Many citrus fruits originated in Asia, but grapefruits came from the Caribbean in the 1700s. They were originally called “forbidden fruit” or “Shaddocks” after Captain Shaddock who bred them. In the 1800s, they were renamed “grapefruit” because they grow in clusters similar to grapes.


Fun Facts

  • Grapefruit is 92 percent water. Eating it is just one way of keeping your body hydrated.
  • This citrus fruit is a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Your body needs these vitamins to stay healthy and recover after an illness, such as a cold.
  • Grapefruit can lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
  • Dark pink and red grapefruit is slightly more nutritious than yellow or white grapefruit.
  • Don’t eat grapefruit if you’re taking certain medications, such as Allegra or Claritin.
  • Store grapefruit on your counter if you’re going to eat it soon. It tastes best at room temperature. For longer storage, put it in the fridge.
  • The grapefruit was created accidentally when a sweet orange was crossed with a pomelo, a large citrus fruit. This hybrid was created in the 1700s in Barbados.
  • In the late 1800s, an entrepreneur started a large grapefruit orchard and developed the first pink grapefruit. Soon, grapefruit became a popular fruit across the U.S.



  1. Hybrid: when two different varieties of a plant are bred to make a new variety
  2. Barbados: an island in the Caribbean


Questions and Answers

Question: How should I eat grapefruit?

Answer: Most people cut them in half and use a spoon and/or grapefruit knife to scoop them out. You can also peel them like an orange. Grapefruit can be used in salads or served with fish.

Learn More

Watch a grapefruit harvest.