Why is everyone raving about grapefruit? If you’re anything like us you are probably asking, “Are the health claims about grapefruit true?”
Increased consumption of this citrus plant can promote health while helping to decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
This plant, which was the result of breeding pomelos and oranges, is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium.
Curious to learn more about how eating grapefruit can improve your diet?
The following review includes grapefruit facts, nutrition, recipes, and helpful information on grapefruit diets.
What is Grapefruit?
The grapefruit is the fruit of the subtropical citrus tree. It was created in Barbados when the sweet orange and pomelo were accidentally bred together. 
This resulted in the large tangy fruit that grows in grape-like clusters and is now found in grocery stores around the world.
Today, there are multiple varieties of grapefruits, including the patented “ruby red.”
From the vibrant reds of the fruit above to the lighter pink and even white varieties, grapefruit often varies depending on its place of origin.
While popular because of its tangy, bitter flavor, grapefruit includes several valuable nutritious properties.
It is an abundant source of vitamin C, offers the healing antioxidant lycopene, and includes small doses of other important vitamins while remaining nearly fat-free.
For this reason, researchers have delved into the world of grapefruit to look for antidotes for everything from cancer to obesity.
What Does Grapefruit Do?
Grapefruits are an all-natural source of important vitamins and minerals.
From its high concentration of vitamin C to over 500 different types of phytochemicals, grapefruit helps improve bodily functions, support healthy skin, and help improve various diseases.
Grapefruit is also known as a popular weight loss aid.
According to a study, obese adults who consumed grapefruit regularly in addition to a low-calorie diet lost more weight than those who did not. 
Grapefruit is a whole food and therefore, does not have any ingredients. Read along to learn more about the nutritional breakdown of grapefruit.
Grapefruit Nutrition Facts
The following grapefruit nutrition information offers valuable insight into the benefits of this citrus fruit.
Keep in mind, that the nutrition facts for grapefruits vary depending on their size, variety, and even growing conditions.
According to the National Nutrient Database, half of an average-sized grapefruit contains the following nutrients :
- Vitamin C | 52% of daily value
- Vitamin A | 23%
- Carbohydrates | 8 grams
- Fiber | 1 gram
- Calcium | 2% of DV
- Magnesium | 2% of DV
Grapefruit calories vary between red, white, and pink varieties. One serving of red grapefruit has around:
- 52 calories
- 0 grams of fat
- 0 grams of sodium
In addition to being a low-calorie, vitamin-rich food, it also boats important phytochemicals and antioxidants, such as lycopene and limonoids.
Grapefruit Juice Nutrition
When it comes to grapefruit juice nutrition, statistics vary between brand, type, and style. The following nutrition facts are for one cup or 247 grams of raw pink grapefruit juice.
One cup has a total of 96 calories, two of which are from fat.
It also contains eight percent carbohydrates and features one gram of protein. It also includes the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A | 22% of daily value
- Vitamin C | 156% of DV
- Calcium | 2% of DV
- Iron | 3% of DV
Grapefruit Juice Benefits
Citrus juice is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and a quick, efficient way to consume grapefruit.
When purchasing the juice be mindful of the manufacturing process, juice content, and, in particular, added sugars.
Since grapefruit is very bitter, many people prefer it to be sweetened, however, when looking for a health drink, refined sugars are hard to justify.
Grapefruit breakfast foods are common, but adding the juice to salad dressing or marinades are a great way to freshen up a boring dish while making it more healthy too.
Grapefruit beer is rising in popularity, starting with Schofferhofer’s Grapefruit beer that is made with a 50/50 blend of Hefenweizen and carbonated juice. While it may not be the healthiest way to up your vitamin C intake, if you’re on a grapefruit kicks this may be a fun thing to try.
If you are looking to expand beyond your typical grapefruit breakfast, grapefruit bitters are a tasty way to get your citrus kick while indulging in a late-night cocktail.
Grapefruit bitters are surprisingly great at suppressing appetite and aiding digestion.
Another great way to reap the benefits of this subtropical plant is with grapefruit essential oil.
Grapefruit essential oil is derived from the peel of the fruit. It can be added to lotions, baths, household cleaners, or laundry detergents to help disinfect, cleanse, aid weight loss, and even reduce depression.
Additional Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit consumption is also associated with an increase in HDL or “good” cholesterol.
Additional research on red grapefruit suggests that the fruit can decrease blood lipids and is beneficial to people suffering from hyperlipidemic issues. 
Potassium, lycopene, and choline can help to regulate heart functions and can prevent disease when regularly consumed along with a healthy diet.
Another benefit of grapefruit juice is its ability to rejuvenate skin. This may be due in part to the fact that it consists of 91% water.
What’s left is a nutrient-rich formula that helps protect against environmental and internal impurities. From Vitamin C, which aids in the production of collagen, to vitamin A, which helps the body produce more skin cells, grapefruit is great for skin.
Grapefruit and Vitamin C
Grapefruit vitamin C content is highly significant. One grapefruit serving has a whopping 44 milligrams of vitamin C.
This is nearly 73 percent of a person’s daily recommended value.
This means a diet of just one grapefruit a day will help you to greatly exceed the recommended daily requirement of vitamin C.
According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C is an essential part of our diets. 
It limits the damage of free radicals, delays cancer development, reduces the effects of cardiovascular disease, aids digestion, and improves skin aesthetics.
It’s recommended that female adults 19 years of age and older take 75 mg of vitamin C and men of the same age should take 90 mg. For smokers, this allowance is 35 more mg a day.
While vitamin C supplements can be taken, consuming vitamin C through fruits and vegetables is preferred.
This is because these whole foods typically provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals that can help people meet other daily nutrition goals as well.
Does Grapefruit Work?
The grapefruit facts seem to suggest that grapefruit works!
From the rich vitamin and mineral content to the limited amount of calories and fat, grapefruit is a tasty way to get your daily intake of nutrients essential to maintaining some bodily functions.
Studies suggest that grapefruit can reduce heart disease, improve skin health, kick start weight loss, and even prevent cancer.
While this research is ongoing, grapefruit diets are evidently more than just a fad.
Grapefruit benefits many different conditions. Best of all, it is a great diet component for overall health.
While you may opt to add it to your diet to help improve your heart health or shed a few extra pounds, it can also help you to meet your daily vitamin intake goals.
Grapefruit Fat Burner
Looking for a flavorful grapefruit fat burner? Look no further than the fruit itself!
While raw juices, essential oils, and bitters are popular fruit-derived products, peeling or cutting away the fruit from the rind leaves you with a bountiful portion of nutrient-rich wedges ready for consumption.
Grapefruit Side Effects
Grapefruit is a common citrus fruit that is safe when consumed in moderation as food. It is also likely safe to consume as a juice or recipe component.
Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the consumption of a new food.
On the contrary, there has been some research that associates excessive consumption of juice with breast and skin cancer.
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer identified that postmenopausal women who consumed one-quarter or more of grapefruit a day had a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer. 
Moreover, research by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Brown University suggests that excessive consumption of grapefruit and orange juice leads to increased rates of melanoma skin cancer. 
Grapefruit and Drugs
Grapefruit also poorly interacts with some medications, including but not limited to:
Grapefruit and drugs, in particular, statins, can have potentially lethal results.
Grapefruit and Blood Pressure
One of the most frequent searches associated with this wonder fruit is, “grapefruit blood pressure.”
Many people with high blood pressure are curious how they can consume this heart-healthy fruit to help reduce the effects of heart disease.
If your doctor approves, you can consume grapefruit daily. One serving typically contains around 360mg of potassium.
Potassium helps to lessen the negative effects of sodium and regulate blood pressure by eliminating excess bodily fluids.
According to the American Heart Association, the average adult needs to consume around 4,7000 milligrams of potassium a day. 
Grapefruit, along with apricots, cantaloupe, fat-free yogurt, and greens, make up the components of the DASH or dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet. 
Is There a Grapefruit Alternative?
If you are unable to consume grapefruit, there are a few alternatives.
It comes as no surprise that many types of oranges and pomelos offer many of the same nutritious properties as grapefruit.
According to the popular “Military Diet,” which involves three days of grapefruit-rich dieting, you should never substitute an orange for a grapefruit, as it will have the opposite effect when it comes to weight loss. 
According to the official website of the grapefruit diet, you may add ½ a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drink it.
Both baking soda and grapefruit are alkaline-rich foods that can help improve the body’s pH levels.
Grapefruit vs Orange
Many people assume that all citrus fruits offer the same nutrition. However, a grapefruit vs orange faceoff reveals the truth.
For starts, both fruits contain high percentages of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium, as well as protective polyphenols and phytonutrients.
They are also both extremely low in calories, sodium, cholesterol, and fats. Although if you’re opting to eat as few calories as possible, grapefruit will help you shave off a few dozen.
Furthermore, oranges have more vitamin C than grapefruits. However, they have nowhere near as much vitamin A.
Therefore, if you’re looking come close to meeting your daily requirement for both, grapefruit is the way to go. Of course, if you’re consuming a medication that could poorly interact with your citrus fruit, oranges are a far safer bet.
Grapefruit vs Pomelo
Now let’s consider Grapefruit vs Pomelo. Grapefruit’s large, tangy relative, the pomelo, contains many of the same elements as it.
According to Harvard Medical School, both fruits are guilty of blocking the enzyme called cytochrome P-450 3A4 (CYP3A4). 
This enzyme is important to the liver and intestinal functions. In fact, it is pivotal in breaking down many drugs, including statins, and flushing them out of the bloodstream.
Therefore, for individuals taking statins to help lower cholesterol, blocking this enzyme is not an option.
Grapefruit Health Benefits
Grapefruit health food is rising in popularity; there is the fruit itself, juices, bitters, and specialty product. While most offer many of the same vitamins and minerals, the results vary depending on the product and the amount of consumption.
For those looking to lose weight, there is a lot of research that answers the question, “Is grapefruit good for you?”
Studies show it helps people to lose weight, reduce cholesterol, improve skin, keep you hydrated, regulate digestion, and reduce the risk of cancer. 
However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to, “is grapefruit good for you?” For many, grapefruit can interact with prescription drugs they are taking and the results can be lethal.
Meanwhile, studies comparing grapefruit and metformin demonstrate that the fruit may be even more effective than the prescription diabetes drug.
One study on grapefruit and metformin showed a 15-17% greater drop in blood glucose levels.
In many cases, grapefruit benefits people. However, take the time to consult with your doctor before incorporating it into your diet.
Grapefruit and Weight Loss
Grapefruit and weight loss go hand in hand. In fact, diets, such as the Military Diet have sustained popularity for years.
These diets, which include limited calorie intake, dietary restrictions, and regular consumption of, you guessed it, grapefruit, do help many individuals to lose weight.
However, this may be due in part to the grapefruit’s rich nutritional content and low-calories, rather than an ability to “melt fat.”
The Grapefruit and Egg Diet
The grapefruit and egg diet is yet another grapefruit-rich diet. Made obvious by its name, the egg consists of grapefruit and boiled eggs with a daily allowance of toast and black coffee.
Meanwhile, some variations of the diet allow for additional lean meats and vegetables.
The concept of this diet is to eat a reduced number of calories while consuming protein and nutrient-rich foods. While it may be effective, there are safer, more consistent ways of losing weight.
Grapefruit Diet and the Grapefruit Juice Diet
The grapefruit juice diet consists of drinking a small glass of juice 20 minutes before meals.
A recent study demonstrated that when a group of people did this, they consumed fewer calories and reported being less hungry.
Grapefruit juice benefits include helping to limit your blood insulin and therefore allow your body to store less fat. However, these benefits are only effective when eating a reduced-calorie diet.
If you don’t enjoy juice, grapefruit tea may be a valid alternative. Grapefruit tea can be made with a slice of grapefruit or even a sprig of the rind.
Add it to boiling water and your choice of spices to create an invigorating citrus-inspired drink.
According to the Grapefruit Diet, the following list of foods are considered compliments to a grapefruit rich diet:
- Black Coffee
- Boiled Eggs
- Green and Red Vegetables
Grapefruit and the Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that helps reduce the risk of seizures and also promotes weight loss.
If you love fruit and struggle to fit it into your keto diet, have no fear. Just Google “grapefruit keto diet” and you will discover that grapefruit, unlike oranges, is a low carb fruit.
In fact, one half of a pink or red grapefruit accounts for only 8.1 grams of carbs.
Ketogenic and low-carbohydrate dieting has an array of health benefits. You can read about additional benefits of low-carbohydrate versus low-fat dieting at this link.
Grapefruit and Naringin
Naringin is a citrus flavanoid. Within the body, flavanoids are known to produce a diverse number of effects, and are known for their strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect (10). One example of the benefits of citrus flavanoids comes from a study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition (11):
Body weight gain, fat accumulation, and the development of hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance were significantly suppressed by lemon polyphenols in mice fed a high-fat diet.
Naringin is somewhat unique to grapefruit, and while Naringin has only been shown to have a very minor impact on Insulin Sensitivity and Fat Metabolism, Naringin is becoming known as a potent way to prolong the effects of caffeine. There remains some debate within the scientific community as to the effect of Naringin on caffeine, but the findings are interesting.
Here is a summary of the findings from a study on caffeine and Naringin conducted by the American Physiological Institute:
Methodology: Caffeine-naive subjects were studied before and after the ingestion of caffeine (C, 200mg) with and without Naringin (100mg or 200mg). Data was collected for 8 hours every half-hour. Parameters measured included resting metabolic rate, heart rate, blood pressure, blood levels of caffeine.
Results: The consumption of caffeine significantly increased resting metabolic rate or calories burned at rest. However, the addition of naringin did not further enhance energy expenditure. Furthermore, blood levels of caffeine were not influenced by the co-consumption of naringin.
Conclusions: Their findings suggest that naringin, when taken in conjunction with caffeine, does not significantly alter caffeine metabolism.
However, while Naringin did not directly up-regulate metabolic rate or alter caffeine metabolism, the same study concluded that consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice may also extend caffeine levels and effects of caffeine. Naringin, when consumed with caffeine, appears to extend your buzz a few hours longer than caffeine consumed alone.
Moreover, the study (12) had additional findings. Flavanoids slowed the metabolism of a numbers of hormones and medications by reducing enzymatic activity in the intestines, slowing the breakdown of certain drugs and resulting in higher blood levels of the drug.
A number of drugs that are known to be affected by the naringin in grapefruit include calcium channel blockers, estrogen, sedatives, medications for high blood pressure, allergies, AIDS, and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Directly from the study:
While the effect of naringin on the metabolism of a drug can increase the drug’s effectiveness, it can also result in dosages that are inadvertently too high. Therefore, many physicians do not recommend that patients take any drugs with grapefruit juice unless the interaction with the drug is known. In addition, the effects of drinking grapefruit juice is cumulative, which means that if you drank a glass of grapefruit juice daily with your medication for a week, the drug interaction would be stronger at the end of the week than at the beginning.
It is apparent that Naringin extends the metabolic life of many drugs and substances. If you are taking prescription medication, carefully consider the amount of grapefruit you consume in conjunction with your medication schedule. As always, consult with your doctor.
The Bottom Line on Grapefruit
Grapefruit is an extremely versatile citrus fruit. It can be consumed to help aid weight loss, reduce lipids, decrease the risk of cancer, and decrease the risk of stroke, However, like all foods, it should be eaten in moderation. However, for people taking statins or other prescription drugs, grapefruit should be avoided.