Grapefruit is not only delicious — it's also nutritious! Half of a grapefruit — the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recommended serving size —comes in at just 60 calories and is packed with all kinds of good stuff, including more than half of most adults' daily vitamin C needs. It's also a great source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene. It's also made up of 91 percent water, which makes it one of the best fruits out there for hydration.
People taking certain medications shouldn't indulge in the sweetly tart citrus fruit (more info on that below), but everyone else should grab one of those special little serrated grapefruit spoons and get busy. Here are some ways the fruit can give your health a boost:
Stroke and Heart Disease Prevention
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), antioxidants called flavonoids found in citrus fruits — including grapefruit — may reduce your stroke risk. In a study of over 69,000 women, researchers found that those who consumed high amounts of flavanones (a type of flavonoid) in citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of blood clot-related stroke than those who ate low amounts. A 2015 study also found that people who ate large amounts of vegetables and fruit like grapefruit were 15 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who didn't. And finally, the potassium in grapefruit also helps control blood pressure, so it's safe to say your heart ♥s grapefruit.
Kidney Stone Prevention
The citric acid in grapefruit can benefit people who get kidney stones, according to the University of Wisconsin Health. It can protect against forming new ones and break up small stones as they're beginning to form.
Grapefruit is filled with folic acid, which studies have shown plays a role in cancer prevention —namely cancer of the pancreas, colon, and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. One particular study also found that a high folate intake was linked to a lower incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer.
According to the American Optometric Association, grapefruit is a good food source for vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties that may protect against the development and progression of cataracts.
One Word of Caution
While grapefruit juice and fresh grapefruit can be part of a healthy diet, the FDA warns against consuming it while taking certain prescription drugs, which include some types of blood pressure-lowering , anti-anxiety, anti-arrhythmia, or organ transplant rejection medications, as well as some antihistamines and statins. The juice can increase the drug absorption into the bloodstream, which could ultimately lead to liver damage or kidney failure. To be safe, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether or not it's safe for you to consume grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking certain prescriptions.