Grapefruit Orange Spinach with Cream Salad

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published January 8, 2024

This vitamin-packed citrus fruit salad is a sweet and crunchy meal for any time of the day.

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with vibrant flavors and a touch of tropical goodness in our Grapefruit Orange Spinach with Cream Salad recipe. 

This delightful salad combines the crisp freshness of baby spinach with the sweet and tangy goodness of grapefruit and orange segments. To add a creamy and dairy-free twist, we've prepared a luscious coconut yogurt cream infused with fragrant cinnamon. 

Completing the ensemble is a medley of toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, plump raisins, and juicy pomegranate seeds for an enticing mix of textures and flavors. This salad is a treat for your taste buds and a feast for the eyes, thanks to its colorful array of ingredients.

Spinach: A Diabetes Superfood for Vibrant Health

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse that offers many health benefits, making it an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, spinach is a versatile leafy green that can enhance your overall well-being.

First and foremost, spinach is renowned for its exceptional vitamin and mineral content. It's a potent vitamin K source, vital for blood clotting and bone health. Additionally, spinach provides generous amounts of vitamins A and C, which are crucial for immune function, skin health, and vision. 

Minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium are also found in spinach, supporting functions ranging from oxygen transport in the blood to muscle and nerve function and blood pressure regulation.

Spinach has a low glycemic index (GI), typically around 15, which means it has a minimal impact on blood glucose levels when consumed. The low GI value is attributed to its slow-digesting carbohydrates, allowing for a gradual and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This can be advantageous for individuals with diabetes as it helps maintain stable blood glucose levels.

Furthermore, spinach has a low glycemic load (GL) due to its low carbohydrate content. The glycemic load considers a food's GI and serving size. Spinach is primarily composed of water and fiber, with minimal calories, making it an ideal choice for those looking to control blood glucose levels effectively.

The high fiber content in spinach, consisting of soluble and insoluble fiber, is a standout feature. Fiber plays a pivotal role in diabetes management by slowing down the digestion and absorption of glucose in the digestive tract, thus contributing to improved blood glucose control. Moreover, fiber promotes a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management—an essential aspect of diabetes care.

In conclusion, spinach is a diabetes-friendly leafy green with numerous health benefits. Its low glycemic index and load, combined with its decadent array of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, make it an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes.

Grapefruit Goodness: A Zesty Boost for Diabetes Wellness

Grapefruit is a tangy and refreshing citrus fruit that boasts a range of health benefits, making it a delicious addition to the diets of individuals living with diabetes. This vibrant fruit is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can support overall well-being.

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that plays a critical role in immune function, skin health, and wound healing. It also provides a healthy vitamin A dose essential for vision and skin health. Additionally, grapefruit contains fiber, potassium, and various B vitamins, including folate.

Regarding its impact on blood glucose levels, grapefruit has a relatively low glycemic index (GI), typically ranging from 25 to 50, depending on the variety and ripeness. 

Furthermore, grapefruit has a low glycemic load (GL) due to its moderate carbohydrate content. Because grapefruit is relatively low in calories and high in water content, it has a minimal impact on blood glucose per serving.

Grapefruit also contains compounds called flavonoids, associated with various health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health. 

However, it's important to note that grapefruit can interact with certain medications, potentially affecting their absorption and efficacy. Therefore, individuals taking any medications should consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating grapefruit into their diet.

Pomegranate Seeds: A Sweet Choice for Blood Glucose Health

Pomegranate seeds are like little gems of nutrition, offering an array of health benefits that can be particularly valuable for individuals living with diabetes. These tiny seeds, also known as arils, are bursting with flavor and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can enhance overall well-being.

First and foremost, pomegranate seeds are a rich source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports immune function and skin health. They also contain vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health. 

Additionally, pomegranate seeds provide a good amount of dietary fiber, which is crucial for digestive health and can assist in managing blood glucose levels.

Regarding their impact on blood glucose levels, pomegranate seeds are a diabetes-friendly choice. They have a low glycemic index (GI), typically ranging from 35 to 50, depending on the ripeness of the fruit and the specific variety. 

Low-GI foods like pomegranate seeds are digested and absorbed more slowly, leading to a gradual and manageable increase in blood glucose levels. For individuals with diabetes, this can be beneficial in achieving stable blood glucose control.

Furthermore, pomegranate seeds have a low glycemic load (GL) due to their relatively low carbohydrate content. The glycemic load considers a food's GI and serving size. Because pomegranate seeds are rich in fiber and antioxidants while low in calories, they have a minimal impact on blood glucose per serving.

Pomegranate seeds are renowned for their high antioxidant content, particularly anthocyanins and polyphenols. These antioxidants have various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and protecting cells from oxidative damage. 

For individuals with diabetes, antioxidants can be especially valuable as they may help mitigate the impact of elevated blood glucose levels on the body.

Grapefruit Orange Spinach with Cream Salad

Beverly Verwey
Servings 1 person
Calories 432 kcal


  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 large grapefruit peeled and sectioned
  • 1 medium orange peeled and sectioned
  • 1 medium banana sliced
  • 2 tbsp coconut yogurt made into cream see "Recipe Notes" section
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp raw-hulled sunflower seeds dry toasted
  • 1 tsp raw-hulled pumpkin seeds dry toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds


  • Place spinach on the bottom of a serving bowl.
  • Top with layers of banana slices, grapefruit sections, orange sections.
  • Place the coconut yogurt cream on top of fruit.
  • In a small pan dry toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Once toasted add to your bowl.
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon, raisins and pomegranate seeds.


*Coconut yogurt cream: Must be made ahead of time (at least 24 hours). Place a container of plain coconut yogurt in a cloth almond milk bag or use several layers of cheesecloth or a towel and tie ends together. Hang the bag so that the liquid can drain from the yogurt. Let the bag hang for up to 24 hours. Open the bag and scoop thick coconut yogurt cream into a container with a tight lid. Use the cream for this and other uses.


Calories: 432kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 7.9gFat: 5gSodium: 41.8mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.