
Grapefruit is native to sub-tropical climatic regions. It is an acid fruit that is extremely alkaline in reaction. The best way to consume grapefruit is to eat it in combination with other acid fruits, nuts or milk. In order to obtain the utmost benefit of eating grapefruits, you should consume it soon after cutting into the peel. While grapefruit is beneficial for digestion as well as absorption, it is advisable to avoid eating this citrus fruit along with any sweet fruit or starches. Since the grapefruit is less acidulous or caustic compared to lemon, it is an excellent alternate at times when people are unable to tolerate oranges or orange juice. It is also beneficial when the alkaline reserves in the body require enhancement.
Grapefruit has rich contents of vitamins C and B1 and is also an excellent source of vitamin B2. Since this fruit has very low calorie content it is excellent as a drink when people are taking weight reducing diet. Compared to oranges, grapefruits contain less sugar. It is best to eat the fruits ripened in the sun whenever possible, since grapefruit does not need to be sweetened. Moreover, eating the sun-ripened fruits without adding any sweetener is good for the health. However, if it is essential to sweeten the grapefruit, you may use some honey.
It may be noted that grapefruit encloses high amounts of citric acids as well as their salts. In addition, it also contains calcium and potassium. It is advisable to frequently use grapefruits together with meats, since the juice of this fruit is very effective in helping to digest meats. Nevertheless, it is important to know that one should avoid using excess of any fruits rich in citric acid, since they are known to be potent dissolver of the catarrhal build-up (secretions from the inflamed mucus membranes, especially in the respiratory tract) in the body as well as getting rid of excessive toxic substance at the same time may result in the development of irritated nerves, boils, diarrhea as well as additional health problems. Generally, people are so enthusiastic about ingesting or getting vitamins and minerals into their body that they often do not take into account the fact that the potent actions of citric acid result in exasperation as well as uneasiness.
If grapefruit is consumed just before going to bed, it is known to aid sound sleep. On the other hand, drinking a glass of grapefruit juice as the first thing you do in the morning will facilitate in preventing constipation. In addition, grapefruit is also effective in reducing fevers caused by colds and the flu. The best thing is that consumption of grapefruit or its juice rarely results in any allergic reactions.
The peel of the grapefruit encloses the extremely helpful vitamin P - a vital vitamin for healthy gums and teeth. To extract this vitamin from the grapefruit rind, you need to boil the peel in water for approximately 20 minutes. You may drink the solution after filtering it. Another benefit of consuming grapefruit is that the acerbic flavour of this fruit helps to augment the flow of digestive juices in the stomach. In addition, when grapefruit is served before a meal, it promotes appetite and also helps in digesting the ingested food.
Finally, it may be noted that consumption of grapefruit is also excellent for hardening body tissues. For instance, it facilitates in hardening of the liver as well as the arteries. Grapefruit also helps to prevent formations of stones in the various body organs.
The seed of grapefruit possesses numerous remedial properties. In effect the extract of grapefruit seeds is very effective, natural remedy in combating infections by Candida albicans or yeast. It may be mentioned that Candida albicans is among the several dissimilar types of microorganisms that inhibit our bodies. When the conditions are normal, Candida albicans is kept under control by the good or beneficial bacteria in the body that facilitate digestion. Nevertheless, the normal system of the humans of checks and balances may become feeble for a number of grounds. Predominantly, the excessive use of antibiotics is one of the reasons, since they eliminate the good and bad (beneficial and harmful) bacteria alike. As a result of this, the conditions become conducive for the growth of Candida albicans, often beyond control. Secondly, as Candia albicans flourishes of sugar, the usually extremely high content of sugar in Western diet aids in this problem becoming bigger.
Such a condition may prove to be detrimental for women's health. A condition like this may assist in the recurrence of vaginal yeast contagions plaguing numerous women. Besides, any individual who has a feeble immune system is susceptible to aliments caused by yeasts, for instance, skin rashes and thrush. Making the problem more complicated, it is especially difficult to combat and overcome Candida albicans since it is extremely unrelenting and has the ability to develop so rapidly and resist treatment. However, it is unfortunate to note that over-the-counter or non-prescription treatments are usually unproductive, since they only yield results for a brief period, making way for the infection to return.
If you want to deal with such yeast infections, it is essential for you to augment the levels of the good or beneficial bacteria in the alimentary canal that actually aid in controlling the growth of Candia albicans. Alternately, you may turn the odds in your favour by taking herbs as well as other supplements, for instance, extract of grapefruit seed, which are known to possess anti-fungal attributes. It may be noted that the extracts from grapefruit seeds enclose bioflavonoids, counting hesperidin, which naturally perk up the immune system. According to natural healers, when the extract of grapefruit is ingested or taken internally, it has the potential to facilitate in providing respite from the symptoms of fungal contagions for numerous people.