13 Wonderful Benefits of Grapefruit

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

 Likes  Comments

The health benefits of grapefruits are many and nearly rival many other fruits. A glass of chilled grapefruit juice, especially in summer, helps boost levels of vitamin C in your body, which makes them a nutritious fruit amongst various citrus fruits. Grapefruits are packed with the benefits derived from various nutrients and vitamins, including potassium and lycopene. Along with these, they also contain calcium, sugar, and phosphorous. In terms of culinary value, these fruits are regularly included in breakfast as a refreshing and energizing start to the day.

What are Grapefruits?

Grapefruits are fruits that are high in fiber and low in calories (source: USDA), and they contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and the formation of tumors. Grapefruits increase the body’s metabolic rate, lower insulin levels, and give you a feeling of fullness. They assist the human body in fighting various conditions like fatigue, fever, malaria, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, urinary problems, excess acidity, and many more.

There are plenty of health benefits grapefruits have, which are also known to be powerful drug/poison eliminators. These fruits work as a natural antiseptic for external wounds and also function as a liver tonic. They contain a high amount of water, which helps in changing the complexion of the skin and increasing the body’s metabolic rate. The pulp and fiber of grapefruits have a healthy bulking action to our food intake, which aids in bowel movements and reduces the chances of colon cancer. Grapefruits also help to quench thirst and thus, reduce the burning sensation that arises during fever. The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the intake of grapefruit reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Watch Video: 6 Surprising Benefits Of Grapefruit

Health Benefits of Grapefruits

The health benefits of grapefruits are as follows:

Nutrition Facts

Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]88.06
Energy [kcal]42
Protein [g]0.77
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.14
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]10.66
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.6
Sugars, total [g]6.89
Calcium, Ca [mg]22
Iron, Fe [mg]0.08
Magnesium, Mg [mg]9
Phosphorus, P [mg]18
Potassium, K [mg]135
Sodium, Na [mg]0
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.07
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]31.2
Thiamin [mg]0.04
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.2
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.05
Folate, DFE [µg]13
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]58
Vitamin A, IU [IU]1150
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.13
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.02
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.02
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.04
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Suppress Appetite

Grapefruit is an excellent appetite suppressant as compared to many other foods. It is said that the smell of the grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger, which is the reason why people often include grapefruit in their weight loss programs. The high amounts of fiber in these fruits can also assist in satisfying hunger, help people avoid overeating, and stimulate cholecystokinin to be released, a hormone that regulates digestive juices and acts as a hunger suppressant. This relationship was reiterated in a study, published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Antioxidant Properties

Research published in the Comprehensive Natural Products 2010 says that the bitter properties arising from an essence called ‘naringin‘ in grapefruits tone up the system and the digestive process. It is thought that grapefruit is a valuable remedy for influenza since it helps minimize acidity in the system. Naringin is also considered a flavonoid, which is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants have antifungal, antibacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory qualities, making them one of the most important lines of defense in the immune system, protecting against influenza as well as many other serious conditions.

Helps Fight Malaria

The juice or grapefruit itself contains valuable and natural quinine, which is advantageous in the treatment of malaria, according to a study published in the Malaria Journal (Issue 2011). However, more research is still needed to confirm these results. Quinine is an alkaloid with a long history of reducing the symptoms of malaria, as well as lupus, arthritis, and nocturnal leg cramps. It is not an easy component to find in many foods, so grapefruits are a beneficial and rare example. The quinine can be easily extracted from the fruits by boiling a quarter of grapefruit and straining the pulp.

Reduce Fever

The pulp or the juice of grapefruit is thought to help patients recover quickly from fever, and reduce the burning sensation that occurs when the body reaches a high temperature. It is also known as a way to boost the immune system against cold and other common illnesses. Grapefruit juice, when combined with water, can quench thirst very quickly and keep you hydrated for longer. Most of these benefits come from the high content of vitamin C, which acts as a general immune system defense system and can help the body in fighting the fever.

A closeup view of whole and sliced grapefruits

Reduce Fatigue

Grapefruits are beneficial when facing fatigue, as they can help you dispel your tiredness caused by routine or boring work. Drinking grapefruit juice can be a refreshing and delicious way to quickly boost your energy levels. Researchers from Japan found that nootkatone is a very rare and important compound found within grapefruits. Nootkatone improves energy metabolism in the body through AMPK activation. This results in higher endurance and boosted energy, increased weight loss, and a reduction in the chances of developing diabetes.

Improves Digestion

Grapefruit is often useful for indigestion. It is very light as compared to other foods and thus, acts immediately on indigestion by easing the heat and irritation caused in the stomach. It improves the flow of digestive juices, which facilitates the movement of the bowels and keeps your excretory system regulated. It is thought that this is due to the presence of fiber and vegetative pulp in grapefruits, which adds bulk to the bowels and regulates excretion. Grapefruit extract is also often used in modern medicine for these same reasons.

Promote Sleep

In traditional medicine, it is considered that a glass of grapefruit juice, if consumed before going to bed, can promote healthy sleep and alleviate the irritating symptoms and repercussions of insomnia. This is due to the presence of tryptophan in grapefruits, the chemical we often associate with becoming sleepy after big meals. The levels of tryptophan in grapefruit juice enable us to nod off peacefully.

Control Diabetes

Despite being a fruit, diabetics can eat grapefruits without much concern, as they can reduce the level of starch in the body. Intake of grapefruits can help them regulate the flow of sugar in their body, effectively handling the disease. Recent studies published in the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa have shown this beneficial relationship between diabetes and grapefruits due to the flavonoid content of grapefruits, along with a number of other health benefits.

Reduce Acidity

Fresh grapefruit juice creates an alkaline condition in the intestines for proper digestion. The citric acid of the fruit is contained in the human body and thus it increases the efficiency of the alkalinity reaction after digestion. The juice extracted from grapefruits is beneficial in preventing acid formation and many other diseases that arise due to the presence of excess acidity in the body.

Eliminate Constipation

A glass full of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in the morning is a great remedy for constipation. The juice stimulates the colon and other parts of the body relating to the digestive system. This is due to the stimulating effect of fiber on the secretion and stimulation of gastric juices that ease the constriction of the digestive tract and induce a bowel movement.

Decrease Flatulence

Just 10 to 20 drops of grapefruit juice, taken before all three meals of the day, can work as an appropriate probiotic and digestive enzyme and will relieve excess flatulence and stomach discomfort. Further research needs to be done on the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon, but again, people believe it relates to flavonoid content in citrus fruits like grapefruits.

Health benefits of grapefruit - infographic

Give Relief from Urinary Disorders

Grapefruit juice is quite rich in potassium and vitamin C, so it is a viable solution for issues related to the urinary system often caused by liver, kidney, or heart problems.

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consumption of grapefruit can help reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), as well as hazardous triglycerides. Furthermore, its high potassium content works as a vasodilator, meaning that blood vessels and arteries relax, thereby reducing blood pressure and lessening the risk of heart attack and stroke. Also, increased levels of potassium have been associated with higher cognitive function because of increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain!

Other Benefits

Grapefruits are natural sources of medicine that help the body fight off various diseases. They enable the human body to regulate cholesterol, which means that they minimize the risk of cardiovascular diseases caused by high cholesterol.

Word of Caution: Despite all of these health benefits, you must exercise caution while taking medicines and consuming grapefruit juice at the same time. Certain chemicals in grapefruits, like naringin, and other less common compounds can negatively interact with various drugs and cause damage to your organ systems. Be sure to consult your doctor in terms of drug interactions with grapefruit juice in your diet before beginning any new treatment. You want to improve your health but sometimes doing it in too many different ways can hurt you!

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 1278 user(s).