People around the world are turning to juice for their nutrients and daily fruit intake. While juice alone isn’t enough to keep you healthy, these beverages can give you an amazing health boost.  One of the latest juice trends is grapefruit juice.

Grapefruit juice is a fantastic tropical juice known for its distinctively sweet and sour taste. Thanks to its high antioxidant and nutrient content, many people drink this juice for its health benefits. In this article, we’ll examine grapefruit juice in detail. We’ll find 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.

Grapefruit Cocktail
Photographer: Rinck Content Studio | Source: Unsplash

What’s in Grapefruit Juice?

Grapefruit juice is made from the tropical grapefruit. For these benefits, we’ll be discussing home-made 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 benefits and downsides of grapefruit juice, let’s talk about what is found in grapefruits. Here is the main nutritional breakdown of an average sized grapefruit:

  • Calories: 52
  • Carbs: 13 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Vitamin C: 64% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 28% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 4% of the RDI
  • Folate: 4% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 3% of the RDI

Note that RDI stands for “recommended daily intake”.

What are the Benefits of Grapefruit Juice?

So, with this nutritional profile, what kind of benefits can you expect from grapefruit juice?

Low in Calories

With 52 calories per grapefruit, the juice is relatively low in calories. The average glass of grapefruit juice 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.

Not only does this juice have a relatively low calorie count, it also has a good amount of fiber, minerals, and nutrients. This means that you can drink a couple glasses of this juice without having to worry about gaining weight or surpassing your daily calorie count.

High in Nutrients and Vitamins

The nutrients in grapefruit juice, as shown above, are relatively high.

The Vitamin C content, for instance, is extremely impressive. This is likely due to the fact that the fruit was originally a combination of the orange and pomelo, both quite high in Vitamin C. With 64% of the RDI of Vitamin C, you will get a huge boost of the vitamin from a glass of grapefruit juice.

The Vitamin A content is also quite high, at 28%. Compared to orange juice, which has 9.9%, grapefruit juice is far superior.

Good for your Immune System

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.

By ensuring that you consume the appropriate amounts of vitamin C, studies suggest that you will be less likely to suffer from the common cold, inflammation, and infection diseases.

With small amounts of B vitamins, zinc, copper, and iron, grapefruit juice can further boost the immune system and protect you from illness.

Can Help You Control Your Appetite

If you struggle with an unpredictable and unreliable appetite, grapefruit 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 quite low in fiber and, for this reason, can confuse the brain into feeling hungry. This can result in problems with digestion.

With grapefruit juice, you won’t have to worry about drinking too much grapefruit juice or overeating. Of course, it’s important that you select a grapefruit juice with pulp included, otherwise you will lose the fiber content from the fruit.

Can Help You Lose Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, grapefruit juice has been shown to help. Firstly, the high fiber content reduces appetite and calorie intake. Grapefruit juice is also good for weight loss thanks to its low calorie count and its high water content. Drinking grapefruit juice will give you a good dose of water which helps with weight loss, without piling on the calories.

A study testing grapefruit’s effects of obese subjects found that people who eat grapefruit lose significantly more weight than subjects who did not. On average, people who consumed grapefruit lost around 3.5 pounds over 12 weeks, so it seems that grapefruit juice can have some real, tangible results when it comes to weight loss.

It’s important to note that these weight loss results are only possible if you consume grapefruits and grapefruit juice as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.

May Prevent Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that develops when the body becomes resistant to 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 grapefruits can actually prevent insulin resistance in some patients. In one study, subjects with some levels of insulin resistance were found to 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.

May Improve Heart Health

Grapefruit has also been shown to improve heart and artery health. The fruit has been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol levels, thus improving blood flow and reducing the risk of heart disease.

This is likely thanks to the fruit’s levels of potassium and fiber, both of which are linked to heart health and lower blood pressure.

Contains Many Powerful Antioxidants

In addition to the benefits listed above, the powerful antioxidants in grapefruit are all great for your overall health. Antioxidants have been shown to protect cells from damage, and it’s crucial to consume the recommended amounts to stay healthy.

Grapefruits contain 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.

May 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. Because of the citric acid in grapefruit juice. Citric acid has been shown to help to flush out any calcium in the kidneys, thus preventing kidney stones.

It’s Great for Hydration

Grapefruit juice has plenty of water, along with some electrolyte minerals such as potassium, which are great at rehydrating the body. Grapefruits are made up of around 88% water, so you’ll get plenty of hydration from a cup of the juice. Plus, potassium can help to replenish any electrolytes you may have lost through sweat if you are particularly dehydrated.

What are the Downsides of Grapefruit Juice?

Grapefruit juice has many impressive benefits—but does it have any downsides? Here are a few of the ways grapefruit juice can actually do more harm than good in some cases.

Weight Gain

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’s important that you select low calorie brands when purchasing grapefruit juice to avoid weight gain and excessive sugar intake.

Heartburn

Heartburn is another unpleasant side effect of grapefruit juice. This is because grapefruit juice is highly acidic and can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken, thus allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. You may experience symptoms like chest pain and burning if you drink grapefruit juice excessively.

Acid Erosion

Because grapefruit juice is so acidic, it can also be fairly harmful for the teeth, causing the protective enamel to erode. Medical professionals recommend using a straw to protect your teeth while drinking this juice.

Strawberry lemonade for two
Photographer: Boba Jaglicic | Source: Unsplash

FAQs about Grapefruit Juice

Still have some unanswered questions about grapefruit juice? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.

Can You Drink Too Much Grapefruit Juice?

As with most things, there is always a point when 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 heartburn, acid erosion, and weight gain. Plus, after a few glasses, you’ll probably stop receiving the benefits listed above.

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 adding a sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or a small touch of sugar.

Is It OK to Drink Grapefruit Juice Every Day?

If you plan on consuming grapefruit juice every day, you should make sure that you have selected a pure form of the juice that doesn’t contain added sugars to avoid weight gain and blood sugar spikes. Try to limit your intake to 6 ounces a day to make sure you aren’t consuming too many calories per day.

Can You Drink Grapefruit Juice with Medicine?

Grapefruit juice can interact with some medications and become dangerous. The juice can either increase or decrease the effect of the drug you’re taking. If you’re on any prescription medication, be sure to speak with your doctor before drinking grapefruit juice.

What are the Healthiest Brands of Grapefruit Juice?

The best brands of grapefruit juice contain pure juice and no added sugars. Here are a few of our favourites:

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 about how many glasses you guzzle down a day.

Tropicana Pure Premium

Tropicana is a well-known, reliable brand, and this variant of grapefruit juice 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.

Simply Grapefruit (not from concentrate)

This 100% pure grapefruit juice is all natural and free from pulp, for juice drinkers who prefer smooth, pulp-free juices. This juice is bitter but has a syrupy sweetness making it a little more palatable.

Ocean Spray 100% Pink Grapefruit Juice

If you are a purist, this juice might not be the one for you. While the drink is 100% juice, it’s not 100% grapefruit. In fact, it’s made of a blend of three different juices—grapefruit juice, white grape juice, and carrot juice.These juices are from concentrate, and the juice does have some added sugars, so we’d recommend avoiding this juice if you’re planning on drinking it every single day.

Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice

When push comes to shove, nothing beats 100% freshly squeezed juice straight from the fruit. As we explored in this article, juice can actually do more harm than good when it’s store bought. Invest in a juicer presser and try making your very own grapefruit juice at home. Add a touch of your favorite sweetener, and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

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, such as damage to your teeth, heartburn, and acid erosion, if you drink the juice in moderation, you’re sure to get lots of benefits.

Do you drink grapefruit regularly? Let us know your experiences below