5 Benefits Of Grapefruit Sexually: How Can We Benefit Sexually From Eating Grapefruit In 2024


Reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN
grapefruit benefits sexually
Vitamin C may help support blood flow. Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock

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Eating more healthy fruits is a great way to promote overall health, including sexual health. Especially for those with a sweet tooth, fruit can be a great way to introduce some sugar into your diet without feeling guilty. There are many healthy fruits, but the many diverse benefits of grapefruit have been discussed for years. 

Grapefruits[1] are very nutrient-dense fruits, making them a great choice for a healthy diet. Calorie for calorie, they offer an excellent source of beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, folic acid, and dietary fiber. This can be helpful for digestive function, sexual function, the immune system, and skin health. 

But what about specific potential grapefruit benefits, sexually speaking? Can eating more of this fruit improve your sex life? Let’s get busy and learn more about how grapefruit benefits sexually active people.

What Are The Sexual Benefits Of Eating Grapefruit?

Grapefruit is an excellent source of essential nutrients. Eating grapefruit is associated with improved risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and lower BMI. The studies linking grapefruit and sexual benefits are lacking overall, but there are some potential ways grapefruit can help protect healthy sexual function: 

  • Improving blood flow. 
  • Protecting reproductive function. 
  • Improving weight management. 
  • Promoting hydration and electrolyte balance. 
  • Supporting overall nutrition.

Sexual Benefits Of Grapefruit

Like other citrus fruits, incorporating grapefruit into your diet can provide support for the prevention of chronic diseases. These include promoting heart health through lower BMI and cholesterol levels,[2] among other health benefits. When it comes to sexual benefits, it’s important to note that there are no clinical studies directly evaluating whether grapefruit will improve sexual function. 

Much of the information is either anecdotal or could be inferred through more general effects of the nutrients grapefruit provides. For instance, in terms of antioxidant properties, grapefruit can provide an excellent source, and these benefits can be widespread. There may also be opportunities for improved blood flow to sexual organs, heightening pleasure responses. 

Let’s talk more about some of the ways eating grapefruit may translate into an improved experience in the bedroom. 

Improve Blood Flow

While the connection between grapefruit and sexual health is primarily inferred rather than proven, one of the stronger potential effects relates to blood flow. Grapefruit[1] provides a good source of vitamin C,[3] which increases nitric oxide production. The effect of nitric oxide is vasodilation, or an opening of blood vessels that can increase blood flow to the genitals. 

Nitric oxide also impacts blood pressure — as blood vessels open up, the blood has more space to occupy, and pressure can drop. Interestingly, prescription medications like sildenafil (Viagra) were originally formulated to treat a specific type of high blood pressure called pulmonary hypertension. They were later discovered to have a positive effect on men’s erectile function because of their activity related to nitric oxide. 

Nitric oxide and blood flow are also an important part of female sexual arousal. Using medications like sildenafil that affect this pathway is considered a last resort[4] for women managing low sexual desire, but incorporating foods like grapefruit in a balanced diet can be a good way to promote overall sexual health. 

Reproductive Protection

The antioxidant properties[5] of grapefruit have been established in studies, and these usually lead us to think about protection from cancer and stress. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C have also been linked to grapefruit benefits for males by improving sperm count. In a study involving men receiving chemotherapy, vitamin C[6] was associated with potential benefits for preserving sperm count. 

Citrus fruit is synonymous with vitamin C, and grapefruit certainly fits the bill. While there are no studies evaluating grapefruit directly with sperm count, it may be reasonable to assume the vitamin C provided could have an overall positive impact on sperm health. 

Weight Management

Weight Management
Grapefruit is low in calories. Photo: Peakstock/Shutterstock

Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial in many ways, including mental health. A fulfilling sexual experience comes from feeling good about yourself as well as your partner. Self-confidence is vital! 

Grapefruit[1] is packed with essential nutrients while being low in calories. This is a perfect recipe for a healthy snack that helps you limit your total calories while avoiding nutritional deficiencies. 


Grapefruit[1] has a significant amount of water, which may be what we think of first when considering hydration. It’s also a good source of potassium, supporting your overall electrolyte balance. 

No one wants to deal with a muscle cramp — not during sex, or really ever. Eating foods with potassium and staying hydrated may help you avoid your muscles seizing up at inopportune moments. 

Overall Nutrition

Because of the essential vitamins provided by grapefruit, there are a number of health benefits. Eating grapefruit has been associated with:[2] 

  • Lower body weight and BMI. 
  • Lower waist circumference. 
  • Improved markers for heart disease risk, including
    • Increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or beneficial cholesterol. 
    • Lower triglycerides. 

Grapefruit[1] also provides a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, supporting the immune system and digestive health. 

Sexual health is tied to overall health and well-being. When you take steps to eat a healthy diet, it pays dividends in many ways. 

Grapefruit Nutrition Facts

Grapefruit provides a lot of nutritional value without packing on the calories. One-half of a medium-sized grapefruit provides:[1] 

  • 36.9 calories.
  • 1.35 grams of fiber.
  • 18.4 mg of calcium.
  • 9.84 mg of magnesium.
  • 156 mg of potassium. 
  • 45.5 mg of vitamin C. 
  • 319 IU of vitamin A. 
  • Significant amounts of several B vitamins. 

How Does Grapefruit Benefit Sexually?

The health benefits — including sexual health — of consuming grapefruit are related to its nutritional value overall. When a healthy lifestyle is combined with great dietary sources of vitamins and minerals, the benefits can be far-reaching. In this way, dietary supplements like green powders and multivitamins can bring some generalized benefits. 

In terms of the potential for direct sexual benefits from grapefruit, there are some interesting effects associated with the nutrients in grapefruit. We can break these down further and consider the potential effects for men and women. 

Sexual Benefits Of Grapefruit For Males

For men, two potential direct effects may be associated with antioxidant effects and the vitamin C provided by grapefruit. These are: 

The connection between sperm health and vitamin C has been explored through its antioxidant activity. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which can damage cells. In this case, the idea is that vitamin C helps protect existing sperm production and the health of the reproductive system. 

Vitamin C has also been associated with nitric oxide production, which increases blood flow. Taking advantage of the nitric oxide pathway is an established way of treating erectile dysfunction. Taking a vitamin C supplement or eating grapefruit has not been specifically linked to improvements in erection quality, however. 

Sexual Benefits Of Grapefruit For Females

For females, the connection between grapefruit and benefits sexually is drawn between nutrients contained in grapefruit and their potential for improving blood flow. Vitamin C plays a role in nitric oxide release,[3] and nitric oxide is involved in a number of female reproductive processes ranging from healthy functioning of ovaries[8] to vaginal lubrication during arousal. 

It is important to note that this connection is somewhat tenuous, however. When vitamin C[9] has been studied directly for its potential impact on female sexual function, no significant effect has been observed. 

How To Use Grapefruit For Sexual Health

How To Use Grapefruit For Sexual Health
Watch for drug interactions with grapefruit. Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Ultimately, there are no studies that would directly confirm grapefruit is a super-sex food or that such a food exists in general. Grapefruit may likely help your sex life in much the same way a nutritional supplement might. This is by helping you incorporate a source of valuable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can promote overall health. 

If you are taking medications, including medications used for erectile dysfunction and sexual health, it is also important to be aware of the potential interactions between grapefruit and these medications. Grapefruit can impact liver enzymes that are instrumental in processing a variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. In some instances, eating grapefruit periodically may be unlikely to have an impact, but in others, the risk of drug interactions can be significant. 

Remember to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the ways your diet may impact your drug therapy. 


While the connections between grapefruit and sexual benefits can have some logical explanations, few studies would confirm a clear benefit. What is clear is that grapefruit provides excellent nutritional value and fits perfectly in diets focused on limiting calories. The benefits of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants may help keep health issues at bay. 

When you promote overall well-being, sexual well-being is likely to benefit as well! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does eating grapefruit at night do?

Eating grapefruit at night can worsen heartburn because of the high acid content. Similar to eating oranges or drinking orange juice, it is important to brush your teeth before going to bed to protect your tooth enamel.

Is grapefruit good for kidneys?

Kidneys maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, and grapefruit can help promote this balance because of its water and potassium content. However, individuals with established kidney disease should exercise caution about potassium sources.

Is grapefruit good for your hair?

Individual accounts include people using grapefruit oil topically in shampoo and report shinier hair and a cleaner scalp. The vitamin A content in dietary grapefruit may be beneficial for hair follicles.

Is grapefruit a natural Viagra?

The connection is drawn between vitamin C and its involvement in nitric oxide release, which can help increase blood flow. Eating grapefruit or taking a vitamin C supplement has not been directly evaluated for erectile dysfunction.

Does grapefruit juice help erectile dysfunction?

There are no studies that would support this claim. Any connection between grapefruit and improved erections would be anecdotal.

What does grapefruit do for women’s bodies?

Grapefruit provides nutrients that act as precursors in a variety of bodily functions. As a means of avoiding nutritional imbalances, everything from heart health to healthy skin can be positively impacted.

Does grapefruit help with testosterone?

Grapefruit hasn’t been evaluated for direct effects on testosterone levels. Arguments have been made that foods rich in antioxidants may help protect the organs that produce testosterone. Contributing to the preservation of existing testosterone production may be a reasonable assumption. 

Is grapefruit good before bed?

Eating grapefruit at night before lying down or going to bed may cause heartburn due to ascorbic acid content. Drinking grapefruit juice can introduce a surge of sugar, which may make it more difficult to sleep.

+ 9 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Usda.gov. (2024). FoodData Central. [online] Available at: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174675/nutrients
  2. Murphy, M.M., Barraj, L.M. and Rampersaud, G.C. (2014). Consumption of grapefruit is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among adults, and more favorable anthropometrics in women, NHANES 2003–2008. Food & Nutrition Research, [online] 58(1), pp.22179–22179. doi:https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v58.22179.
  3. Mortensen, A. and Jens Lykkesfeldt (2014). Does vitamin C enhance nitric oxide bioavailability in a tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent manner? In vitro, in vivo and clinical studies. Nitric Oxide, [online] 36, pp.51–57. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2013.12.001.
  4. Marci, R., Lo Monte, G., Graziano, A. and Piva, I. (2014). Women taking the ‘blue pill’ (sildenafil citrate): such a big deal?. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, [online] p.2251. doi:https://doi.org/10.2147/dddt.s71227.
  5. Xi, W., Zhang, G., Jiang, D. and Zhou, Z. (2015). Phenolic compositions and antioxidant activities of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfadyen) varieties cultivated in China. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, [online] 66(8), pp.858–866. doi:https://doi.org/10.3109/09637486.2015.1095864.
  6. Hajjar, T., Soleymani, F. and Mehran Vatanchian (2020). Protective Effect of Vitamin C and Zinc as an Antioxidant Against Chemotherapy-Induced Male Reproductive Toxicity. Journal of medicine and life, [online] 13(2), pp.138–143. doi:https://doi.org/10.25122/jml-2019-0107.
  7. Martín‐Hidalgo, D., Marı́a Julia Bragado, Ana Rita Batista, Oliveira, P.F. and Alves, M.G. (2019). Antioxidants and Male Fertility: from Molecular Studies to Clinical Evidence. Antioxidants, [online] 8(4), pp.89–89. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8040089.
  8. Ee, J., Vaidehi Ulaganathan, Goh, Mulki Abdullahi Adan and Sook Yee Lim (2022). Nutritional Status of Orang Asli in Malaysia. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Science, [online] 29(3), pp.17–29. doi:https://doi.org/10.21315/mjms2022.29.2.3.
  9. Solmaz Ghanbari-Homaie, Khatereh Ataei-Almanghadim and Mojgan Mirghafourvand (2023). Effect of vitamins on sexual function: A systematic review. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, [online] 93(2), pp.154–163. doi:https://doi.org/10.1024/0300-9831/a000703.


Matthew Sommers is a clinical pharmacist with more than 10 years of experience in the pharmacy profession. He has most recently transitioned from a leadership role in a community setting into clinical practice with a focus… See More