Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that comes in a variety of flavors, from bittersweet to sour. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for good health. The fruit can be eaten whole, as a juice, or as a pulp.
In the 18th century, a pomelo and an orange were crossed to produce the grapefruit. It was given the name “grapefruit” because it grows in clusters, much like grapes.
Grapefruit contains nutrients that may help promote healthy skin and protect against a variety of conditions. They might also help you keep your weight in check.
Learn about some of grapefruit’s potential health benefits in this article. Find out who should be cautious when eating grapefruit.
Grapefruit has a low calorie count but is high in nutrients. Vitamins A and C are also abundant in this fruit.
The sections below delve deeper into the specific health benefits of grapefruit.
The glycemic index of grapefruit is low. This means that it provides nutrients while having no significant negative impact on blood sugar levels.
Grapefruit is “significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,” according to a 2013 study. Grapefruit also contains naringin, according to the authors.
They go on to say that naringin appears to have properties similar to an inhibitor that doctors use to help people with type 2 diabetes improve their glucose tolerance.
Loss of weight
Some people believe grapefruit is a weight-loss miracle fruit. Researchers found no evidence that grapefruit can help people lose weight in one study.
Grapefruit, on the other hand, was found to help lower blood pressure and lipid (fat) levels in the blood. High blood pressure, lipid levels, and obesity are all linked.
More research could show that the nutrients in grapefruit have long-term weight-control and obesity-prevention benefits.
Eating more flavonoids, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) study, may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke in women. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants.
Those who ate the most citrus fruits had a 19 percent lower chance of having an ischemic stroke.
Heart health and blood pressure
Grapefruit’s fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, and choline content could all help with heart health.
The American Heart Association encourages people to eat more potassium and use less salt in their diets. This can aid in the prevention of high blood pressure and the various complications that can arise as a result of it.
One small grapefruit, measuring 3.5 inches across and weighing around 200 grams (g), contains 278 milligrams (mg) of potassium, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Adults should consume around 4,700 mg of potassium per day, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This means that one small grapefruit can provide about 6% of a person’s daily potassium requirement.
Grapefruit is a recommended food in the DASH diet, which was created by health professionals to help people lower their blood pressure through dietary changes.
Learn more about the DASH diet here.
Grapefruit is high in antioxidants, including vitamin C. These can aid in the prevention of the formation of free radicals, which are thought to be the cause of cancer by experts.
Vitamin C content in a small grapefruit is 68.8 mg. Vitamin C intake for adults is 75 milligrams per day for women and 90 milligrams per day for men.
Another antioxidant, lycopene, is found in a small grapefruit at 2,270 micrograms (mcg).
A population study conducted in 2016 looked at data from nearly 50,000 men. The authors conclude that a high intake of tomato sauce, which contains lycopene, is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Grapefruit is high in both water and fiber. A small grapefruit with a weight of 200 grams contains 182 grams of water and 2.2 grams of fiber. For a healthy digestive tract, both water and fiber can help prevent constipation and promote regularity.
Adults should aim for a daily fiber intake of 28 to 33.6 g, depending on their age and gender.
A high dietary fiber intake may also help prevent colorectal cancer, according to research.
Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, the skin’s main support system.
Vitamin C may help protect against sun damage and aging, according to the authors of a 2017 study. They also discovered a link between vitamin C levels and fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.
However, some researchers have discovered evidence linking a high citrus intake to the development of malignant melanoma.
They looked at how much citrus juice people consumed each week for 24–26 years and discovered that those who consumed more citrus juice had a higher incidence of malignant melanoma.
The authors of the study suggest that more research be done.
Vitamin C is beneficial to the immune system in a variety of ways. According to a 2017 article, a dietary intake of vitamin C may help prevent and treat respiratory and other infections.
Older adults, people with chronic conditions, and smokers, in particular, should make sure they are getting enough vitamin C. Grapefruit could be a good alternative.
One small grapefruit, measuring 3.5 inches across and weighing 200 g, contains the nutrients listed below, according to the USDA.
The recommended daily amounts for adults aged 19 and up are also shown in the table below.
|Nutrient||Amount in 200 g of grapefruit||Recommended daily intake|
|Carbohydrate (g)||16.2, of which 14 g is sugar||130|
|Vitamin C (mcg)||68.8||75–90|
|Vitamin A (mcg)||92||700–900|
|Beta-carotene (mcg)||1,100||No data|
|Lycopene (mcg)No||2,270||No data|
|Lutein and zeaxanthin (mcg)||12||No data|
Antioxidants include lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C.
Here are some tips for buying and storing grapefruit:
- Buy grapefruit in the winter, as citrus fruits ripen at this time, and they are more likely to be fresh.
- Choose a grapefruit that is heavy for its size and has a little softness when squeezed.
- Harvest or buy grapefruits that are ripe, as they do not ripen after picking.
- Store grapefruit at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
There are various ways to add grapefruit to the diet. To incorporate it in the diet:
- Add some grapefruit slices to a salad at lunch or dinner and sprinkle with walnuts or pecans, crumbled cheese, and a light balsamic vinegar.
- Serve half a grapefruit at breakfast or as a starter.
- Squeeze grapefruit juice for a refreshing drink. If the fruit is sour, combine it with orange juice.
- Add grapefruit to a fruit salad with strawberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, and grapes.
Here are some other healthful recipes ideas:
Grapefruit should not be consumed by everyone. Below are some of the risks and considerations associated with grapefruit consumption.
Grapefruit should be avoided when taking certain medications because it has the ability to bind enzymes. As a result, the medication may pass through the gut and into the bloodstream more quickly than usual.
This can cause medication levels in the blood to rise, which can be dangerous.
Some treatments that grapefruit can affect include:
- calcium channel blockers
- some psychiatric drugs
Grapefruit should be avoided by people with kidney infections due to its high potassium content.
Kidney damage can make removing excess potassium from the bloodstream difficult. Potassium buildup can be life-threatening in some cases.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Because grapefruit is highly acidic, it may worsen heartburn and regurgitation in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Individual reactions, on the other hand, differ.
Grapefruit is high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as antioxidants and fiber.
Grapefruit can be a healthy addition to any diet unless a person has a medical condition that prevents it.
- Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (n.d.).
- A primer on potassium. (2018).
- Why is grapefruit good for you? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280882
- Bailey, D. G., et al. (2013). Grapefruit–medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?
- Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and immune function.
- Cassidy, A., et al. (2012). Dietary flavonoids and risk of stroke in women.
- DASH eating plan. (n.d.).
- Dow, C. A., et al. (2012). The effects of daily consumption of grapefruit on body weight, lipids, and blood pressure in healthy, overweight adults [Abstract].
- Graff, R. E., et al. (2016). Dietary lycopene intake and risk of prostate cancer defined by ERG protein expression.
- Grapefruit, raw. (2019).
- Kunzmann, A. T., et al. (2015). Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.
- Muraki, I., et al. (2013). Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: Results from three prospective longitudinal studies.
- Pullar, J. M., et al. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health.
- Wu, S., et al. (2015). Citrus consumption and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma.