People around the world are turning to juice for their daily fruit and nutrient intake. While juice alone isn’t enough to keep you healthy, it can be a way to incorporate healthy options to your diet .
Grapefruit juice, a fantastic tropical juice high in antioxidants, known for its distinctively sweet and sour taste is yet another example of people capitalizing on pulverizing their favorite (or maybe not so favorite) fruit into an appetizing drink.
So we decided to look into this juice in detail, finding out what the juice can actually do for you, whether there are any downsides to drinking the juice, and which brands are the best to buy. Keep reading to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about grapefruit juice.
What Is in Grapefruit Juice?
The grapefruit was created in the 18th century when a pomelo and an orange were crossed. The fruit was found to be filled with a range of incredibly beneficial nutrients.
Before we get into the health benefits of a cup of this juice, here is the nutritional breakdown of an average-sized grapefruit.
- Calories: 52
- Carbs: 13 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Folate: 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 3% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Protein: 1 g
- Thiamine: 4% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 28% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 64% of the RDI
Note that RDI stands for “recommended daily intake”, which are recommendations established by the FDA for the average healthy American.
The Health Benefits of Grapefruit
With this nutritional profile, what kind of benefits can you expect from grapefruit juice?
1. Grapefruit Juice is Low in Calories
The average glass of grapefruit juice only has around 96 calories. Compared to other fruit juices, this is impressively low. Orange juice, for instance, has around 110 calories, pineapple juice checks in at 133 calories, and mango juice has around 128 calories.
Grapefruit juice also has a good amount of fiber, minerals, and nutrients. This means you can drink a few glasses of the juice without having to worry about gaining weight or surpassing your daily calorie count.
2. Grapefruit Juice is Packed with Nutrients and Vitamins
The Vitamin C content of grapefruit juice is extremely impressive. This is likely due to the fact that the fruit was originally a combination of orange and pomelo, both of which are quite high in Vitamin C. With 128% of the RDI of Vitamin C, in one medium grapefruit, and over 150% in a glass of grapefruit juice, you will get a huge boost from this fruit.
The Vitamin A content is also quite high at 28%. Grapefruit juice is far superior to orange juice in this regard, as orange juice only has only 9.9%.
3. Grapefruit Juice Contains Many Powerful Antioxidants
With its high Vitamin C content, grapefruit juice is widely known to be great for boosting the immune system. Vitamin C has been shown to have antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and from bacteria and viruses.
Additionally, grapefruit contains Vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, and flavanones. These various antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, their ability to prevent certain types of cancer, and their ability to prevent certain eye conditions.
Lastly, although small grapefruit contains B vitamins, zinc, copper, and iron. These all contribute to further boost the immune system and guard against illness.
4. Grapefruit Juice May Help Control Your Appetite
If you struggle with an unpredictable appetite, this juice may be able to help. This is because of its relatively high fiber content.
Fiber is responsible for sending signals to the brain that you are full and don’t need to continue eating. Some fruit juices are low in fiber, confusing the brain into feeling hungry. This can result in problems with digestion.
With grapefruit juice, you don’t have to worry about overdrinking or overeating. But it’s still important to drink grapefruit juice with pulp to make sure you are not losing out on the fiber content of the fruit. Going without essentially nullifies this health benefit.
5. Grapefruit Juice May Help You Lose Weight
If you’re trying to lose weight this juice may help. First, the high fiber content reduces appetite and calorie intake. Second, it is low in calories and high in water. Grapefruits are made of about 88% water. You therefore can expect plenty of hydration from a glass of the juice. Third and lastly, grapefruits have a lot of electrolyte minerals like potassium that will help rehydrate your body. Potassium is particularly great for replenishing the electrolytes you may have lost through sweating after a hard workout.
It’s important to note that these weight loss results are only possible if you consume grapefruit and grapefruit juice as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.
6. Grapefruit Juice is Good for Your Immune System
Grapefruit juice is widely known to be great for boosting the immune system. This is all thanks to its high Vitamin C content. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage. They also help protect you from bacteria and viruses.
Grapefruit juice also has small amounts of B vitamins, copper, iron, and zinc. These can further boost your immune system and protect you from illness.
7. Grapefruit Juice May Help Prevent Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the way the body initiates and regulates metabolism and the breakdown of food by controlling blood sugar levels.
Some studies have shown that eating grapefruit can help prevent insulin resistance in some patients. This study for example, shows subjects with some levels of insulin resistance have lower insulin levels after eating half a grapefruit each morning.
While grapefruit juice hasn’t been studied as much as whole grapefruits, it does seem that the juice can help people with insulin resistance and it may reduce the risk of diabetes.
8. Grapefruit Juice May Improve Your Heart Health
Grapefruit has been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol levels, thus improving blood flow and reducing the risk of heart disease.
9. Grapefruit Juice May Help Prevent Kidney Stones
While studies aren’t entirely conclusive, it seems that grapefruits can reduce the risk of kidney stones. Kidney stones develop when waste builds up in the kidneys and become crystallized. There is citric acid in grapefruit juice, which has been shown to help to flush out any calcium in the kidneys, thus preventing kidney stones.
What are the Downsides of Grapefruit Juice?
Grapefruit juice has many impressive health benefits, but there area few ways where it can actually do more harm than good.
1. Grapefruit Juice Can Make You Gain Weight
While we have covered how grapefruit juice can help you lose weight and prevent diabetes, some grapefruit juices are heavily sweetened and contain many more calories than you would find with pure grapefruit juice. It would be beneficial to purchase high quality juice that is 100% juice with no fillers, to avoid weight gain and excessive sugar intake. You can sweeten with sugar alternatives as this will be quite tart.
2. Grapefruit Juice Can Give You a Heartburn
Grapefruit juice is highly acidic and can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken, allowing stomach acid to flow back up the esophagus. You may experience symptoms like burning sensations and chest pains if you drink grapefruit juice excessively.
3. Grapefruit Juice Can Lead to Erosion Of Tooth Enamel
Grapefruit juice is so acidic that it can also be fairly harmful to your teeth. It can cause the protective enamel of your teeth to erode.
Medical professionals recommend using a straw to protect your teeth while drinking this juice. Rinsing your mouth with water or even a water/baking soda solution can also help to prevent erosion from drinking grapefruit juice.
FAQs about Grapefruit Juice
Still have some unanswered questions about grapefruit juice? Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this drink.
Is it okay to drink grapefruit juice everyday?
If you plan on consuming grapefruit juice every day, you should make sure you select a pure form of the juice that doesn’t contain added sugars. This will help avoid weight gain and blood sugar spikes. Try to limit your intake to 6 ounces a day to make sure you are not consuming too many calories.
Can you drink too much grapefruit juice?
As with most things, there is always a point where you can have “too much.” With grapefruit juice, it’s probably best to stick to one or two glasses a day. After a couple of glasses, you may begin to experience some of the negative side effects such as acid erosion, heartburn, and weight gain.
How can you improve the taste of grapefruit juice?
Grapefruits and grapefruit juice are fairly sour—not everyone enjoys the taste. If you want to include grapefruit juice in your routine but you aren’t sure about the flavor, try diluting with water or sparkling water for a little added fizz. A zero calorie sweetener can help to sweeten grapefruit juice without adding extra calories.
Can you drink grapefruit juice with medicine?
Grapefruit juice can interact with some medications. It can increase or decrease the effect of the drug you are taking. If you are on any prescription medication, consult your doctor before drinking grapefruit juice.
What are the Healthiest Brands of Grapefruit Juice?
The best brands of grapefruit juice are those that contain pure juice and no added sugars. Here are a few of our favorites in no particular order:
- Ocean Spray 100% Pink Grapefruit Juice: This drink is 100% juice, but it’s not 100% grapefruit. It’s made of three different juices – grapefruit, white grape, and carrot. Also, these juices are from concentrates and have some added sugars. If you are a purist or planning to drink grapefruit juice every single day, this is not the brand for you.
- Simply Grapefruit (Not from concentrate) : This 100% pure grapefruit juice is all-natural and pulp-free. It is for juice drinkers who prefer their beverages pulp-free and smooth. It is bitter but it has a syrupy sweetness that makes it a little more palatable.
- Trader Joe’s 100% Florida Grapefruit Juice: This brand claims to be 100% pure. It’s filled with pulp, which may not be as pleasant to taste, but is certainly far more beneficial from a health perspective. This brand is fairly sweet, so be careful on how many glasses you guzzle down a day.
- Tropicana Pure Premium: Tropicana is a well-known and reliable brand. It has a grapefruit juice variant that is 100%pure and fairly healthy. Most fans of this juice are impressed by its flavor and how similar it tastes to the real thing.
Even though there are a lot of great brands out there, nothing beats 100% freshly squeezed juice straight from the fruit itself. As we explored in this article, juice can actually do more harm than good when it’s store-bought. You can invest in a juicer and try to make your own grapefruit juice at home. Add a touch Add a touch of your favorite zero-calorie sweetener, and enjoy!
Grapefruit juice is filled with excellent nutrients that give you plenty of scientifically-proven health benefits. While there are a few downsides to drinking the juice, you are sure to get lots of benefits particularly to the immune system if you drink in moderation.
Do you drink grapefruit juice regularly? Let us know your experiences below.