The Latin term for grapefruit, citrus paradisi, seems to confer a wondrous distinction that’s easy to miss with its everyday name.
Not many foods offer the bracing, juicy refreshment of a grapefruit. While the taste may not be everyone’s idea of paradise, there’s no denying this fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. The list includes vitamins A and C, calcium, the antioxidant lycopene, and dietary fiber.
To help you celebrate February as National Grapefruit Month, here are some unusual ways you might also benefit from the power of grapefruit:
Agent for detox
While there is no FDA-approved therapy for flushing toxins from the body, drinking plenty of water and fresh juices — particularly grapefruit juice — is a good method, according to Dr. Amir Javed, a physician and Expert on JustAnswer. (He adds that other good natural detoxers are wild rice, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower.)
Good for the gums
Grapefruit rind contains vitamin P, which helps maintain healthy gums and teeth. But eating the rind is not a very appealing option, so you could simmer the rind in water for 20 minutes or so. Then cool the water, strain, and drink.
Best before bed
Forget the warm milk. Drinking a glass of grapefruit juice before bedtime can help overcome insomnia and promote a restful night’s sleep.
Cleanser to tone your face
Grapefruit peel has an enzyme, bromelain, that can help to cleanse the skin by removing its older, upper layers. Simply rub the inside of a grapefruit peel against your face to get the cleansing benefit. The action can also help balance the pH of your skin. But you’ll need to apply sunscreen after washing your face because your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight after the grapefruit-peel treatment.
Grapefruit is in abundant supply during this time of year, so you may find some good deals in your local supermarket.
(Disclosure: Grapefruit is my favorite fruit, and here’s some great grapefruit recipes.)