Ruby red grapefruit is higher in some nutrients than white grapefruit, making it the better choice for grapefruit lovers. This isn't just a nutritious fruit, however, it could also help you in your weight-loss efforts. If you take medications, check with your doctor before you add grapefruit to your diet because it may interact with some drugs.
Basic Nutritional Content
Half of a ruby red grapefruit provides 64 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 28 percent of the DV for vitamin A and 8 percent of the DV for fiber. This serving only has 52 calories, most of which come from carbohydrates, as a grapefruit only contains 0.9 gram of protein and 0.2 gram of fat. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to help prevent damage to your cells, and vitamin A is essential for healthy vision and immune function. Dietary fiber helps make foods more filling and lowers your risk for high cholesterol and constipation.
A Look at Antioxidants
Red grapefruit contains more of the carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene than other red-fleshed varieties of citrus fruits and also contains another carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin. When these carotenoids are found in fruits, such as red grapefruit, they are more easily absorbed by your body than those found in vegetables, according to a study published in "Nutrition Research" in May 2007. Carotenoids act as antioxidants and may decrease your risk for certain types of cancer, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Potential Health Benefits
Red grapefruit contains more antioxidants than white grapefruit and exhibits more triglyceride-lowering potential, according to a study published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" in 2006. Eating half of a grapefruit or drinking 8 ounces of grapefruit juice before each meal may also help you lose more weight while following a low-calorie diet, according to another study published in the "Journal of Medicinal Food" in 2006. Preliminary research using rats shows that eating red grapefruit may help limit bone turnover and increase deposits of minerals to your bones, potentially improving your bone mineral density and limiting your risk for osteoporosis, according to a study published in "Nutrition" in October 2008.
Caution: Medication Interaction
Although you may get some cholesterol-lowering benefits by eating just one grapefruit per day for 30 days, according to Drugs.com, this isn't advisable for everyone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that grapefruit can interact with medications, such as those for lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol, medications for anxiety, antihistamines and medications to control arrhythmia. Eating grapefruit while taking these medications can cause the medications to remain in your body for a shorter or longer time than normal, which can increase your risk for adverse reactions.
- Health-Alicious-Ness.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Red Grapefruit Positively Influences Serum Triglyceride Level in Patients Suffering from Coronary Atherosclerosis: Studies in Vitro and in Humans
- Nutrition Research: Xanthophyll Carotenoids Are More Bioaccessible From Fruits Than Dark Green Vegetables
- Scientia Horticulturae: Presence of Diverse Ratios of Lycopene/β-Carotene in Five Pink or Red-Fleshed Citrus Cultivars
- Nutrition: Grapefruit Pulp Increases Antioxidant Status and Improves Bone Quality in Orchidectomized Rats
- Drugs.com: Grapefruit
- Journal of Medicinal Food: The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Grapefruit Juice and Medicine May Not Mix
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Antioxidants