Grapefruit – Citrus packed benefits


As part of the citrus family, grapefruit ranks high amongst others in its list of health benefits. Some describe the taste as sweet, while others might call it tart. The typical, medium-sized grapefruit has only 52 calories and 13 carbohydrates which is low compared to other fruits. For example, a medium-sized banana has 30 carbohydrates. Plus, grapefruit contains fiber, Vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and magnesium. This information alone makes grapefruit a good choice to incorporate into a balanced diet. Grapefruit is so easy to snack on, can replace sweets/desserts, can be blended, or juiced, goes good in a salad or with yogurt, and can be eaten just as regular slices like an apple.

Because grapefruit has 2 grams of fiber per serving, this amount of fiber helps you feel fuller. Its high-water content contributes to having a low number of calories. Between feeling fuller and eating a low-calorie food, grapefruit is said to be a weight loss friendly food. All this water content (4oz in a medium sized grapefruit) helps with hydration too.  Another powerful benefit of grapefruit is that it can help prevent diabetes by regulating insulin levels. Studies have shown that people who eat grapefruit before meals had a reduction in insulin levels and resistance.

The list of nutritional benefits continues because grapefruit is full of antioxidants. These include flavonoids which help reduce inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, and lower cholesterol. Vitamin C is another big health helper because of its protective ability when it comes to cellular damage. Grapefruit has 64% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) we should have of Vitamin C. It also has lycopene which has cancer fighting properties and beta-carotene which helps prevent eye-related problems and can also ward off cancer. Vitamin C is also great for skin because of its ability to boost collagen production. Many serums have vitamin C because it can help with skin discolorations like age-spots and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Another great benefit of grapefruit is its ability to help reduce the risk of kidney stones. It contains citric acid that can bind with calcium that builds up on the kidney, and then can help flush this out. Calcium oxalate stones cause kidney stones so grapefruit helps break these down, so you excrete them.

There are a couple reasons grapefruit might not be for everyone to eat. It can interact with some medications. Grapefruit doesn’t allow cytochrome P450 to work which is the enzyme our body uses to metabolize medications that we take. Grapefruit inhibits calcium channel blockers, benzodiazepines, immunosuppressants, carbamazepine, some statins, and indinavir. Another issue could be the citric acid causing enamel erosion. This is particularly true if you have sensitive teeth and it’s best to avoid direct contact on the teeth with grapefruit. Eating cheese with grapefruit does neutralize the acidity.

Grapefruit can be a delicious part of your diet. The benefits are plenty and they might just solve your sweet tooth problem. Whole foods are always the best choices and as we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, it’s important to consider those that give us the best bang for their calories.

Consumption of grapefruit is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among adults, and more favorable anthropometrics in women, NHANES 2003–2008 – PMC (

Grapefruit: Some perspectives in pharmacology and nutrition – PMC (

Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Antiproliferative Properties of Grapefruit Essential Oil Prepared by Molecular Distillation – PMC (

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY's Fit. She has a Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, and she's an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She's also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor. She has 6 books on Amazon too,.