Grapefruit Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Grapefruit is a hybrid of the orange and the pummelo that originated in Barbados in the 18th century. Today, you can find this subtropical citrus fruit year-round in most grocery stores. The inside may be white, pink, or ruby. The bright yellow skin can range from relatively thin to thick.

Many people eat halved grapefruit raw and dusted with sugar or honey. But it can also be grilled, broiled, or served as a dessert in various recipes. Grapefruit can be added to salads, salsas, or sliced and used to top fish. Because it is low in calories and a good source of fiber and vitamin C, grapefruit can be a brilliant addition to your diet.

Grapefruit Nutrition Facts

One-half grapefruit measuring approximately 3 3/4" in diameter (123g) provides 52 calories, 0.9g of protein, 13.2g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 52
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 8.5g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Vitamin C: 38.4mg
  • Vitamin A: 71.3mcg


There are about 13 grams of carbs in a half grapefruit. Most of the carbohydrate comes from naturally occurring sugar (8.5g). There are also 2 grams of fiber in a half grapefruit.

The glycemic load of half a grapefruit (without any added sugar or honey) is estimated to be 4.


There is almost no fat in grapefruit. One half of a medium grapefruit has approximately 0.2g of fat.


There is less than one gram of protein in half a grapefruit.

Vitamins and Minerals

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing nearly 64% of your daily needs in a single serving. It's also an excellent source of beta carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), providing 28% of your daily needs.

Grapefruit provides small amounts of certain minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Health Benefits

The vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber in grapefruit provide several health benefits.

Supports Wound Healing

Vitamin C is necessary for wound healing in the body. Animal and human studies have shown that tissue repair and wound repair happen faster with vitamin C supplementation. But researchers are not sure if this benefit applies only to those who are deficient in the vitamin.

Promotes Eye Health

Vitamin A, provided by grapefruit in the precursor form of beta carotene, is necessary for normal vision. Vitamin A may also play a role in managing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies have shown that taking supplements containing vitamin A, vitamin C, and other nutrients can reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD by 25%.

Other experts have investigated dietary sources of crucial nutrients essential for eye health. One published study listed grapefruit and grapefruit juice as key nutritional sources.

May Help Prevent Cancer

Pink grapefruit contains the antioxidant lycopene, which gives it its beautiful pink hue. A 2015 study suggested that a lycopene-rich diet may decrease prostate cancer risk.

Grapefruit provides vitamin C, and the topic of vitamin C and cancer prevention has been hotly debated. Researchers are not sure if vitamin C supplements or consuming more vitamin C foods can provide this benefit.

Supports Heart Heath

Research has shown that eating grapefruit is associated with lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol and higher HDL ("good") cholesterol levels in the blood. It may also help to lower blood pressure in overweight adults.

Researchers who study cardiovascular risk disease factors have investigated grapefruit consumption along with the intake of other fruits like blueberries, pomegranate, and apples.

In a published review, study authors concluded that other fruits were associated with more significant benefits concerning heart health. Still, in general, fruit consumption is likely to help modulate related conditions such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and overweight/obesity.

Reduces Inflammation

Grapefruits contain flavanones, which are a subclass of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and neuroprotective activities.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit

  • Supports wound healing
  • Promotes eye health
  • May help prevent cancer
  • Supports heart health
  • Reduces inflammation


There are reports of citrus allergy, but the condition is considered to be uncommon. Grapefruit allergies are possible but unlikely. But if you have a citrus allergy, you should avoid grapefruit.

Adverse Effects

You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice if you take lipid-lowering (cholesterol-lowering) medications called statins. These may include medications such as Zocor (simvastatin) or Lipitor (atorvastatin).

Compounds found in grapefruit can interact with the enzymes in your intestines that help your body absorb some types of statins. The interference can affect the levels of statin medications in your blood.

Medication Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can also interfere with other prescription and over-the-counter medications. Grapefruit may be contraindicated with medications such as antihistamines, thyroid replacement drugs, birth control, stomach acid-blocking drugs, and the cough suppressant dextromethorphan.

Additionally, blood pressure medications Procardia and Adalat CC (both nifedipine) may interact with grapefruit. Anti-anxiety drugs such as buspirone, corticosteroids, and certain organ-transplant rejection drugs may also become less effective if you consume grapefruit.

Ingesting grapefruit with these medications can cause the body to metabolize the medicines abnormally. If you take any medications, ask your doctor if making grapefruit a regular part of your diet is safe.

If you take medications, be sure to speak to your doctor before consuming grapefruit or any grapefruit-containing products. Grapefruit is contraindicated with several medications, in part because it increases metabolization—which can lead to improper dosing.


Grapefruit varieties include pink, white, or ruby red. Ruby red is the most common and easy to find. These grapefruits are known for their milder taste and bright red interior color.

Pink grapefruit is also common but not as sweet. White grapefruit has a pale, yellow color outside and a pinkish, whitish inside. White grapefruits produce the finest juice. Regarding calories and macronutrients, the nutrition profiles are similar for grapefruits of any hue.

When It’s Best

Grapefruit season runs from October through June. But you can find grapefruit in most grocery stores year-round.

When shopping, look for grapefruit with no green color left outside. Avoid fruit that has soft spots or soggy areas. Skip grapefruits that have rough or wrinkled skin.

As a general rule of thumb, a grapefruit that feels heavy for its size will be juicy. As you hold the grapefruit in your hand, it should feel heavier than it looks. It's believed that the antioxidant content of citrus fruit increases as it ripens, so choosing a fully ripe grapefruit is ideal.

Storage and Food Safety

If you plan on eating your grapefruit right away, leave it out at room temperature. If you're saving it later, storing grapefruit in the refrigerator is OK.

Place the fruit in a plastic bag in the crisper compartment. Refrigerated, whole grapefruit can stay fresh for up to six weeks.

You can freeze grapefruit, but it is best to remove the fruit sections and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container rather than freezing the whole fruit. Frozen grapefruit should stay good for up to a year if properly frozen.

Like many citrus fruit rinds, grapefruit peel is safe to consume. It even contains some fiber and other nutrients. You'll want to wash the fruit before consumption as it may contain bacteria or debris. Rinse the fruit with cold water and brush the outside with a vegetable brush.

How to Prepare

Grapefruit makes a great snack or part of a meal. If you pair the fruit with a protein-rich side such as yogurt or a small handful of nuts, you can make a more filling snack.

The easiest way to eat is to dig in with a spoon, but you can also use grapefruit to add flavor, texture, and color to sweet and savory recipes. Try pairing grapefruit with greens for a refreshing citrus salad, or chop up some grapefruit sections to make a sweet, tart relish for meats.

Grapefruit Serving Suggestions

  • Add grapefruit segments to salad.
  • Serve grapefruit with fresh herbs on grilled fish.
  • Blend and freeze grapefruit into popsicles.
  • Chop grapefruit into grain-based dishes such as couscous, rice pilaf, or quinoa.
  • Serve layered with sliced beets and toasted almonds.

Many recipes combine heart-healthy avocado with ruby-red grapefruit. The pairing is beautiful to look at and nutritious. It's also delicious, as the creaminess of the avocado mixes perfectly with the sweet, sour flavor of the grapefruit.

15 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, counseling patients with diabetes. Barbie was previously the Advanced Nutrition Coordinator for the Mount Sinai Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance and worked in pediatric endocrinology at The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.