boost your healthspan with food and nutrition

6 reasons to eat grapefruit

6 reasons to eat grapefruit

Need a break from holiday food overload? Think grapefruit.

  1. Tangy and refreshing
  2. Not too sweet
  3. Loaded with nutrients
  4. Easy on the calories
  5. In season (in Northern Hemisphere), so at peak of quality
  6. Keeps well


The table compares a few key nutrients in red and white grapefruit. Protein and fat are negligible; vitamin D, B12 and E are not present. Grapefruit has small amounts of other B vitamins and minerals, but none are as significant as vitamin C. As you can see, red grapefruit has some vitamin A content (from the carotenoid lycopene).

1/2 grapefruitcaloriesfibervitamin Cpotassiumvitamin A*
red371.4 grams46 mg156 mg16 mcg
white381.3 grams44 mg177 mg0 mcg

*the official vitamin A measurement unit is now Retinol Activity Equivalents.

Enjoying Grapefruit

Grapefruit is ready-to-eat, and doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Eat it right out of the rind, with a serrated grapefruit spoon, or cut around the edges of each section with a grapefruit knife. It’s more laborious, but worth the effort, because it minimizes juice squirting off in all directions when you dig a spoon in.

You might think of grapefruit as a breakfast food, but it’s great at any time, and might be a good evening or afternoon snack, to shut off sweets cravings. I think of it as a stand-alone fruit. You probably wouldn’t put grapefruit sections on your oatmeal or in yogurt. Grapefruit juice might be a bit much in a smoothie, but it’s nice and refreshing on its own.

The only drawback (for me anyway) is the astringent effect on teeth and gums. People with sensitive teeth might want to rinse with water after eating grapefruit. Or eat them less often.

Embrace the Sour

One thing I do not recommend is adding a sweetener. I know some people have a habit of drizzling their grapefruit with honey or sugar (or artificial sweetener! GAH! No!). Grapefruit is tangy; learn to appreciate that. If you’re trying to cut back on sugary foods, grapefruit is a great learning experience.

Related Posts

Back to Orange Juice

Back to Orange Juice

My childhood breakfast menu might have varied from cold cereal to eggs to oatmeal, but one item was a daily fixture: orange juice. My mom made a jug of juice every morning from concentrate. In the mid-20th century, real juice was the norm. No added […]

Kiwifruit to the rescue

Kiwifruit to the rescue

Fresh fruit can be so disappointing! In season, and preferable local, fresh fruit is usually wonderful — flavorful and juicy, with a nice texture. Out of season fresh fruit is another matter. It’s bred to withstand long distance shipping and longterm storage. It never gets […]