A Canadian pharmacologist discovered grapefruit’s effects on medications by accident—and his findings have saved many lives.

Citrus paradisi, commonly known as grapefruit, and so named because of its grape-like clusters in the tree it grows in, belongs to the Rutaceae family and comes in white, pink, and red varieties. Each type offers a burst of flavor ranging from intensely tart to deliciously sweet, so whatever your preference, you are sure to find a variety that suits your tastes.

A hybrid of sweet oranges and pomelos, grapefruit are thought to have originated in the islands of the West Indies around the 1700s. They were exported a century later, arriving in Florida in the early 1800s, where they have been cultivated ever since. Grapefruit is now grown predominantly in Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona, but the world’s largest producer is China, producing more than 50 percent of the world’s grapefruit supply.

Loaded with vitamins A and C, grapefruit is a good source of dietary fiber and has an extremely low glycemic index of 25. The glycemic index measures how much a food raises blood glucose levels—making grapefruit an excellent option for those with diabetes.

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