Tap into this tart winter fruit for its myriad disease-fighting properties

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Although it may be best known for its low-calorie role in weight loss, the grapefruit contains a generous dose of health-promoting nutrients. Because it is rich in vitamin C, this winter citrus may help prevent colds and improve lung function. Lycopene, the pigment that accounts for grapefruit’s pink color, has been linked to a reduced risk for prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. High levels of folate in grapefruit may also help ward off cardiovascular disease. Another of grapefruit’s assets is potassium, which, besides preventing muscle cramps and maintaining blood pressure, plays a vital role in heart, kidney, and digestive functions.

Choose It & Use It

Look for smooth-skinned, round fruit that feels heavy for its size. To supreme a grapefruit (cut away the white pith and bitter membrane that surround the pulp), trim both ends of the fruit down to the flesh. Stand fruit upright; remove peel and pith with a serrated knife, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Hold fruit over a bowl, and cut sections along membranes as if slicing out wedges, releasing fleshy “supremes.”