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5 Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a large citrus fruit that is known for its sweet and sour taste that many people describe as bittersweet. Grapefruit resulted as a cross between a pomelo and an orange, where it originated as an accidental hybrid.1 Grapefruit got its name because it grows in clusters, similar to grapes.
Aside from its unique, delicious taste, grapefruit provides many health benefits. Here are 5 health benefits of grapefruit that you can get from adding this fruit into your diet.
Grapefruit is Loaded with Nutrients
One of the health benefits of grapefruit is that it contains nutrients and antioxidants that can improve your overall health.
Here are some of the nutrients found in one medium-sized grapefruit:
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C aids the body in many ways, from collagen production to lower blood pressure to preventing iron deficiency.2 One half of a grapefruit contains almost half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults.
- Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports vision health, the immune system, and reproductive health.3
- Potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte that is involved in many body processes, from heart function to muscle contraction to nerve transmission.4
- Fiber. Grapefruit is high in fiber. Half of a grapefruit contains 2 grams of fiber and the recommended daily intake is 25 grams. Fiber supports digestion and lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease.5
- Antioxidants and Phytochemicals. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation in the body. Phytochemicals have been found to help improve blood pressure. Multiple studies suggest a link between the antioxidants and phytochemicals found in grapefruit and a decreased risk of cancer.3
Grapefruit is Hydrating
There’s about four ounces of water in just one half of a medium-sized grapefruit, which is close to 90% of its weight. Consuming four ounces is about half a glass of water.
Grapefruit Can Boost Immunity
As with many citrus fruits, grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C which has been proven to boost the immune system. Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial, all of which help your cells fight off viruses.8
Grapefruit also contains zinc, which is known to be an immune system booster.9 In one study, researchers concluded that the intake of zinc and vitamin C shortened the durations of respiratory infections, including the common cold.10
Grapefruit Aids in Healthy Skin
The vitamin C that grapefruit contains is essential for collagen production. Collagen is a protein that aids in skin health and helps with healing wounds.11 Vitamin C also allows the body to replenish hyaluronic acid, which enables you to produce more collagen. This chain reaction keeps the skin youthful and healthy.
Exposing your skin to the sun produces free radicals, which can cause tissue damage to the skin. However, vitamin C is an antioxidant that works to remove free radicals and can ultimately help protect the skin against sun damage and signs of aging.13
Grapefruit May Improve Heart Health
Many of the nutrients in grapefruit can aid in heart health.
The American Heart Association recommends that people increase their daily intake of potassium, as it can prevent high blood pressure and health concerns, such as heart attack and heart failure, that come with it.14 One small grapefruit alone contains 278 milligrams of potassium, which is about 6% of an individual’s daily recommended potassium.1
Grapefruit is free of cholesterol and saturated fat, which makes it a healthy snack for the heart. Phytonutrients found in grapefruit, including carotenoids and polyphenols, also support heart health.15
How to Add Grapefruit Into Your Diet
Although most people enjoy grapefruit simply by cutting it in half and eating it by itself, there are many recipes that incorporate this fruit. Here are some ideas to add grapefruit into your meals:
- Eat half or a whole grapefruit as a snack
- Add grapefruit slices to your yogurt or make a yogurt parfait
- Make grapefruit muffins
- Make a jam or glaze with grapefruit
- Slice grapefruit and add it to a salad
- Try fresh grapefruit juice
- Add grapefruit to your water or lemonade
- Broil grapefruit and top it with yogurt, honey, and cinnamon for a sweet treat
- Make a fruit salad and include grapefruit
- Try fresh grapefruit sorbet or popsicles
- Make grapefruit bars with a shortbread crust
- Make grapefruit scones
Try Grapefruit Today
Now that you know some of the best health benefits of grapefruit, try adding some to your diet today!
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary departments work hard to provide our residents with appetizing and nutritious food options to meet their needs. To learn more about what we do, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Ware, Megan. “Why is grapefruit good for you?” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. November 7th, 2019. Accessed February 1st, 2022. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280882.
- “5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Vitamin C.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. September 4th, 2020. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/5-vitamin-c-benefits.
- Howley, Elaine. “Grapefruit Nutrition Facts.” U.S. News, health.usnews.com. January 30th, 2020. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/grapefruit-nutrition-facts.
- “Potassium.” The President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/#:~:text=Potassium%20is%20an%20essential%20mineral,foods%20and%20as%20a%20supplement.
- “Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic. January 6th, 2021. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983.
- Elliott, Brianna. “10 Science-Based Benefits of Grapefruit.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. February 18th, 2017. Accessed February 1st, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-grapefruit.
- “How Hydration Affects Your Health.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. April 17th, 2021. Accessed February 1st, 2022. https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/how-hydration-affects-health.
- “Health Benefits of Grapefruit.” WebMD, webmd.com. September 9th, 2020. Accessed February 1st, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-grapefruit#:~:text=Like%20many%20citrus%20fruits%2C%20grapefruit,spend%20sick%20to%20a%20minimum.
- Welch, Hailey. “Eat Grapefruit To Protect Your Immune System & Lower Risk of Disease.” The Beet, thebeet.com. January 15th, 2021. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://thebeet.com/eat-grapefruit-regularly-to-protect-your-immune-system-lower-risk-of-disease/.
- “Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions.” National Library of Medicine, pubmed.gov. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373990/.
- “How Collagen Impacts Your Body.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. August 20th, 2021. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/collagen-health-benefits.
- “Benefits of Vitamin C.” Waxhead Sun Defense, gowaxhead.com. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://gowaxhead.com/blogs/the-thrive-lab/benefits-of-vitamin-c.
- Keogh, Joey. “The Surprising Effects Of Grapefruit For Your Skin.” Static Media, The List. February 7th, 2020. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://www.thelist.com/187421/the-surprising-effects-of-grapefruit-for-your-skin/.
- “A Primer on Potassium.” American Heart Association, heart.org. May 25th, 2018. Accessed February 1st, 2022. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/potassium.
- “Heart Health and Florida Grapefruit.” Florida Department of Citrus, floridacitrus.org. Accessed February 2nd, 2022. https://www.floridacitrus.org/grapefruit/health-nutrition/grapefruit-health-nutrition/heart-health-and-florida-grapefruit/#:~:text=Phytonutrients%20found%20in%20grapefruit%20and,%2C%20and%20chocolate%20(flavanols).