Grapefruit Calories, Carbs, and Nutrition Facts

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Grapefruit calories, carbs, and nutrition facts abound and are quite plentiful.  Studies suggest consuming this delightful fruit helps in lowering the risk of preventable diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, but there are some potential health risks to keep in mind.  People taking certain types of medication should avoid eating grapefruit altogether.

Grapefruit calories, carbs, and nutrition facts

The grapefruit received its name because of the way it grows.  They are cultivated similarly to the way grapes grow—in clusters.

Grapefruits became available in the 1700s; they were actually bred from oranges and the citrus fruit pomelo. Grapefruits calories and carbs are low, but they are enriched with nutrients.

There are many types and flavors of grapefruits. Some are pink, yellow, red, or white. Some taste sugary, bitter, or sour. They can have a very acidic flavor, as well.

Eating just one-half of a grapefruit each day offers some of the daily recommended requirements of the following vitamins and minerals: 28 percent of vitamin A, 64 percent of vitamin C, two percent of magnesium, and two percent of calcium, aside from grapefruit calories being so low.

Half of a medium pink grapefruit (about 3.75 inches in diameter) has close to 52 calories, 0 grams of sodium, cholesterol, and fat. It also includes 2 grams of dietary fiber, 8.5 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, and 13 grams of carbohydrates, or carbs.

Traces of niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, copper, phosphorus, thiamine, zinc, folate, and potassium are found in this citrus delight.

Pink grapefruits have naringenin, phytonutrients limonoids, and the powerful antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene. Research shows that fresh red and pink grapefruit calories are low just like white and yellow ones; however they have an added antioxidant potential greater than yellow or white grapefruit, in addition to higher quantities of bioactive compounds.

Health benefits of grapefruits

Eating a grapefruit can help in maintaining a healthy heart and lowering blood pressure. Nutrients, like vitamin C, chlorine, and potassium, combined with the fiber and lycopene found in this citrus fruit are beneficial for the heart.

The high potassium helps in lowering blood pressure and the risk of a stroke, as well as reducing the likelihood of kidney stones forming in the body.  Grapefruit calories and carbs are low–a great benefit for people trying to manage their weight.

Any grapefruit’s vitamin C combined with other antioxidants found in them helps in fighting cancer by combating the development of free radicals known to be a cause of certain types of cancers.

The lycopene found in each grapefruit is linked to reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

The grapefruit calories are probably as low as they are because the grapefruit is nearly 91 percent water. The water and fiber in each grapefruit helps in preventing dehydration and constipation.

Fresh grapefruit have abundant amounts of vitamin A and C, and when applied to the skin the juice reduces wrinkles and improves overall skin texture.

Potential health risks of grapefruits

People taking certain types of medication should be cautious and avoid consuming grapefruits.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of the dangers of taking certain prescription drugs and consuming grapefruits.  Some non-prescription drugs may also have adverse effects caused by consuming grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

The FDA suggests it is dangerous to drink grapefruit juice several hours earlier or after taking the following medication: statin drugs that help in lowering cholesterol, like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin), antihistamines, like Allegra (fexofenadine), and anti-anxiety drugs, like BuSpar (buspirone).

In addition, antihypertensive drugs, like Afeditab or Nifediac (both nifedipine), antiarrhythmic drugs, like Cordarone and Nexterone (both amiodarone), and organ transplant rejection drugs, like Sandimmune and Neoral (both cyclosporine), create a higher health risk for people taking these drugs combined with eating grapefruits or drinking grapefruit juice and should not be mixed, according to the FDA.

Harvard Medical School has an informative guide, “Grapefruit and medication: A cautionary note” showing additional medication adversely influenced by grapefruits.

Grapefruit calories and carbs may be low, but a healthy and balanced diet is composed of many other factors and ingredients. Nonetheless, for people willing and able to merge grapefruit as part of their daily diet, an essential source of nutrition, combined with fortified health prevention ingredients, are added contributions to their dietary satisfaction.

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George Zapo, CPH
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George Zapo, CPH is certified in Public Health Promotion & Education. George focuses on writing informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles. Read more of George's articles at his website: http://georgezapo.com.