4 Healthy Reasons to Dig Into a Grapefruit

Bring on the nutrients!

More From Healthy Habits
20 articles
salt increases nighttime peeing
Eating Less Salt Might Help You Sleep Easier
misty copeland
What Ballet Dancer Misty Copeland Eats in a Day
celeb healthy eating
26 Healthy Eating Secrets From Your Fave Celebs

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.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

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.

More From Healthy Habits
20 articles
salt increases nighttime peeing
Eating Less Salt Might Help You Sleep Easier
misty copeland
What Ballet Dancer Misty Copeland Eats in a Day
celeb healthy eating
26 Healthy Eating Secrets From Your Fave Celebs
carrie underwood son workout
Carrie Underwood Just Got the Cutest Workout Buddy
ways to sleep
20 Ways to Improve Your Sleep

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.

Cancer Prevention

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.

Eye Health

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.

More from Dr Oz The Good Life: