Heather Rockwood is a food science junior and Mustang Daily food columnist.
Yesterday, half the population rejoiced for a day dedicated to the joy and recognition of being in a relationship, and thousands of couples celebrated by taking their special someone out to eat or buying him or her chocolates.
Today is a special day as well. Today is a day in which the other half of the population gets a day to celebrate and be recognized: Happy Single’s Awareness Day (SAD). Although some celebrate on Feb. 14, having SAD today allows the celebration to have its own day, uninterrupted by Valentine’s festivities.
At first many of you might cringe at the thought of celebrating this seemingly awful fact, but don’t be fooled — being single has its perks and is often well worth celebrating. Don’t believe me? Well, take a few moments to learn how to celebrate this controversial day with a fruit that is familiar with loneliness. Grapefruit, the national representative of the Lone Star State, reminds us there is still joy in celebrating singleness.
Even from the beginning of its existence, the grapefruit has made its way confidently in solitude and individualism — it is the only member of the citrus family to originate in the New World. Although this fruit gets its name from the clusters it grows in (much like those seen in grapes), it still ventures off the tree and is sold in stores as an individual fruit.
When purchasing a grapefruit from the market, be sure to pick one that is glossy, smooth, round and heavy for its size. With many other fruits you need to avoid uneven skin color or scratches, but with grapefruit, these are only aesthetically undesirable — they have no direct affect on flavor or texture quality. Grapefruits should be purchased as far into the ripening stages as possible — the riper the fruit the higher level of antioxidants present.
High levels of lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient antioxidant that gives the grapefruit flesh with vibrant pink and red hues, are linked to many health benefits. Some of which include: reducing cancer risks due to lycopene’s ability to destroy harmful free-radicals, lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and limiting skin damage due to sun exposure — highly necessary when considering how Cal Poly is within 30 minutes of six different beaches.
As a single fruit, the grapefruit wears many colors to keep things new and exciting. Grapefruits come in white (blond), pink or even ruby. These color variations refer to the flesh of the fruit, and the skins of all varieties are a fairly similar yellow-pink color.
Shining brightly by its lonesome, the grapefruit offers well over 100 percent of your recommended vitamin C levels and a high amount of fiber with a very low calorie count.
This fruit is extremely powerful and potent on its own, and sometimes it doesn’t play well with others. It is important to keep in mind that the consumption of this little fireball along with pharmaceutical medicines often does not end well.
There is an enzyme found in the intestine that controls the natural breakdown and absorption of medications, and grapefruit juice is known to inhibit this enzyme and affect absorption. So always be careful with what you pair your grapefruit with; it is not a particular fan of blind dates with outdated cough drops.
Whether you are celebrating Single’s Awareness Day or not, know that the grapefruit sure is, and it is quite happy doing so — why not join the fun? Chocolates are a Valentine’s Day treat — today, sneak away and treat yourself to the sweet, tart, tantalizing taste that stands for singles.
Hint: George Washington was our first president, but did you know he was also a ________ farmer?