Grapefruit is a fantastic citrus fruit typically served with breakfast or made into juice. Adding this delicious fruit to your diet can help you improve your health over the long run. But when are grapefruits in season?
Grapefruit is mostly available in winter or spring, depending on the region. Grapefruit season in Texas and Florida starts in November and lasts until May. California’s grapefruit season runs from January through June, and in Arizona, grapefruits are in season from January through August.
If you’re looking to add grapefruit to your diet, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about when grapefruit is available, the different varieties, and the associated health benefits.
What Is Grapefruit?
Grapefruit is a large, sour citrus fruit typically enjoyed as part of breakfast. Grapefruits are relatively large in size, brightly colored, and grow in bunches on trees.
The fruit we’re familiar with today was first introduced to Florida sometime in the 1820s. Grapefruit is the only citrus fruit that is native to the Americas.
There are over 20 different varieties of grapefruit available in the United States. You can find white, red, pink, and yellow options. Generally speaking, sweeter options have deep red flesh. You can find grapefruit grown in Arizona, California, Texas, and Florida.
Unfortunately, grapefruit is a seasonal crop and the best fruits aren’t always going to be present. Still, you can usually find some options at the market throughout the year.
Grapefruit is best in winter or spring, depending on the region.
Texas and Florida are the two primary grapefruit-growing states. Grapefruit season in these regions starts in November and lasts until May.
Southern California is also a fairly big grower in the grapefruit industry. California’s grapefruit season covers the summer gap from other markets and is available from January through June.
When it comes to grapefruits grown in Arizona, you can expect them to be in season starting in January and ending in August.
What Is the Best Type of Grapefruit?
How can you tell which fruit is the best with over 20 varieties of grapefruit grown in the US? The best grapefruit is the one that fits your taste buds and personal preferences. Let’s take a look at some of the varieties:
Ruby Red is a type of grapefruit grown in Texas. These varieties are the result of special breeding programs to achieve redder and sweeter flesh.
You’ll find several types of grapefruit that might fall under the ‘Ruby Red’ category. The primary options are Rio Red and Star Ruby (or Rio Star). These varieties are all similar, have darker flesh, and are sweeter than other options.
One of the sweetest grapefruit mutations is known as Flame. The Flame variety was first found in a citrus grove in Texas.
The Pink Marsh, or Ruby Marsh, is a hybrid offering. This grapefruit has pink flesh and is sweeter than the White Marsh variety. Ruby Red grapefruits were developed from the Pink Marsh and have a darker and sweeter flesh.
You can find white grapefruit varieties known as Duncan. These grapefruits have many seeds but are excellent for juicing. However, Duncan grapefruits are mostly sold to businesses that create grapefruit juice and are seldom sold directly to consumers.
You can also find seedless descendants from Dunan grapefruits known as the Marsh. Marsh grapefruits have a similar flavor but slightly less juice. Keep in mind that seedless grapefruits can still contain a few seeds.
You can also find seedless grapefruit varieties known as the Oro Blanco and Melogold. These fruits are grapefruit-pomelo hybrids and have pale yellow flesh. These varieties have a reputation for near-zero bitterness, low acidity, and high levels of sweetness. People tend to think Oro Blancos have the better flavor out of the two.
Grapefruit is rich in nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants — and low in calories. In fact, grapefruit has more than 15 beneficial vitamins and minerals and is one of the fruits with the lowest number of calories. This makes it an excellent option to add to your diet.
It’s important to note that some medications have harmful interactions with grapefruit, and you should consult your doctor beforehand.
And if you can’t get fresh grapefruit, remember there’s always dried fruit options like Freeze Dried Sliced Grapefruit (on Amazon), and grapefruit especially lends itself to shelf-stable health drinks like Humm Probiotic Kombucha Hopped Grapefruit (also on Amazon). Let’s look closer at some of the health benefits of grapefruit:
Grapefruit May Benefit Your Immune System
Consuming grapefruit on a consistent basis may have positive effects on your immune system. Grapefruit has high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your cells from dangerous pathogens and viruses.
Vitamin C has also been linked to helping people recover from the common cold. Grapefruit also contains vitamin A, which has been linked to protection against inflammation and other infectious diseases.
You can also find small quantities of B vitamins, zinc, copper, and iron in grapefruit. These vitamins and nutrients work in tandem to increase immune system function. They can also aid in maintaining the integrity of your skin, which can protect against infection even further.
Grapefruit is an excellent choice when it comes to weight loss-friendly food options. The large citrus fruit has properties linked to weight loss and weight management. For example, grapefruit has around 2 grams of fiber which can promote fullness and reduce calorie intake.
Grapefruit is also low in calories but high in water. These characteristics are known to aid with weight loss and weight management.
Several studies have even found individuals who ate grapefruit on a daily basis experienced a reduced waist size. However, more research needs to be done to confirm this finding.
Grapefruit May Decrease the Chance of Kidney Stones
Eating grapefruit could decrease your risk of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are caused by the buildup of waste materials found in the kidneys. These waste compounds are usually filtered through the kidneys and removed through the urine.
However, the waste materials can also crystallize and become stones. Large kidney stones can cause blockages and be incredibly painful. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type.
Grapefruits contain citric acid, which might be effective at preventing these stones by binding to calcium in your kidneys and flushing the compound out. Citric acid can also increase the volume and pH of your urine, creating an environment that is less desirable for kidney stones.
Grapefruits Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Grapefruit is chock full of antioxidants that offer multiple health benefits, including a decreased chance of several diseases. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
The vitamin C found in grapefruit may protect your cells from damage that can lead to heart disease or certain types of cancer. Beta-carotene in grapefruit is converted to vitamin A in the body and may decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, and eye-related conditions.
Grapefruit also contains lycopene, which is known for its potential ability to stop the development of certain types of cancer. Lycopene may also slow the development of tumors and reduce the symptoms of common cancer treatments.
Grapefruit also contains flavanones, which have anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart disease.