Is your facility’s food menu program celebrating National Grapefruit Month? If not, this may be the perfect time to highlight this tasty citrus fruit in some of your recipes.
Grapefruit comes in several juicy varieties, offering a range of sweet and tart flavors. Of course, the fruit isn’t just delicious – it’s also packed with nutrition.
The Many Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Loaded with vitamins and vital nutrients, grapefruit provides a wealth of health benefits for seniors.
Grapefruit is rich in vitamin A, which can help lower cholesterol, and vitamin C, which works to support the immune system. This fruit is also rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related eye disorders.
Grapefruit also has fiber plenty of dietary fiber, which offers gastrointestinal and heart-health benefits.
Adding Grapefruit to Your Food Menu Program
Traditional treatments include serving your residents grapefruit juice or whole fruit sections. However, these aren’t the only options for incorporating this sweet citrus into your food menu program.
Salads and salsas are fresh options for showcasing grapefruit. Substitute it for pineapple, peaches or tomatoes in your regular recipes for a refreshing change. You can also use grapefruit in place of lemon or orange as a glaze for chicken or pork, or as a finishing touch to liven up the flavor of broiled fish.
And, just like lemon or lime, this citrus can also be used to make custards, tarts, sorbets and pies. It also works well in cakes, cookies, muffins and other fresh baked goods.
Grapefruit Isn’t Always a Safe Food Menu Choice
As tasty, nutritious and versatile as grapefruit is, the fruit isn’t well-suited for everyone.
Fresh grapefruit and its juice can interfere with some prescription medications. This interaction can be dangerous, as it causes an increased amount of these drugs to be absorbed into the bloodstream. A chemical compound in the fruit blocks the enzymes that normally break down medications, which results in a greater level of the drug remaining in the body.
Consuming grapefruit several hours before or after taking medication may not result in any adverse effects. However, medical experts suggest that patients may be better served by avoiding the fruit entirely when taking certain drugs.
Common examples of drugs that interact poorly with grapefruit include some types of statins, blood pressure medications, anti-anxiety drugs, blood thinners, anti-arrhythmia drugs and antihistamines. For any residents who take medication, check with their physician to verify potential dietary restrictions.
Even if some of your facility’s residents must avoid grapefruit, special dietary issues don’t have to complicate your meal planning and preparation. The Grove Menus program provides dietitian-approved recipes and food menus that can easily be adjusted to meet the dietary restrictions of your residents. For a complimentary demonstration of our assisted living food menu program, contact us today.