Grapefruit Guide: Health Benefits and Varieties

January 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Citrus Varieties, Grapefruit, Health, Nutrition

First things first, and health is at the top of everyone’s priority list at the start of a new year. Consuming vegetables and citrus fruit like grapefruit complement both your health and fitness goals.

Vitamin C

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C-rich foods may help reduce cold symptoms and their severity. These foods may also prevent the free radicals that trigger asthma and arthritis. Free radicals could oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques, ultimately causing heart disease.


Grapefruit has been found to be one of the top, citrus fruit juices with high levels of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout your body and can be found in many foods, primarily fruits and vegetables. Health authorities say that getting antioxidants from food can offer health benefits superior to those taken in supplements.


Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in studies to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. Both blond and red grapefruit can reduce blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while red grapefruit lowers triglycerides as well.  Hence, researches have concluded that adding fresh, red grapefruit to the diet could be beneficial for everyone, but in particular for persons with high cholesterol, who have high triglycerides as well.

There is a word of caution, as compounds in grapefruit are known to increase circulating levels of several prescription drugs including statins. For this reason, the risk of muscle toxicity associated with statins may increase when grapefruit is consumed. Consult with your doctor regarding the interaction of any prescription medications you are taking and grapefruit or grapefruit juice.


Ruby Red Grapefruit– Plump, thin skinned, blushing red and dripping with nature’s own sweet nectar. Widely grown in Florida and great broiled.

Sweet White Grapefruit– Known for their thin smooth skin and big flavor, filled with an abundance of sweet invigorating juice, they’re perfect for fresh eating, salads and refreshing juice.

Dazzling Deep Red Grapefruit– Bright, beautiful and featuring a warm crimson blush outside adding depth and richness to the deep, dark red flesh inside. They are sweet and seedless as the Ruby Reds.

Pummelo HB- Pummelos have a pink-colored flesh and are low acid, sweet and mild grapefruit. Use in desserts or salad fruit; peel is sometimes used for marmalade.

The Nutritious Value of Fresh Citrus Fruit

You’ve probably heard since elementary school that fruit and vegetables are possibly the most important food groups. They carry essential vitamins and minerals, while also supplying calcium, fiber, and other benefits.

Citrus fruits, particularly Honeybells, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are in many ways like the “all stars” among fruits. To put it simply, they are jam-packed with vitamins and other nutritional requirements.  These fruits, often found in citrus fruit baskets and other gift packages, offer a great way to enjoy superb taste while reaping the benefits of their incredible health advantages.

Everyone Benefits from Citrus Fruit Nutrition

It’s a simple fact that citrus fruit benefits people of all ages. Basically, if you eat, there’s a benefit from citrus fruit. In particular, citrus fruit is beneficial to the very old and the very young. The elderly can benefit from oranges and grapefruit’s rich stockpiles of calcium and other important minerals to help them stay active and pain-free. Additionally, the Vitamin C and Vitamin A found in the fruits’ juices help boost the immune system. Bones grow brittle as the body ages, so the calcium can protect older men and women from serious injury caused by falls and other accidents.

The benefits to children are much the same. Children, especially infants, need Vitamin C and calcium to help better build their rapidly growing bodies. Children are especially susceptible to sickness during the cold winter months. Keeping them well-fortified with citrus fruit, such as sweet and juicy Honeybells, and their healthy properties keeps their immune systems in top running order.

Benefits to Grownups

But teens and adults also benefit from the nutritional value of fresh citrus fruit. Additionally, fresh fruit citrus gift baskets are perfect gifts for any occasion. Especially for those seeking to improve their physical fitness or to lose weight, the gift of fresh citrus fruit makes a welcome and rewarding surprise.

Help Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyles

When you give the gift of fresh citrus fruit baskets or other arrangements, you help your recipient avoid the unhealthy choices of candy, snack foods, and other “indulgences” that can inhibit a healthy lifestyle. But when ordering from Hale Groves’ huge selection, please remember to include ample delivery time. Some orders, such as the Honeybell tangelo, are also available only at certain times of the year. Fresh citrus fruit gift baskets make the perfect gift for everyone, all the time!

Navel Oranges are the Best Gift for Any Occasion

December 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Florida Oranges, Lifestyle, Navel Oranges, Nutrition

When you need to send a gift but aren’t sure what to send you should send navel oranges. Navel oranges are the best gift for any occasion. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and other occasions can be time consuming and expensive to shop for. But when you send fruit gifts like oranges, grapefruit or other citrus fruits you will find that gift giving is easy. With just a few minutes and a few mouse clicks impressive gifts that your family and friends will love can be on the way. When you order fruit gifts online your gifts are packed and shipped for you so you don’t have to waste time or money wrapping presents or taking them to the post office and waiting in line. Ordering navel oranges and other fruit gifts online is fast and easy.

One of the reasons why navel oranges are the perfect gift is that everyone can enjoy oranges. Kids and adults both love the naturally sweet and delicious taste of Florida fruit. People who are on special diets may not be able to eat chocolate or cake but everyone can enjoy naturally sweet Florida citrus fruit. There are also plenty of gifts to choose from in a wide range of prices. So no matter what your budget it you won’t have any trouble finding a fruit basket or gift that you can afford.  If you have a large family or a lot of friends that you need to send gifts to throughout the year buying fruit gifts is an affordable way to give great gifts. You can also schedule the delivery of your fruit gifts so that they arrive when you want them to.

Navel oranges make great gifts for any occasion because they are healthy and naturally delicious. Send your loved ones a basket of navel oranges for a fun no-occasion present, a get well soon present or a birthday present. In the wintertime fruit baskets full of cheerful citrus fruit are sure to brighten someone’s day and give them the nutrition they need to fight off winter colds and flu. When you need to give a gift and you have no idea what to send you should send fruit baskets full of navel oranges. Great gift givers know that navel oranges are the best gift for any occasion and shopping for fruit baskets is easy to do.


Why Navel Oranges are the Best Gift For Your Loved Ones

Navel oranges are the best gift for your loved ones for any occasion. Birthdays, anniversaries, or other occasions are all a little more special when you send fruit baskets and fruit gifts with navel oranges. Everyone loves to receive cheerful citrus fruit gifts.  Fruit gifts are affordable but still look elegant and expensive. And fresh healthy fruit is a luxury that many people would be thrilled to get these days. Delicious Florida citrus fruit is low in calories and packed with the nutrients that everyone needs to stay healthy. No matter what occasion you need a gift for your gift will hit the right note when you send fruit.

Fruit baskets and fruit assortment gifts are more popular now than ever.  A lot of families are still recovering from the recession and are struggling financially. When people need to cut back on expenses one of the first things they cut from their grocery budget is fresh fruit. Yet fresh fruit is essential to good health. So sending your loved ones baskets and boxes full of grapefruit, oranges, and other citrus fruits is a wonderful way to give them what they need to stay healthy. Families with children will really appreciate the gift of navel oranges, which are great for kids. Because navel oranges are small and easy to peel they are fantastic for kids of all ages. The sweet juicy oranges are also a great healthy substitute for candy bars and other unhealthy sweets. Elderly friends and relatives who may be skimping on fresh groceries to save money will also really appreciate receiving birthday or anniversary gifts of navel oranges.

Another reason why navel oranges are the best gift for your loves ones is that they are so easy to order. No matter what your budget is you can find a beautiful fruit basket or fruit assortment featuring navel oranges that is affordable. You can order fruit baskets online easily in just a few minutes. Choose the date that you want your gift shipped and your shopping is all done. It’s that easy to send fruit gifts. The fruit will be packed immediately after being picked and shipped fast. When the fruit arrives at your loved one’s door it will be juicy, sweet, and at the peak of freshness. Surprise someone you love today with a basket of navel oranges or a fruit basket filled with the best Florida citrus fruit.

The Tangerine is a Healthy Seasonal Delight With a Global History

The ever popular little fruit known as the tangerine is rich in history and tradition as well as being one of the tastiest, most nutritional and convenient-to-eat foods around.  The tangerine is actually a member of the mandarin family of oranges and is known to have been cultivated in China and Japan more than 3,000 years before being introduced to the West two centuries ago.  The tangerine is an important food source which contains essential nutrients and minerals such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and many others.  Tangerine oil, which is extracted from the peel, is used for both cooking and for medicinal purposes. 

Tangerines are smaller than oranges, have a deeper orange skin, and the flesh inside is very juicy, usually with a mild, sweet taste.  Most varieties of tangerines have few or no seeds.  In the United States, the best time to eat tangerines is November through January, although when juiced at the right time, tangerine juice holds up to freezing very well.  Otherwise, they should stay in the refrigerator no longer than seven days to maintain their great taste and nutritional value.  The best tangerine to buy will be soft and puffy with a loose-fitting skin and feel heavy for its size.  It should also be glossy and pebbly-skinned, but don’t worry if there are small green patches near the stem.

To get the most of its nutritional value, the best way to eat a tangerine is to peel it raw and eat its luscious juicy wedges right off the skin.  Fresh tangerine wedges are also important ingredients to many healthful, nutritious recipes for meals and snacks at any time of day or night.  The tangerine peel is also used not only as a decorative garnish or grating, but when dried and cured properly can also be eaten as a glaze or preserve, like marmalade or jelly.  Many great recipes like tangerine peel beef or chicken or radish soup with dried tangerine peel can found with an easy online search.

Tangerine oil is extracted by a process of cold-pressing tangerine peel.  The use of the tangerine oil for medicinal applications came from China and is now used the world over for natural healing of all sorts of conditions, both internal and external.  It is perhaps most popular in the United States for aromatherapy benefits in cream, bath lotion or vapor form as the fragrance of tangerine oil has been shown to help soothe the nervous system and reduce tension and stress at the same time it boosts the digestive system.

Health Benefits: The Fascinating History of Navel Oranges

Pictured: Oranges Preparing to Be Processed for Fresh Squeezed Florida Orange Juice

Pictured: Oranges Preparing to Be Processed for Fresh Squeezed Florida Orange Juice

Oranges are among the most popular fruits worldwide because of their unique, sweet and refreshing taste.  Also, because not only can they be found in great abundance and varieties, oranges have many important health benefits to the human body.  The navel orange, also known by its scientific term citrus sinensis, is one of the most popular of the orange tree varietals and also one of the most unique. 

Navel oranges are seedless, and once the peel is broken, the flesh inside is naturally very sweet and juicy.  From the outside, the blossom end of a navel orange looks like a human navel, which is how it acquired its name.  Inside, when a naval orange is broken or peeled, you can see a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit on the blossom end. 

The antioxidant vitamin C is a main nutritional ingredient of navel oranges.  Millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges daily as a source of vitamin C.  Vitamin C not only helps keep the human immune system strong, but it also helps the body absorb iron, works to heal wounds, and can even help prevent heart disease.  The human body does not naturally produce vitamin C on its own, so one of the best ways to get the right amount of this essential nutrient is to drink a fresh squeezed juice from a navel orange or to eat it right off the peel.

Other nutrients in navel oranges are also known to help to prevent cancer as well, such as stomach and esophagus cancer.  The high fiber content in navel oranges can help improve cholesterol ratios in the body, which is important in controlling diabetes. 

Beta-carotene is another antioxidant found in navel oranges which helps prevent cell damage.  Navel oranges also contain calcium, which promotes strong, healthy bones and vitamin B6 to boost production of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. The high potassium content in navel oranges helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in cells, and its magnesium helps keep blood pressure at an acceptable level.

But one of the most unique things about the naval orange is its history.  To this day, all navel oranges are clones which still originate from a tree in Brazil from almost 200 years ago.  This single tree propagated spontaneous clones and led to being grown in other regions. 

These mutations can only be cultivated through tree cuttings and being grafted onto other trees.  Producing navel oranges is considered a very big industry in the United States and economically important to California, Florida and Arizona where they are primarily grown.

Essential Nutrients Make Navel Oranges One of Nature’s Most Important Foods

Red Navel Oranges, often called "Ravels"

Red Navel Oranges, often called "Ravels"

The citrus sinesis, also known as the Navel Orange, is one of the most popular, unique and versatile of the orange tree varietals.  The navel orange can be cut open and eaten right off the peel, squeezed and drunk as a juice, a favorite addition to fruit salads, or even turned into preserves or jams, such as the ever popular orange marmalade.  Orange oil from naval oranges is a byproduct of the orange peel which is used to flavor food and drink as well as for fragrance in perfumes and aromatherapy.  Gardeners often use orange peels as a slug repellent.  Orange blossoms can be dried and then used to make a delicious, aromatic tea.

Fresh navel oranges are available from winter through late spring, depending on your region of the country.  When you go to the market, the kind of navel orange you should look for is one that feels heavy for its size and has no soft spots, outward pitting or mold. 

Navel oranges are seedless, and the flesh inside is naturally very sweet and juicy.  From the outside, the blossom end looks like a human navel.  When a naval orange is peeled, there is a partially formed, undeveloped conjoined “twin” fruit on the blossom end on the inside. 

Although navel oranges originally came from Brazil, today they are grown primarily in Florida, Arizona and California, and the navel orange cultivation industry is very important in the United States.

In addition to their sweet, refreshing taste, navel oranges are also well known and considered very important for their health benefits, especially the antioxidant vitamin C, their main nutritional ingredient.  Every morning millions of people drink orange juice from navel oranges as a source of vitamin C. 

The human body does not naturally produce vitamin C on its own.  Vitamin C not only helps boost the human immune system, but it also prevents heart disease, aids in healing wounds, and helps the body absorb iron.  One of the best ways to get the right amount of vitamin C is to drink a fresh squeezed juice from a navel orange or to eat it right off the peel.

There are other health advantages to consuming navel oranges as well.  The fiber content in navel oranges can help improve cholesterol ratios in the body.  Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in navel oranges which helps prevent cell damage.  Other nutrients in navel oranges are also known to help to prevent other types of cancer as well, including stomach and esophagus cancer.

A Fruitful Diet: The Many Benefits of Fresh Citrus & Fruit

April 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Cooking, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Fresh Fruits are Recommended for a Daily Healthy Diet

Fresh Fruits are Recommended for a Daily Healthy Diet

Looking for something to turn back your internal clock by increasing your vitality and improving your appearance?

Of course there’s no Fountain of Youth, but research suggests that nature has provided us with an answer that comes very close — fruit. It almost seems too simple: Eat fruit; fool Mother Nature.

Yet studies show that by eating four to five servings of fruit each day, you can improve your chances of staying healthy and vibrant as you age. That’s because fruit is loaded with phytochemicals, which are natural compounds that may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of many diseases.

Phytochemicals fight to protect your overall health by providing antioxidant effects, stimulating your immune system, modulating the metabolism of your hormones, and acting as antibacterial and antiviral agents. Get too few of these marvelous compounds and you set yourself up for premature aging, as well as placing yourself at risk for some cancers, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cataracts, osteoporosis and urinary tract infections. But if you eat the recommended amount of fruit each day, you improve your odds for a healthier life.

If you think “eat more fruit” means you should just have another slice of strawberry pie, it’s time to explore the variety of offerings Mother Nature has provided in her fruit basket:


Granny Smith, Jonathan, Macintosh, Red Delicious — there are many different varieties of apples. Whether you like them tart or sweet, apples are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. (One medium apple has 5 grams of fiber.)


Apricots are “stone-fruit” and are related to the plum and peach. Buy apricots that are orange-yellow — that indicates ripeness. They spoil quickly so if you don’t eat them right away, freeze them for later. Apricots contain vitamin A, which you need for healthy skin and to protect against infections.


Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins C and B6. Store bananas at room temperature, never in the refrigerator. (The cold makes the fruit decay from the inside.)


Blueberries have more antioxidant power than any other fruit or vegetable, giving them remarkable anti-aging potential. Research suggests that blueberries protect against the effects of age-related deterioration of the brain, such as short-term memory loss. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.


Cantaloupe is high in vitamins C and A and a good source of potassium and folate. Folate is linked to the prevention of birth defects (such as spina bifida), heart attacks, stroke and colorectal cancer.


Cherries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.


Don’t mistake dates for dried fruit — they’re not, even though you’re likely to find them in the dried fruit section at the supermarket. Sometimes known as “the candy that grows on trees,” dates are a good source of fiber.


Grapefruit is high in fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A. Just one-half a grapefruit counts as one serving of the recommended four to five servings of fruit per day.


Grapes are not only high in vitamin C, they contain the phytonutrient “reservatrol,” which is known for its potent antioxidant properties, as well as providing protection against cancer and heart disease.


Kiwifruit may look a little funny — it’s brown and fuzzy on the outside; bright green on the inside with tiny black seeds — but it’s high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber, vitamin E and potassium. You’ll know kiwifruit is ripe when it’s slightly soft to the touch and has a fragrant smell.


This tropical fruit has a flavor that’s often described as tasting like oranges, peaches and pineapples all in one. You’ll know you have a ripe, delicious mango when you can detect a pleasant scent of pine and peach from the stem (no fragrant aroma usually means no flavor). Mangoes are high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.


Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world, with navel oranges and Valencia oranges the two most common varieties. One orange contains all the vitamin C your body needs for the day.


Papayas are a tropical fruit that are rated as one of the most nutritious. They’re high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber and folate. As an additional treat, the black seeds found inside a papaya are edible and have a spicy, pepper-like flavor.


Ever wonder why peaches smell so great? The peach is a member of the rose family and has a similar sweet fragrance when ripe. Peaches are a good source of vitamin C.


There are more than 3000 varieties of pears; Bartlett being the most popular. Pears ripen better off the tree, so ripen your pears in a brown paper bag at room temperature. Pears are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.


When selecting a fresh pineapple don’t look for shell color — that’s no indication of ripeness. (A green pineapple can be just as ripe and sweet as a pineapple with a golden shell.) Look for a pineapple that has a fresh appearance with deep green leaves, and remember to refrigerate it when you get home to preserve freshness. Pineapple is high in vitamin C.


Prunes are actually dried French plums, and just eight of them make one serving of fruit for the day. Eat them right out of the bag for a healthy snack — they’re high in fiber and a good source of vitamin A.


One of the most distinctive features of tangerines is that when they are peeled, the segments of fruit separate easily, making them an excellent snack food for kids! Tangerines are high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber.


Whether seedless or full of seeds, watermelons are high in vitamins C and A.

Remember that whole, fresh fruit is better than canned fruit or fruit juices, but any fruit is better than no fruit. It’s a sweet treat or an excellent side dish or dessert, comes in its own easy-to-open packaging, and best of all, can provide your body with unsurpassed health benefits.

Visit for a vitamin C fact sheet and many other natural health articles.