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Lean & Clean Grapefruit

Grapefruit season is here! And, what better way to showcase this healthy citrus, than with a fresh snack?

The peak of grapefruit season begins around Christmas and continues through April. Florida and Texas produce the most grapefruits in the U.S. Because grapefruits are low in calories and lower on the glycemic index, they are an ideal fruit for weight loss. Grapefruits will not spike your blood sugar or insulin levels the way some fruits will. The reason grapefruit is touted for weight loss is its ability to speed up the metabolism. Grapefruit can help the body burn fat when the metabolism is at a revved up state.

The Scripps Clinic 'Grapefruit Diet' study, led by Dr. Ken Fujioka, monitored the weight and metabolic factors of 91 obese men and women for 12 weeks.1 Each participant was randomly assigned to one of four groups to receive either placebo capsules along with 7 ounces of apple juice, grapefruit capsules with 7 ounces of apple juice, 8 ounces of grapefruit juice with a placebo capsule or half of a fresh grapefruit with a placebo capsule three times a day before each meal.

After 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit group had lost the most weight at 3.52 lbs, the grapefruit juice group had lost 3.3 lbs, the grapefruit capsule group had lost 2.42 lbs, and the placebo group had lost 0.66 lbs. According to the researchers, there was also a significant reduction in 2-hour post-glucose insulin level in the grapefruit group compared with placebo.

Grapefruits are also packed with vitamins, vitamin A and C in particular! The combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline found in grapefruit helps maintain a healthy heart. The beta-carotene in grapefruits also acts as an antioxidant. Your skin will benefit from all of these great vitamins and minerals too!

Flavonoids and phytonutrients found in grapefruit are another reason why this citrus is such a super fruit!

This fruit salad would be a great choice to compliment any meal, but breakfast especially. The pineapple juice and sweetener help cut the acidity that can sometimes come with grapefruits.

It is important to point out that grapefruits can interact with certain prescription drugs adversely. Always consult your doctor to find out about any negative interactions.

Pro tip: Grapefruit can be a pain to cut sometimes, especially in the morning when we are all short on time. Here are some tips to help make cutting a grapefruit into segments less stressful. Do this the night before and store in the fridge for quick access the next morning.

First, cut the citrus in half from top to bottom - not around the center! Lay one-half flat on the cutting board and peel the skin, leaving as much fruit as possible. Slice off the top cap of the peel. Pell away any leftover pith. Slice one segment as close to the membrane as possible and loosen the fruit to lift out the segment. Repeat for all segments.

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