Grapefruit: Benefits and Myths

By Julia Bauer
A bunch of grapefruit slices

Grapefruit might not be everyone’s first choice when grabbing a snack because of its tart and bittersweet flavor. However, there is more to it than its taste. A juicy, red grapefruit is full of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, too. Grapefruit has many benefits, but there are also some myths associated with the fruit.

Grapefruit benefits

A serving size of grapefruit, which is one half of a medium grapefruit, is only 41 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As a member of the citrus fruit family, it is full of vitamin C. In fact, it contains about half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Vitamin C helps maintain your bones and skin health, and it supports the immune system, according to Medical News Today.

The layer surrounding each section of grapefruit, known as the membrane, is a prebiotic and is good for healthy gut bacteria, according to the AHA. It is also full of pectin, which is a type of fiber that can help lower bad cholesterol.

Grapefruits stand out as members of the citrus family because they are full of vitamin A unlike other citrus fruits. As noted by Johns Hopkins Medicine, one grapefruit can contain up to 50% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A, which impacts eye health and provides immune system support.

Grapefruit myths

Trendy diets might claim that eating grapefruit burns belly fat, but this is a myth, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. It does not increase your metabolism. Also, grapefruit – and other foods – cannot spot-reduce fat in the stomach.

However, grapefruit can make you feel more hydrated and satiated because of its low-calorie content. Incorporating grapefruit and other healthy foods into your diet and exercising can lead to weight loss if you are in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume).

Although it doesn’t target stubborn fat like some diets may claim, grapefruit is low calorie and full of many of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. It is a unique member of the citrus family, so you might want to make it a staple member of your fruit bowl!

Grapefruit may interact with some drugs, like drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, corticosteroids and more. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about your prescription before consuming grapefruit. More drugs that grapefruit may potentially interact with can be found at

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