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Grapefruit is a big round citrus fruit with a bitter yellow rind and a juicy somewhat tart pale yellow, pink, or reddish pulp. [1]

Grapefruit History

The Start

America is the world’s biggest customer of grapefruit, with large commercial groves in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. But the grapefruit’s ancestor, the pummelo (likewise pomelo or shaddock), comes from far away– it’s belonging to Malaysia and Indonesia. Pummelo seeds were brought from the East Indies to the West Indies in 1693 by an English ship leader. The grapefruit might have been a horticultural accident or an intentional hybridization between the pummelo and the orange. The original grapefruit had to do with the size of an orange. It was originally called both “forbidden fruit,” and the “smaller shaddock,” after Captain Shaddock, who brought the seeds.

Grapefruit Comes To America

The grapefruit arrived in the U.S. in 1823, but it was not right away popular; the thick skin was unusual and an impediment. However the tree grew, and its name developed in English based upon how it grows: in grapelike clusters. In 1870, the big, golden clusters on a tree he passed drew in John A. MacDonald, who lived in Orange County, Florida. MacDonald established the first grapefruit nursery. Florida’s very first shipment of grapefruits to New york city and Philadelphia, in 1885, generated interest and assisted create the business grapefruit market. By the late 1800s, grapefruit trees were being cultivated in the southern part of Texas; by 1910 grapefruit had actually been successful in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, along with in Arizona and California. The pink grapefruit and other varieties were developed. In Jamaica, the grapefruit was crossbred with the tangerine to produce the ugli (which is undoubtedly awful), a sweeter fruit that the residents prefer. In 1929 a Texas citrus grower discovered an altered red grapefruit growing on a pink grapefruit tree, which became the Ruby Red cultivar. Clusters growing like grapes earned grapefruit its name. Grapefruit has actually been a family favorite in the U.S. since the 1940s. In the U.S., the peak season for grapefruit is October to June; Florida and Texas groves bear fruit beginning in October, and Arizona and California chime in January to June. Due to the fact that grapefruits are so popular, they are imported in the off-season. As with almost all products, industrial growers focus on developing fruits that are larger, more consistent in size, more attractive color and with less seeds. Regrettably, flavor is compromised to attain more industrial residential or commercial properties. The treasure ranges were far more delicious than today’s cultivars. If you can discover any, grab them up. [2]


The grapefruit tree grows to be as large and vigorous as an orange tree; a fully grown tree might be from 4.5 to 6 metres (15 to 20 feet) high. The foliage is extremely dense, with leaves dark and shiny green and almost glabrous (without plant hairs). Flowers are big and white, borne singly or in clusters in the axils of the leaves. The majority of varieties are yellow when ripe. The fruit varies from 100 to 150 mm (4 to 6 inches) in size, its size relying on the variety and upon growing conditions. Its pulp is usually light yellowish, tender, and extremely full of juice, with a distinct mildly acid flavour. A number of ranges have pink or red pulp. [3]

Grapefruit Nutrition Facts

Half grapefruit determining around 3 3/4″ in size (123g) supplies 52 calories, 0.9 g of protein, 13.2 g of carbohydrates, and 0.2 g of fat. Grapefruits are an exceptional source of vitamin C and vitamin A. The following nutrition details is provided by the USDA.1.

  • Calories: 52
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Salt: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2 g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 8.5 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Vitamin C: 38.4 mg
  • Vitamin A: 71.3 mcg


There are about 13 grams of carbohydrates in a half grapefruit. Most of the carb originates from naturally happening sugar (8.5 g). There are likewise 2 grams of fiber in a half grapefruit.

The glycemic load of half a grapefruit (with no added sugar or honey) is approximated to be 4.


There is practically no fat in grapefruit. One half of a medium grapefruit has around 0.2 g of fat.


There is less than one gram of protein in half a grapefruit.

Vitamins and Minerals

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, offering almost 64% of your daily needs in a single serving. It’s likewise an excellent source of beta carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), offering 28% of your day-to-day requirements.

Grapefruit supplies small amounts of particular minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. [4]

17 Health Advantages of Grapefruit according to Nutritionists

Grapefruit contains a lot of water

At about 92% water, grapefruit has one of the greatest water contents of any fruit. That makes it great for overall health.

” All of our body systems and process … need water,” Wesley Delbridge, RD, a Phoenix-based dietitian, tells Health. “Appropriate hydration makes your body more efficient in everything you’re doing.”.

About 20% of your everyday fluid intake in fact originates from food. So include some grapefruit to get closer to your everyday H2O goal and choose the heavier of 2 fruits of equivalent size: It has more juice.

Grapefruit might speed weight-loss

Numerous research studies have actually shown that individuals who eat half a fresh grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice before each meal lose more weight than people who do not.

Not all studies have actually revealed the same weight-loss benefit and researchers don’t know if the effect seen in the studies was specifically due to grapefruit– or filling up on a low-calorie food in general– however fruits and vegetables must always be part of your method to lose or keep weight.

What is 100% ironclad reality: Grapefruit provides a lot of nutrition and water for extremely couple of calories: there are just 39 calories in one half of a grapefruit. So it’s a great choice if you want to boost your consumption of high nutrient, low calorie foods.

Even the pith is good for you

When you peel away the external layer of a grapefruit, you may be lured to pick off the white flesh that is between you and the juicy fruit, and throw it away. This things is called pith. Don’t do it.

” That [pith] is very rich in antioxidants and nutrients and also soluble fiber which is going to help you feel fuller and effect your glucose responses,” states Delbridge.

While the pith of grapefruit can have more of a bitter taste than say, oranges, it deserves eating together with the fruit (if you can). Fiber is an advantage, and can help lower blood sugar level, cholesterol, and potentially even colon cancer danger.

Grapefruit can help lower “bad” cholesterol

A grapefruit a day may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 15.5%, according to a 2006 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In the study, researchers took a look at 57 patients ages 39 to 72 who had high cholesterol and had undergone coronary bypass for heart trouble. For one month, some ate a grapefruit day-to-day (either red or white) while others, the control group, did not. Grapefruit eaters, particularly those eating red, had a drop in bad cholesterol, while the control group did not.

This is fantastic news for your heart. LDL cholesterol is a kind of fat that can develop in your arteries and raise the threat for cardiac arrest and stroke. But if you are taking a cholesterol-lowering drug, don’t add a grapefruit for additional impact– the FDA provided a caution in 2012 about interactions with such medications.

Grapefruit may assist pump up your immune system

That’s because of the substantial dosage of vitamins A and C in each serving. “Vitamin C and A are big as far as immune enhancing,” says Delbridge.

Some research suggests that not having enough vitamin C (and other micronutrients) might in fact hurt your immune system, specifically if you’re senior.

Grapefruit may not prevent a cold but the vitamins inside might reduce your suffering or perhaps the period of a cold.

” There’s nothing else you can do for a cold so why not?” states Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, assistant director of the Fellowship in Integrative Medication at the University Of Arizona College Of Medication in Tucson.

Grapefruit can decrease triglyceride levels

There’s another factor grapefruit can be great for your heart: It decreases levels of triglycerides, another type of fat– like “bad” LDL cholesterol– which can quickly congest your arteries.

The exact same research study that discovered that including one grapefruit a day decreased cholesterol levels also discovered that this basic everyday regimen reduced triglycerides– by as much as 27%. This was in patients who already had coronary artery illness therefore were at high threat for cardiovascular disease and other issues.

Grapefruit can lower blood pressure

” Grapefruit has got some data that it reduces systolic high blood pressure, not by a lot– it’s normally about 5 points– however there’s definitely great information,” says Chiasson. And for the 70 million Americans who have hypertension, any drop in blood pressure is a great drop.

The effect on blood pressure may be due to grapefruit’s high potassium levels. Potassium reduces the effects of the unfavorable effects of sodium. (Here are 15 foods that are high in potassium.).

But again, do not eat grapefruit if you are already taking a blood-pressure lowering drug. Certain ones, such as Procardia and Adalat CC (both are from the generic nifedipine), can be unsafe when combined with grapefruit, according to the FDA.

The redder, the much better

All the grapefruit colors are loaded with goodness, vitamins, and nutrients however the red and pink ones featured a little additional.

” They have a higher antioxidant level, specifically beta carotene,” says Delbridge. “They also have lycopene, another antioxidant.”.

Lycopene is one of a group of carotenoids or pigments that provides hued grapefruit (and other vegetables and fruits) their color. Consuming diets rich in carotenoids might decrease the threat of heart problem and some cancers.

Anti-oxidants in general might play a crucial role in preventing cancer.

Grapefruit may help manage blood sugar

Grapefruit also has a low glycemic index (GI), around 25, which indicates it doesn’t raise blood sugar as quickly or as much as high-GI foods like white bagel (72) or perhaps a banana (48) or watermelon (72 ). (The highest GI rating is 100.).

A 2006 research study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found that individuals who consumed grapefruit (juice or half a fruit) before a meal had a lower spike in insulin two hours later than those taking a placebo, and fresh grapefruit was connected with less insulin resistance. All 91 patients in the 12-week study were obese, however they did not necessarily have type 2 diabetes.

While the results are assuring in those without diabetes, blood-sugar reactions to food can differ extensively, so if you have been identified with type 2 diabetes, test your blood sugar level after eating grapefruit to make sure it can be part of your healthy consuming strategy.

The fruit is better than the juice

Grapefruit juice has a lot of benefits, but the standard fruit itself is going to offer you more bang for your buck when it pertains to nutrition and health benefits.

” When you take juice, you’re getting a few of the nutrients however you’re losing all the fiber,” says Delbridge. “Grapefruit juice is excellent but at the end of the day, the whole fruit has pectin and skin and all the parts of it.”.

Grapefruit juice can likewise increase your blood sugar level more than the fruit itself. If you choose juice of any kind, Delbridge advises not drinking more than 6 ounces a day and going only for 100% juice items that don’t have sugarcoated.

Grapefruit may speed injury healing

Vitamin C assists form healthy scar tissue and new members vessels, both of which help return your body to a healthy state. A grapefruit contains about 72 mg of vitamin C, which is 120% of the everyday value.

Vitamin C accelerate injury healing post surgically,” says Chiasson. “I inform people to take 500 milligrams of vitamin C before they enter into surgical treatment.”.

Constantly ask your medical professional prior to adding vitamins, minerals, or any natural supplements to your daily program, specifically if you will have surgery. In this case, that chooses grapefruit too, provided its capability to impact the metabolic process of certain drugs.

Grapefruit may even help prevent cancer

A big study conducted in Japan found that people who ate citrus (consisting of grapefruit) throughout the week had a lower risk of establishing cancer, specifically prostate and pancreatic, compared to the total group of individuals.

The effect was enhanced among those who also consumed a lot green tea.

The authors speculate that compounds in citrus fruits lower swelling and stop cancer cells from multiplying. They may likewise assist repair damaged DNA, which contributes to the development of tumors.

The fiber in grapefruit might also assist avoid colorectal cancer while fruits high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is in pink and red grapefruit, may decrease the danger of esophageal cancer.

They can be stored in your fridge, or on the shelf

Grapefruit can be stored in your refrigerator for as long as 3 weeks however they launch their best flavor when kept at space temperature. If you prepare to consume them within a week, leave them on a counter or table.

There’s an added benefit to keeping them in plain view.

” The increased exposure helps you remind yourself that you need to eat them,” states Delbridge. “Research studies reveal that when you put vegetables and fruits out in a bowl or typical area of the house, you will consume more.”.

If you don’t think you will eat the grapefruit for 2 or 3 weeks, tuck them in the fridge however ensure they’re at room temperature before you in fact dig in. This will offer you maximum flavor.

You can make a meal out of grapefruit

Grapefruit is usually related to breakfast, however don’t let that limitation your imagination.

Grapefruit is also incredibly in salads and with fish or chicken. In fact, it’s best when paired with protein and a little fat, like a handful of walnuts.

” If it’s paired with proteins and fats, it will postpone your stomach emptying so you’ll feel complete longer,” states Delbridge. The fiber, too, keeps you feeling fuller longer.

Grapefruit may have more vitamin A than an orange

One-half of one grapefruit contains 28% of your day-to-day worth of vitamin A (based on a 2000-calorie day-to-day intake), or far more than the 4% in oranges, says Delbridge. This first vitamin in the alphabet is good for your eyes, not to mention your heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs.

What’s more, you also get 64% of your vitamin C, 8% of your fiber, a little bit of calcium (3%) and iron (1%), and you begin to understand why it’s called a superfood. (For more comparisons, read “12 Foods That Have More Vitamin C Than an Orange.”) Why consume a half a grapefruit when you can eat an entire one?

You can consume it in beer type

If you discover the fruit itself to be too tart, try a grapefruit-flavored drink: There are a bevy of products– consisting of grapefruit-flavored beer– that might be more palatable to you.

Since citrus sets well with beer, there are a lot of orange and lemon flavored beers, but grapefruit is the a newer flavor in the developing world: A few examples include Pink Fuzz, Grapefruit Shandy, and Turtle Power Grapefruit Pale Ale.

The fragrance alone can offer you a boost

Citrus fragrances are becoming more popular in aromatherapy for a reason. “Citrus is actually fantastic for increased energy and vitality,” says Chiasson. “It will wake people up.”.

Not all aromatherapy is breathed in. You can likewise rub a vital oil on your skin, which permits you to feel it and inhale it at the same time. Grapefruit aromatherapy may even function as a natural skin toner, states Chiasson. [5]

How to Prepare Grapefruit

People frequently enjoy grapefruit by itself rather than in dishes or meals.

To consume a fresh grapefruit, first cut the fruit in half. Then, utilizing a spoon, dig the fleshy triangles of fruit out of the rind, preventing the bitter walls nestled between littles fruit. Grapefruit can have a sharp, tasty taste to it– spraying a little sugar on it can cut the bite and make it taste better.

For other ways to add grapefruit into your diet, think about:.

  1. Freezing grapefruit chunks and adding them into smoothies
  2. Making grapefruit salsa as an accompaniment for fish
  3. Including grapefruit to a salad as a healthy alternative to salad dressing
  4. Making a quinoa bowl with grapefruit and avocado

Dosage of grapefruit

There is no typical dose.

More than 4 glasses juice daily for pharmacologic effects, or 1-9 glasses daily, or 240 ml of double-strength juice two times daily.

Dosing Considerations– Ought To be Offered as Follows:.

Ventricular and Supraventricular Arrhythmias.

Betapace or Sorine: 80 mg orally every 12 hours initially; increased as required to 120-160 mg every 12 hours (2-3 days in between increments).

Intravenous (substitute for oral): 75 mg over 5 hour every 12 hours initially; changed if needed (on basis of monitoring of scientific effectiveness, quarterly period, and adverse impacts) every 3 days; not to go beyond 150 mg every 12 hours. [7]

How grapefruit juice can interfere with medications

With most drugs that are impacted by grapefruit juice, “the juice lets more of the drug enter the blood,” states Shiew Mei Huang, Ph.D., of the FDA. “When there is excessive drug in the blood, you might have more side effects.”.

For instance, if you drink a lot of grapefruit juice while taking specific statin drugs to lower cholesterol, excessive of the drug might stay in your body, increasing your danger for liver and muscle damage that can result in kidney failure.

Many drugs are broken down (metabolized) with the help of a crucial enzyme called CYP3A4 in the small intestine. Grapefruit juice can block the action of digestive CYP3A4, so instead of being metabolized, more of the drug goes into the blood and stays in the body longer. The result: too much drug in your body.

The amount of the CYP3A4 enzyme in the intestinal tract differs from person to person. Some people have a great deal of this enzyme and others just a little. So grapefruit juice may impact people differently even when they take the very same drug.

Although researchers have actually understood for a number of years that grapefruit juice can trigger excessive of specific drugs in the body, more current research studies have actually discovered that the juice has the opposite result on a few other drugs.

” Grapefruit juice can cause less fexofenadine to go into the blood,” decreasing how well the drug works, Huang states. Fexofenadine (brand Allegra) is available as both prescription and OTC to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies. Fexofenadine might also not work too if taken with orange or apple juice, so the drug label states, “Do not take with fruit juices.”.

Why this opposite result? Instead of changing metabolic process, grapefruit juice can affect proteins in the body referred to as drug transporters, some of which help move a drug into our cells for absorption. As a result, less of the drug goes into the blood and the drug may not work as well, Huang states.

How Grapefruit Juice Impacts Some Drugs

When drugs are swallowed, they might be broken down (metabolized) by enzymes and/or taken in utilizing transporters in cells discovered in the small intestine. Grapefruit juice can trigger problems with these enzymes and transporters, causing too much or too little drug in the body.

Some drugs, like specific statins utilized to lower cholesterol, are broken down by enzymes. As revealed above, grapefruit juice can obstruct the action of these enzymes, increasing the amount of drug in the body and may cause more side effects.

Other drugs, like fexofenadine, are moved by transporters into the body’s cells. As shown above, grapefruit juice can obstruct the action of transporters, decreasing the amount of drug in the body and might cause the drug to not work too. [8]

What adverse effects are possible?

Side effects can vary based upon the interacting drug and possible adverse effects.

Negative effects can range from unusual heart rhythms, stomach bleeding, muscle pain, muscle breakdown, kidney damage, low high blood pressure, trouble breathing, sedation, and dizziness.

Other responses might happen– it depends on the drug and the levels of the drug in the blood.

If you have actually been cautioned about a possible drug interaction with grapefruit, ask your doctor to explain the possible negative effects and discover how to recognize it. [9]
Grapefruit’s culprit chemical does not interact straight with your pills. Instead, it binds to an enzyme in your digestive tract referred to as CYP3A4, which reduces the absorption of specific medications. When grapefruit juice blocks the enzyme, it’s much easier for the medication to pass from your gut to your bloodstream. Blood levels will increase faster and higher than normal, and in some cases the unusually high levels can be harmful. [10]


Grapefruit hinders proteins in the small intestine and liver that normally break down lots of medications.

Consuming grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking these medications can lead to greater levels of them in your blood– and more side effects.

With some drugs, with even small amounts of grapefruit can trigger severe adverse effects. Therefore, the combination should be prevented.

Your pharmacy might mark these drugs with a grapefruit interaction caution.

Make certain your doctor and pharmacist know if you frequently take in grapefruit. They can help you decide whether it’s safe to consume it while on certain medications. [11]


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