FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase via a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction - at no added cost to you - this is my side job to being a mom and it helps to support our family, so I greatly appreciate it!
Even if it weren't for all the grapefruit nutrition, I would still love the fruit. My personal favorite way to eat it is to peel it, and then take each section and split it open so I can pull the individual pieces of fruity pulp.
So, to find out that there are tons of healthy benefits of grapefruit was a huge win for me.
When your body is in the process of developing a baby, it's more important than ever to feed yourself healthy, life-giving foods such as whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy legumes.
Obstetricians always recommend that pregnant women get plenty of vitamin C through fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, papayas, cantaloupe, kiwis, and red peppers. Grapefruits are loaded with vitamin C, but they're also high in vitamin A, potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin B5, lycopene, and liminoids.
We all know that Vitamin C helps your immune system fight off diseases, but it also helps your body to absorb iron more efficiently and it will help to repair skin wounds, bones, and other bodily tissues. Its antioxidant power also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases by releasing the harmful free radicals from your system.
You can tell you're not getting enough vitamin C if you notice your hair becoming brittle, your skin becoming very dry and rough, your cuts taking longer to heal, your skin bruising easier, and your gums becoming inflamed. If you have any of these signs of vitamin C deficiency, talk to your doctor and start eating vitamin C-rich foods right away.
Many people incorrectly assume that grapefruit creates acidity in the body because of its very tart, acidic flavor. However, it also creates an alkaline environment because it comes from plant foods. If someone tries to tell you citrus foods are acidic, let them know that the most acidic foods are animal based foods like meats, dairy, eggs, and fish.
You want a more alkaline environment inside your body as it will improve digestion of foods and your overall health, and will lead to fewer of the common pregnancy signs such as nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
When you're pregnant, you should aim for at least 85 mg of vitamin C per day, which is about the size of one medium grapefruit, or about an 8 ounce glass of grapefruit juice. You can take a prenatal vitamin as insurance, to make sure you are getting plenty of it, but the best way to get any vitamins is through eating a rich variety of real foods like fruits and vegetables. When you begin breastfeeding, you will need more vitamin C, about 120mg each day.
In addition to vitamin C, another source of grapefruit nutrition is the high amounts of lycopene. Lycopene helps to reduce blood pressure in pregnant women, and decreases the risk of developing pre-eclampsia. When you each ruby red or pink grapefruit, you get large amounts of lycopene and limonoids, which are both known to help prevent many types of cancer. Other grapefruit health benefits include: prevention of kidney stones, protection against colon cancer, and DNA repair.
Another health benefit of grapefruit nutrition, especially red grapefruit, is that it lowers cholesterol and keeps your weight under check, largely due to its high levels of pectin and soluble fiber. Pectin has been found to slow atherosclerosis and reduce LDL cholesterol levels (the bad cholesterol). Of course, when you're pregnant, you should not be worried about gaining weight, but eating grapefruit will help ensure you are gaining just the right kind of weight.
When you're picking grapefruit at the store, make sure there are no soft spots on the skin, but don't worry too much about the color of the skin; it won't affect the actual fruit. I like to check to make sure the fruit is quite heavy, because sometimes you'll find grapefruit that have really thick skin, so that takes away from the amount of actual fruit.
I prefer to store my grapefruit on the kitchen counter, rather than refrigerating them. They will start to go bad after about a week, so at that point I put them in the fridge to slow the ripening process.
Some studies show there's a large amount of grapefruit nutrition in the membrane that separates the segments inside your grapefruit, so you might consider eating it as well. I find it bitter and stringy, but if you decide to throw a grapefruit into your blender for a smoothie or juice, you won't notice the membrane at all.
If you take cholesterol drugs or other doctor-prescribed medication, you should check with your doctor to make sure there are no negative interactions between grapefruit and your medicine. In some cases, grapefruit has been found to block the effectiveness of medication.
There are contradictory studies that seem to show that supplementing your diet with vitamin C pills can increase the risk of preterm birth and scurvy, so talk to your doctor before adding extra vitamin C in pill form.