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Grapefruit (Chakotra): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Grapefruit is a citrus fruit which is scientifically known as Citrus paradisi. Grapefruits are medium-sized fruits belonging to the Rutaceae (Citrus) family. It is a good source of vitamin C and other healthy nutrients. Grapefruits are hybrid fruits made of sweet oranges and pomelos. People often consume grapefruit for its various properties, but there is not enough evidence to support its use. Also, drug interactions with grapefruit are very well documented. Therefore, make sure to talk to a doctor or healthcare provider if you are taking certain medications.1  

grapefruit benefits

You may want to enjoy grapefruits because of their pleasing flavour and desirable taste, but they can offer more. If you want to learn about this nutrient-packed fruit, continue reading! 

Nutritional Value of Grapefruit: 

Grapefruit contains many nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibres. The nutritional value of grapefruit per 100 grams of serving is given below: 

Nutritional Component  Value  
Carbohydrates  10.7 g 
Proteins  0.77 g  
Fats  0.14 g  
Fibre 1.6 g  
Sugars 6.89 g 
Calcium  22 mg  
Iron  0.08 mg  
Magnesium  9 mg  
Potassium  135 mg  
Zinc  0.07 mg  
Phosphorous  18 mg  
Manganese  0.022 mg  
Selenium  0.1 μg  
Vitamin C  31.2 mg  
Thiamin  0.043 mg  
Riboflavin  0.031 mg  
Niacin  0.204 mg  
Pantothenic acid  0.262 mg  
Vitamin B6  0.053 mg  
Folate 13 μg  
Energy  42 kcal 

Table 1: Nutritional value of grapefruit per 100 g of serving2  

Also Read: Green Apple: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Grapefruit: 

Grapefruits (Chakotra) are valuable due to the following properties: 

  • May have anti-inflammatory potential  
  • May have antioxidant potential  
  • May help manage blood glucose levels  
  • May help with weight management  
  • May have bone health-promoting potential3    

I chanced upon research where I learnt that eating half of a fresh grapefruit before meals might actually help reduce high insulin levels and improve insulin resistance. So, if you want to manage your insulin and improve your overall health, consider adding grapefruit to your meals.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Plums: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Grapefruit for Overall Health: 

The potential advantages of grapefruit have been observed in many animal studies. However, some of these benefits have yet to be observed in humans, and there is a lack of research justifying the same. Therefore, if you are suffering from any disease or health condition, it is best to reach out to a healthcare professional and get a proper diagnosis and treatment.   

1. Potential Uses of Grapefruit for Oxidative Stress:  

Free radicals are molecules generated in the body, causing oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Oxidative stress or damage in the body leads to the onset of many long-term diseases. Chemicals that destroy these free radicals help reduce the overall oxidative stress in the body and help avoid long-term diseases. Grapefruits might possess good antioxidant activity. Consuming grapefruits may help in reducing oxidative stress in the body.3  

2. Potential Uses of Grapefruit for Inflammation:  

Inflammation is the body’s response to external stress, chemicals, pathogens, and injury. The process of inflammation is often associated with many severe illnesses of the heart, cancer, and diabetes. Grapefruit might possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body.3  

3. Potential Uses of Grapefruit for Bone Health:  

Structural deterioration of bones due to an imbalance between bone formation and resorption can lead to osteoporosis. Grapefruit might help maintain bone health. Grapefruit could positively affect bone health and promote bone formation, as per an animal study. Several other studies have shown that consuming grapefruit modulated bone strength in animal studies.3 if you are suffering from any bone-related conditions, it is important that you follow your doctor’s advice and avoid using any herb or vegetable before consulting with your doctor.  

4. Potential Uses of Grapefruit for Cancer:  

Grapefruits are rich in many nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals. Consuming these nutrients from fresh fruits might have reinforcing effects on overall health. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of grapefruit may help avoid long-term diseases like cancer.3 Cancer is a severe illness and requires people to adhere to doctors’ advice thoroughly. Make sure to consult with your doctor before you use grapefruit for any health conditions.  

5. Potential Uses of Grapefruit for Weight Loss:  

In a trial conducted on obese patients, consuming grapefruits before meals were associated with significant weight management. Therefore, consuming grapefruits may help people who want to lose weight.4 However, you need to get in touch with your healthcare provider or nutritionist before making any changes to your diet.   

Though there are studies that show the benefits of grapefruit in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of grapefruit on human health.   

I may suggest grapefruit if you are looking for a natural way to manage blood pressure and cholesterol. During a study, individuals who consumed grapefruit three times a day for six weeks noticed a significant decrease in blood pressure and observed an improvement in their total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. However, more research is needed to understand the full benefits of grapefruit for managing cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Custard Apple: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Grapefruit? 

Grapefruit is commonly consumed as food or in the form of juice.1  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Likewise, do not discontinue or replace an ongoing medical treatment with an Ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

As per my observations, grapefruits might be an excellent choice for staying hydrated because they are more than 90% water. Not only does hydration support overall well-being, but it may also play a crucial role in maintaining digestive health.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Side Effects of Grapefruit: 

Consuming grapefruits or grapefruit juice is possibly safe when taken in moderate amount by mouth, however,  

  • It is unsafe for post-menopausal women to take grapefruit in large amounts as it can increase the risk of breast cancer.1   
  • Also, drinking grape juice may increase the levels of hormones in the blood.1   

Also Read: What is a Kumquat? Exploring the Unique Characteristics and Benefits

Precautions to Take With Grapefruit: 

Here are some general precautions you need to take when using grapefruits. 

  • Precaution for pregnant and breastfeeding women:    

There is not enough information to support the use of grapefruit during breastfeeding and pregnancy. It is best to be on the safe side and eat in moderation.  

  • Precaution for elderly and children:  

Eating grapefruit is possibly safe for the elderly and children when taken in food amounts. However, overeating should be avoided as it can cause side effects.  

  • People suffering from heart muscle disorder (cardiomyopathy) and irregular heartbeat:    

Drinking grapefruit juice may lead to an increased risk of the abnormal rhythm of the heart and increase the irregularities in heartbeats. People suffering from heart muscle disorders (cardiomyopathy) should avoid drinking grapefruit juice. Also, people with an irregular heartbeat should avoid drinking grapefruit juice. 

  • People suffering from hormone-sensitive cancers and other conditions:  

Drinking grapefruit juice may increase hormone levels in the blood. This can worsen the risk of hormone-sensitive conditions. In such cases, it is best to avoid drinking grapefruit juice.  

  • Post-menopausal adults:  

Drinking grapefruit juice has been linked with a high risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Women should avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice after menopause.1  

NOTE: If you are suffering from any health condition, you need to consult a doctor about the herbs and fruits you should avoid. Also, avoid using grapefruit juice or any other juices for disease conditions without consulting with your healthcare provider.    

Also Read: Kiwi: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

Major Interaction (Do not take this combination) 

Drinking grapefruit juice with these medications might increase the effect and side effects of the medications: 

  • Amiodarone, Artemether, Buspirone, Carbamazepine, Carvedilol, Cisapride, Clomipramine, Cyclosporine, Dextromethorphan, Estrogens, Halofantrine, Methadone, Methylprednisolone, Praziquantel, Quinidine, Scopolamine, Sildenafil, Tacrolimus, Terfenadine, Ticagrelor 
  • Calcium channel blockers (help lower blood pressure), examples- Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Felodipine 
  • Sedative medications, examples include Diazepam, Alprazolam, and Midazolam. 
  • Medications that cause irregular heartbeat, examples include Sotalol, Amiodarone, and Quinidine. 
  • Medications that lower blood cholesterol. Examples include Atorvastatin, Pitavastatin, and Lovastatin.1 

Drinking grapefruit juice with these medications might decrease the effect and side effects of these medications: 

  • Celiprolol (used for high blood pressure), Clopidogrel (used for heart diseases and stroke), Etoposide (anti-cancer drug)1  

Moderate Interactions (Be cautious with this combination) 

Be cautious while drinking grapefruit juice with these medications: 

  • Aliskiren, Blonanserin, Budesonide, Caffeine, Colchicine, Dapoxetine, Erythromycin, Fexofenadine, Fluvoxamine, Itraconazole, Levothyroxine, Losartan, Nadolol, Nilotinib, Oxycodone, Pitavastatin, Prasugrel, Primaquine, Saquinavir, Sertraline, Sunitinib, Tadalafil, Talinolol, Theophylline, Tolvaptan, Warfarin    
  • Medicines metabolized by the liver. Examples include sedatives, antidepressants and drugs used for allergies.1    

Minor Interactions (Be watchful of such combinations) 

  • Acebutolol, Amprenavir, medications moved by pumps in the cells (P-glycoprotein substrates)1  

If you are taking medications for any health condition, you need to consult your doctor about the fruits and vegetables to avoid. Also, before using grapefruit juice or any herb for its benefits, talk to your healthcare provider about potential precautions and interactions.  

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the benefits of grapefruit (Chakotra) juice for weight loss?  

Eating grapefruit may help with weight management. The weight management benefits were observed during a clinical trial conducted on obese patients.4 However, you need to contact your healthcare provider before making any diet changes, as any changes can affect your overall health.  

What are the health benefits of grapefruit?  

Grapefruits are packed with essential nutrients and phytochemicals that might have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help avoid many severe diseases. Also, eating grapefruits may help in maintaining bone health.2,3 However, before using any fruit or vegetable for any health issue, reach out to your healthcare provider or doctor to get a diagnosis and proper treatment.   

What are the benefits of grapefruit for the skin?  

Grapefruit’s skin peel may have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are suitable for overall health.5 However, if you are suffering from any skin-related conditions, it is best to consult your skin doctor before using any herb or vegetable on your own.    

Check out – Khadi Natural Wine Grapefruit Lip Balm

Does grapefruit have side effects?  

Grapefruit is commonly consumed as fresh fruit and juices and may be safe when used in moderate amounts. However, it should not be consumed in excess because it may cause side effects. Also, if you are taking any medication, talk to your healthcare provider about foods you should avoid. Grapefruit can interact with many drugs and change their activities.1  

Is grapefruit safe during pregnancy?  

There is a lack of scientific resources supporting the safe use of grapefruit during pregnancy. You are advised to exercise precaution and use it in moderate amounts.1 Also, you need to contact your physician before using any fruit juices during pregnancy.  


1. MedlinePlus Supplements. Grapefruit [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 24]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/946.html 

2. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 24]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174673/nutrients 

3. Hung WL, Suh JH, Wang Y. Chemistry and health effects of furanocoumarins in grapefruit. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2017 Jan 1;25(1):71–83. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949816301843 

4. Fujioka K, Greenway F, Sheard J, Ying Y. The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome. J Med Food [Internet]. 2006 Mar [cited 2022 Jun 26];9(1):49–54. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16579728/ 

5. Castro-Vazquez L, Alañón ME, Rodríguez-Robledo V, Pérez-Coello MS, Hermosín-Gutierrez I, Díaz-Maroto MC, et al. Bioactive Flavonoids, Antioxidant Behaviour, and Cytoprotective Effects of Dried Grapefruit Peels (Citrus paradisi Macf.). Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Jun 26];2016. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745316/ 

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