Eating Grapefruit While Pregnant: Health Benefits and Risks

Eating Grapefruit during Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Grapefruit is a tangy and refreshing citrus fruit known for its high vitamin C content and potential health benefits. However, when you’re expecting, it’s crucial to be cautious about what you consume and avoid. The diet of the mother is one of the most important aspects of pregnancy, as it plays a huge role in the development of the foetus. One fruit that often raises questions during pregnancy is grapefruit. Let’s explore the safety of eating grapefruit while pregnant and the precautions you should consider.

Can You Eat Grapefruit During Pregnancy?

Grapefruit during pregnancy

Expecting women, especially first-time moms-to-be, often wonder, ‘Is grapefruit good for pregnancy?’ Let us tell you that – for a pregnant woman, organic grapefruits are the best choice. Grapefruit is a low-calorie fruit, rich in nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folate, etc., and has a relatively higher nutrient density than peaches, fresh apples, and bananas. 

This is because they are free from pesticides and any other chemicals, so there is no chance of the baby being harmed. You should also take care to wash the fruit thoroughly so that any chances of food-borne illnesses are reduced.

Nutritional Facts of Grapefruit

The association between grapefruit and pregnancy is a well-known fact. So, what goodie does grapefruit store in itself to help the pregnancy? Let’s find out.

Nutrient AMOUNT
Calories 39kcal
Carbohydrates 9.2g
Protein 0.5g
Fibre 1.6g
Fat 0.1g
Vitamin C 38mg
Choline 7.7 mg
Folic acid 13mcg
Vitamin E 0.13 mg
Niacin 0.269mg
Riboflavin 0.020mg
Thiamin 0.037mg
Potassium 148mg
Calcium 12mg
Iron 0.06mg
Magnesium 9mg
Zinc 0.07mg
Phosphorus 18mg

Source: USDA

Is Grapefruit Juice Safe During Pregnancy?

Some women prefer eating the fruit, while others prefer to consume it as a juice. So, what about grapefruit juice in pregnancy? In the case of grapefruit juice, it is important that the pregnant woman consumes it only if the juice is hundred per cent homemade or pasteurised. This is because, in packaged bottles of juice, most of the nutrients are lost during the manufacturing process and have plenty of added sugars. If you are buying packaged grapefruit juice, look for juice made from organic fruits and pasteurised. Avoid fruit juice from local vendors, as unpasteurised juice can expose you to the risk of bacterial infection.

Health Benefits of Eating Grapefruit During Pregnancy

Some of the health benefits include:

1. Blood Stress

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects around one in twelve pregnant ladies and results in the early birth of the child if it is not controlled with care. Grapefruit nutrition during pregnancy contains potassium and lycopene, which lower raised levels of pressure and prevent high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia from occurring.

2. Cholesterol

Grapefruit has fibre and pectin, both of which help in reducing cholesterol by acting as natural vasodilators.

3. Insomnia

Grapefruit has been known to help pregnant women get sound sleep, especially in the third trimester. Most women become insomniac during this period due to a combination of jittery nerves and sleeping disorders.

4. Weight Maintenance

During pregnancy, most people expect you to gain weight quickly. However, you must remember that an excessive amount of weight gain is not good, even if you are pregnant. Grapefruit has a low-calorie count, making it the perfect snack for expecting mothers.

5. Indigestion

Indigestion and heartburn are common in the case of pregnant women, as the expanding uterus reduces the space required for the smooth functioning of the stomach. Grapefruit is high in fibre, so regular consumption of this fruit is beneficial to the digestive system. The D-limonene present in grapefruit can neutralize and soothe acidic problems.

6. Morning Sickness

Many mothers find themselves retching and vomiting in the morning after they conceive. With plenty of water and the sweet-sour taste of the grapefruit, the feeling of nausea can be tackled.

7. Anaemia

Anaemia is something that pregnant women must always be wary of, as it can hamper the development of the child in a huge manner. Vitamin B present in grapefruit has been found to decrease the danger of anaemia in women, and it can be used both for preventing and reducing anaemia.

8. Asthma Prevention

It has been found that Vitamin C can reduce the chances of creating asthma in a child, and grapefruit contains high levels of this vital vitamin. Moreover, a study suggested that higher dietary flavonoid intake through grapefruit, berries, and berries was associated with a lower potential of asthma. In case the mother has asthma, proper management is important so that it doesn’t affect the baby’s development.

9. Swelling

In the last trimester of pregnancy, women find that their feet swell due to improper circulation. Grapefruit contains bioflavonoids and Vitamin C, both of which reduce swelling in women.

10. Bone Density Loss

For pregnant women, calcium is one of the most important nutrients. This is important to ensure that proper bone formation occurs in the child while the bone density of the mother is also maintained.

11. Hydration

Grapefruit has a high percentage of water and enough electrolytes to ensure the mother is never dehydrated.

12. Cold and Flu

Vitamin C present in the grapefruit can help combat many illnesses, including cold and flu.

13. Healthy Skin

Many people say that during pregnancy, the skin of the woman glows throughout- the reality is much harsher. However, Vitamin C present in the grapefruit can help you maintain a great skin tone and give you healthy and balanced skin.

14. Cancer Prevention

Grapefruit has a range of antioxidants that combat cancer cells, from bust cancer to Oesophageal and belly cancer.

15. Diabetes

Grapefruit has a low sugar content, which makes it suitable for pregnant women. Diabetes mellitus has been found to occur in increasing frequency in pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters. Therefore, grapefruit is a great snack for expecting mothers.

Recommended Intake of Grapefruit for Pregnant Women

A pregnant woman needs around 85 mg of vitamin C per day, and this can be obtained from one medium-sized grapefruit or eight ounces of grapefruit juice. This is the recommended amount of grapefruit for pregnant women. No matter how nutritious grapefruits are, consuming more than the recommended amount is not good for the mother.

Risks of Consuming Too Much Grapefruit When Pregnant

  • Grapefruit can increase the fructose levels in the mother, which can directly affect the growth of the foetus.
  • Those with health problems like hepatic or kidney illnesses, stomach ulcers, cystitis or a history of allergies are advised not to eat grapefruits.
  • One other thing to note is that grapefruit should not be consumed on an empty stomach.
  • If you are on any other medication, you must check with your doctor before consuming grapefruit.
  • You must also ensure that you only consume the required amount of grapefruit during pregnancy.

Precautions to Take While Eating Grapefruits During Pregnancy

Certainly, there are some precautions that must be taken while eating grapefruit during pregnancy. Let’s talk about them, shall we?

  • Grapefruit is acidic in nature, which can cause heartburn and digestive discomfort for some pregnant women. If you are facing such symptoms in your pregnancy, it is better to limit its consumption.
  • Many people may be allergic to citrus fruits like grapefruit. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. If you suspect an allergy, seek medical attention immediately.
  • While grapefruit is packed with nutrients and is a perfect fruit to evade nausea, overindulgence can lead to excessive calorie and sugar intake. Moderation is the key.
  • Grapefruit is known to interact with certain medications. If you’re on prescription drugs, it’s important to consult your doctor to determine whether grapefruit could affect their efficacy.

How to Pick the Right Grapefruit?

Picking the right grapefruit is easy, as you have to focus only on the texture of the skin- the colour does not matter at all. There should be no soft spots on the skin of the fruit. Also, pick a heavier grapefruit- since it has thick skin, the actual amount of flesh inside may be lesser than you think. Grapefruits do not have to be refrigerated right away, as they ripen slower than conventional fruits. Only when they start to go bad refrigeration is needed. It has been found that the membrane that separates the segments of the fruit contains large amounts of beneficial nutrients, but it can be hard to consume owing to a bitter taste. However, the taste is hardly felt if you choose to drink its juice.

Is Grapefruit Seed Extract Safe for Women?

Grapefruits may be safe to consume for pregnant women, but this does not mean that their fruit extract or seeds are safe for consumption. The seed extract has been found to be poisonous to the skin fibroblasts, so they are not recommended for consumption.

Does Craving Grapefruit During Pregnancy Indicate About Your Baby’s Gender?

It’s an old wives’ tale that craving sour foods can indicate that you are pregnant. However, it is not certain whether craving sour food like grapefruit can tell about the unborn baby’s gender.

Best Ways to Add Grapefruit in Pregnancy Diet

There are a few ways in which grapefruit can be consumed safely by a pregnant woman.

  • Fresh juices, smoothies or as a part of a salad.
  • Grapefruits and other fruits can be combined to make a healthy cocktail.
  • Using the skin of the fruit, tea that helps you combat nausea can be made.

Grapefruit Recipes You Should Try

Grapefruit can be eaten by itself, but it can also be eaten in combination with other fruits and vegetables. Below are some of them such as:

1. Grapefruit and Peach Salad

Fruit salad

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Servings – 2

What You Will Require

  • One large grapefruit
  • Two large, ripe peaches
  • A tablespoon of agave nectar
  • Half a teaspoon of orange blossom water
  • Ten fresh mint leaves
  • 50g of finely chopped pistachio nuts

How to Prepare

The first step is to combine agave nectar and orange blossom water in a small bowl. Now, you have to remove the skin of the grapefruit and then slice it. Similarly, slice the peaches and remove the pith from the pieces. All of these are to be mixed in the bowl, and some mint and pistachio can be added as a garnish.

2. Grapefruit Smoothie

Grapefruit smoothie

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Servings – 2

What You Will Require

  • A peeled grapefruit with the seeds removed
  • A peeled and cored sweet apple
  • A large banana (ripe)
  • Unsweetened almond milk, orange juice and water (One or two cups)
  • Ice cubes
  • Half a teaspoon of fresh, chopped ginger

How to Prepare

Put all the ingredients in a blender, and switch it on until the consistency of the mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want it to be less thick, add ice or water. To sweeten the mixture, add apples or bananas.


1. Does Grapefruit Interact With Prenatal Vitamins?

As per MedlinePlus, grapefruit is known to interact with a long list of medications, and this could include supplements and herbs. So, if you are taking any medications, please check with your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet or using it as a medicine to know if grapefruit can interact with your prenatal vitamins.

2. Is It Safe to Eat Grapefruit at Night?

There is no such restriction on the consumption of grapefruit – it can be eaten any time of the day. Since it is a citrus fruit, we have to be mindful of the fact that it is prone to cause heartburn or acidity and if consumed just before bedtime, it could cause acidity. If, fortunately, you do experience acidity or heartburn issues in your pregnancy, you can eat the fruit or drink the homemade juice before bed.

3. Is Grapefruit Craving a Sign of Vitamin C Deficiency?

It is a common belief that craving sour not only indicates the chances of pregnancy but also the deficiency of vitamin C. Craving grapefruit during pregnancy is very common, but there is no scientific evidence to prove it.

4. Which Is the Best Time to Eat Grapefruit in Pregnancy?

Grapefruit can be enjoyed before meals as an appetiser. You can have a glass of grapefruit juice or half grapefruit before your meal or after meals any time of the day you like.

Grapefruit is one of the best fruits for a pregnant woman to consume, as it has a range of essential nutrients that benefit both the mother and the growing child. However, you must take care not to consume it in excess.


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Also Read:

Fruits to Eat during Pregnancy
Consuming Avocado in Pregnancy
Eating Apricots during Pregnancy
Passion Fruit when Pregnant

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