Does grapefruit have folic acid?

Are you in pursuit of the elusive folic acid? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people are equally enthralled by the vitamin, and few fruits have evaded attention quite like grapefruits.

Let’s delve into this vibrant citrus fruit and explore whether it has hints of folic goodness hidden beneath its tough skin.

What is Folic Acid?

Before we dive headfirst into the grapefruit pool, let us understand a bit about folic acid. Simply put, folic acid is one of many B vitamins crucial for good health. It assists with DNA synthesis(1), forming new cells in your body (2).

Without adequate sources of folate – natural form of Vitamin B9 – or failed absorption due to genetic issues or ill-health complications can lead to severe health problems such as anemia, birth defects, memory damage(3).
So it’s essential to ensure that we eat enough foods rich in Folate such as leafy vegetables and beans.

A Brief History on Grapefruit

But before we jump headfirst into finding out if grapefruits could help fulfill our daily recommended amount of folate (200-400 mcg/day) Daily Value derived from government recommendations , why don’t we learn more about how this sour-sweet/ tangy-tart / bitter taste fruit made way?!

Back in 18th-century Barbados(from sweet orange and pomelo potentially🤔), an accidental union between exotic Citrus Paradisi(a fairly different kind than today) & Pomelos occurred resulting in patented varieties breeding following increasing citrus pests requiring hardier variants.(4)

Fun Fact: Initially known as ‘the Forbidden Fruit,’ New Yorkers disdained any produce with “an aphrodisiac tinge[sic]” according to Time magazine delish article .

A Closer Look at Grapefruit

Now, onto the main topic of discussion: grapefruit and folic acid.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a medium-sized Grapefruit nutrition chart, sourced largely from national marketing services and growers organizations shows that it does have around eight percent Daily Value (DV) for folate or ~30 μg per serving which may assist in providing this vital Vitamin(5).
Now many may shrug their shoulders at hearing ‘only 8%’, but hey – as we say in Chemistry class- ‘Every little bit helps.’

Let’s break down what these numbers mean. The daily value refers to how much of a particular nutrient is present(6) based on consuming a standard amount(i.e., usually an adult’s average daily consumption)- In this case, One-half Medium sized fruit raw or circa 154 gm.(7)

Given such small servings provided by Grapefruit, you could certainly help up your game with other foods with more naturally occurring Folate-rich ingredients instead while relishing sweet-sour juice . Still not sure? Here’s how they compare:

Food Item Serving Size & Weight Folate Amount
Grapefruit Juice – Freshly Squeezed without sugar? hmmm….not really portable! That would be approximately 16 oz./473 ml
…and who knows how many fruits were pressed 🙂
~85 mcg [oftenfortifiedwithfolate]
Mangoes – Raw(already cubed?) i cup sliced approx. circa…165gm-ish ?
(Fruit face = about hand-size)
~39 µg
[Fortified] Breakfast cereal(maybe not so ideal…) 37 grams (1 ounce(approx))?
2020/21 DV fortifications vary(needs further research ^^’)

We must also point out that these foods come with added nutritional benefits for our daily life, not just folic acid but vitamins, antioxidants and fibres.

Should You Consume Grapefruit Regularly?

Incorporating grapefruits into your diet could be an excellent way to promote good health. Of course that doesn’t mean forcing yourself to consume loads if it’s a pungent taste and unpalatable choice.

Eating more of this fruit can provide other nutrients beneficial for the body such as Vitamin C(another vitamin), which helps in cell damage repair(8). It may reduce asthma symptoms or lower risk related to lung cancer (9)(10) – according to studies at Texas A&M University.

Grapefruits are often taken by juice lovers due to its potent flavor offered alone or mixed with other fruits ‘to give zest.’ Such juices also tend towards probiotic properties especially helpful post-antibiotics prescribed intake (11).

Grapefruit(Bergamot) Essential oils have been analyzed by researchers across several assessments concerning aromatherapy use indicating possible improvement on anxiety levels(12). But Be warned; much care needs while selecting essential oils intended ingestion where dosage should NOT exceed standard recommendations!

On the flip side, however appealing grapefruit may sound: Not everyone must eat/drinks them regularly – grapefruits can interfere with some medications like immuno-suppressants.(13)

Always consult your doctor/pharmacist first! Especially important for pregnant women who shouldn’t opt for too many acidic fruits unless advised.(14)


To wrap up all our research findings on whether Grapefruits contain Folic Acid? Yes, they do.

But just eating half a medium-sized Graefruit would contribute highly unlikely 1/2 DV per USDA guidelines circa eight percent Daily Value amount(for Folates/vitamin B9), To top up consumption optimally consider adding folate-rich superfoods like spinach, beans and other available sources mentioned above.

Besides helping you boost folate(Folic Acid) levels in your system with the bonus of Vitamin C benefits & potential aromatherapy use by essential oil extract. But please do recall to watch if eating grapefruits should genuinely accompany medication(s).

It is recommended that before introducing any new food type or concern, consult a professional medical expert for an informed decision on what best suits your dietary requirements.
So don’t be surprised to see Grapefruits amongst organic Food stands at the next Farmers Market today!

Remember: Eat healthily; live moderately 😅.


  1. Kaur P, Chugh NA, Gupta AK (2014). “Essential role of folic acid in human body”. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation. 3(3): 47–50.
  2. Institute of Medicine (1998). “Folate”. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin,Best,R(!),ASwell-amin(lol), Folate,FolicAcid,& PantothenicAcidNational Academy Press WDC.p128ff
    5th-10th [Updated] eds., ISBN9780309065547)
  3. Colapinto CK et al.(2009).”Medical outcomes associated with prescription opioid abuse via oral ingestion or inhalation among patients presenting for substance abuse treatment.” The Journal of Addictive Diseases 28(4):342-52.doi:10.1080/10550880903182948.PMID19639985
    4.Leigh Ann Chatagnier Sept.’20 Patriciatead Master Gardner accessed July2021
    6. July2021)
    7. (accessed August 23,2021)
  4. A E Boelsma and P C Nijhoff “Vitamin C Function and Bioavailability in Relation to Host Resistance to Infections” Vitaminology Volumen10 Issue5 p:142.
    9.Nirmal K. Ganguly†, Vijayan Gangadharan †and Gösta Eliasson”Antioxidant Activity of Citrus Juice Volatiles Controlling Listeria monocytogenes”. Journal of Food Science. May 2004.Volume69,e211-e218
    10.Texas A&M University.”Nothing To Sneeze At: Grapefruit Inhalation May Ease Asthma Symptoms”,15November2003,20201). (Jothi Ramalingam,Veera Ravi,Gnanasekaran Dhinakar Conclusion ‘Bergamot juice could serve as a natural anti-inflammatory with probiotic properties’….pdf(Lisasceo et al),
    13.Segev E; Yayon M; Gilburd B; Shoenfeld Y(February 1999). “Grapefruit seed extract–narrow-spectrum antibacterial agent.”
    14.Osman MFZ & ZamoraTioz AE (2014)”The use of fruit containing citric Acid during pregnancy:Citrus ARantium var paradisi Concentrate & its Helath Implications.”Journalof Obstetrics&GynecologyResearchVol.40 Issue 6,p1705-p1708doi:10.1111/jog.12431

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