Nutritional Profile of Oranges
1 regular-sized orange (140 grams) contains 66 calories. Nonetheless, there are different types of oranges out there, such as:
- Navel oranges — 69 calories
- Valencia oranges — 88 calories
- Blood oranges — 69 calories
- Mandarin oranges — 103 calories
- Clementine oranges — 35 calories
- Tangerine oranges — 47 calories
- Cara cara oranges — 80 calories
Each type of orange has different sweetness levels, sizes, and juiciness. Now, let’s take a look at the calorie content of other citrus fruits:
- Grapefruit (100 grams) — 42 calories
- Lemon (84 grams) — 24 calories
- Lime (100 grams) — 30 calories
Keep in mind that the calorie content can vary depending on the size and ripeness of the fruit.
The nutritional value of 1 orange (140 grams) often includes:
- Calories — 66
- Water — 86% by weight
- Protein — 1.3 grams
- Carbs — 14.8 grams
- Sugar — 12 grams
- Fiber — 2.8 grams
- Fat — 0.2 grams
- Vitamin C — 92% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Folate — 9% of the DV
- Calcium — 5% of the DV
- Potassium — 5% of the DV
In summary, oranges are rich in folic acid and vitamin C, and contain at least 6 of 8 B vitamins.
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Health Benefits of Oranges
Oranges not only provide a sweet flavor, but also possess high nutritional value and offer potential health benefits.
It is important to note that these advantages pertain solely to fresh fruit. Even if it is freshly squeezed and made from 100% oranges, consuming pure orange juice results in a high-sugar beverage that lacks the fiber and much of the nutritional value found in whole fruit. To reap the full rewards of this citrus fruit, choose whole oranges or fresh pieces of it.
Good for heart health
Oranges, like other citrus fruits, are abundant in vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids. These nutrients contribute to reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and promoting overall heart health. It’s worth noting that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Vitamin C, found in oranges, is a potent antioxidant that helps protect the body from oxidative stress and reduces chronic inflammation, both of which can damage arteries and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition to vitamin C, oranges contain dietary fiber, which aids in lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to and removing cholesterol from the body.
Flavonoids, another component found in oranges, possess antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects that can improve blood vessel function. These compounds enhance blood vessel function by increasing the synthesis of nitric oxide, which helps relax blood vessels. Consequently, diets rich in flavonoids can promote better blood flow and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Good for the immune system
Consuming a diet rich in nutritious foods ensures that your body receives adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, which are crucial for enhancing immune health. Oranges are a valuable addition to such a diet.
The high fiber content in whole oranges promotes healthy immune function by helping maintain a balanced gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for optimal immune system function, as it assists in managing inflammation and combating harmful pathogens. Studies have shown that a fiber-rich diet supports a healthy gut microbiome, which in turn benefits immune health.
As previously mentioned, oranges are a rich source of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in proper immune cell function. Vitamin C also helps clear out and replace old, damaged immune cells with new, healthy ones. In short, vitamin C is an essential antioxidant for our bodies.
Antioxidants protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals—unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and cellular damage.
Oxidative stress can negatively impact immune health and increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Including oranges in your diet can help combat oxidative stress and support overall immune health.
May improve digestive health
A medium orange contains approximately 3 grams of dietary fiber, half of which is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance that slows digestion, aiding nutrient absorption in the body.
Furthermore, fiber supports regular bowel movements and prevents constipation, reducing the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.
Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining digestive health, and consuming oranges can help keep your digestive system hydrated due to their high water content.
For optimal digestive health benefits from oranges, as explained before, it is advisable to eat them whole rather than drinking orange juice. Whole oranges contain more fiber than citrus juice, and the fiber in the fruit helps regulate sugar absorption in the body. This can assist in managing blood sugar levels and minimizing insulin spikes.
May improve brain function
A study conducted on healthy adults revealed that those who consumed 100% orange juice performed better on tests measuring global cognitive function compared to those who did not drink orange juice, suggesting that orange juice consumption may positively influence cognitive function.
Oranges also contain flavonoids, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Flavonoids have been shown to improve or maintain blood flow to the brain, enhancing cognitive performance and overall brain health.
Flavonoids in oranges are particularly beneficial for cognitive function as they help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can contribute to cognitive decline.
Another study demonstrated the positive impact of orange juice on attention and alertness in overweight or obese men.
Notably, orange juice is a unique source of the flavonoid hesperidin, which is not commonly found in other foods or whole fruits.
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Possible Downsides of Eating Too Many Oranges
Even though oranges can have significant health benefits, eating too many of them might cause specific side effects you need to consider.
High acid content
The tangy flavor of oranges comes from the high amount of citric acid, a natural component in the fruit. However, this can be problematic for individuals with certain medical conditions.
Citric acid can irritate the linings of the mouth, throat, and digestive system, potentially causing issues for people with acid reflux, a condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, leading to heartburn.
Furthermore, acidic foods like oranges can weaken dental enamel, making it more susceptible to damage from brushing or grinding, as well as bacteria that cause cavities.
To minimize these potential drawbacks, consume oranges in moderation, combine them with other foods, and rinse your mouth with water after eating to help neutralize the acid and lessen its impact on your teeth.
Possible allergic reactions
Oral allergy syndrome caused by oranges is very rare, but it does occur. Citrus allergies are often associated with grass pollen due to cross-reactivity.
By having orange allergies, you might experience some unpleasant symptoms like:
- Skin rash, hives, or itching
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Abdominal pain or diarrhea
If you notice any of these adverse effects after eating the fruit, avoid all forms of oranges, including fresh fruit, juice, and any orange-containing products.
If you suspect you have any food allergies, you should visit a medical professional who can identify the allergy and help you build a management plan.
Pesticides are chemicals used to protect oranges and other crops from pests and diseases. While they safeguard the crops, pesticide residues left on the fruit can be harmful to humans.
To avoid any drawbacks related to these chemicals, choose organic oranges without synthetic pesticides. You can also thoroughly wash the oranges to remove the residues from the skin altogether.
It is important to note that pesticides absorbed into the fruit’s flesh cannot be removed by washing. However, the levels present should generally be safe enough for human consumption.
Ways to Incorporate Oranges into a Healthy Diet
Here are some simple tips to help you incorporate oranges into your healthy diet and get that extra dose of vitamin C:
- Eat oranges as a snack — oranges are relatively low in calories and high in various nutrients, which can be a great alternative to a processed snack with added sugar.
- Add oranges to salads — oranges can enhance the juiciness and freshness of the salad. Add them to a mixed green or any other salad.
- Make fresh orange juice — fresh orange juice is a nutritious and refreshing drink. Nonetheless, remember that only whole oranges can provide full nutritional benefits.
- Prepare smoothies — blend some oranges with bananas, apples, spinach, or other greens to create a well-balanced, nutritious smoothie.
- Make orange-infused water — this can be a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. Simply adds some orange slices to your water.
- Make meals — oranges can complement a fish dish, an egg dish, and many other delicious meals.
Healthy Weight Loss Recipes With Oranges
Here are a few balanced and easy meal ideas containing oranges from the DoFasting app:
Immune-boosting orange strawberry smoothie
- Energy — 178 kcal
- Fat — 5.3 g
- Carbs — 25 g
- Protein — 9.7 g
- Ice cubes — 1/2 cup
- Oat milk, unsweetened — ½ cup
- Strawberries — 1/3 cup
- Orange — ½ small
- Oats, dry — 1 tbsp
- Hemp protein powder — 1 tbsp
- Chia seeds — ½ tbsp
- Lemon juice — 1 tsp
- Fresh ginger root — 1 tsp, grated
- Stevia liquid
- Ground turmeric
- Peel the orange. Remove the seeds and cut the orange into slices.
- Blend all the listed ingredients.
NOTE: feel free to substitute our suggested protein powder and sweetener with any other sugar-free alternatives you have.
Chicken, orange, and feta salad
- Energy — 412 kcal
- Fat — 29.3 g
- Carbs — 14.4 g
- Protein — 23.6 g
- Chicken breast, raw — 75 g
- Orange — ½ small, sliced
- Feta cheese — 3 tbsp, crumbled
- Romaine lettuce — 1 cup, chopped
- Red onion — 1 tbsp, chopped
- Lemon juice — 1 tbsp
- Olive oil — 1 tbsp
- Walnuts — 3 nuts, chopped
- Honey — 1/2 tsp
- Ground black pepper
- Heat half of the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breast and cook for 5-7 min or until cooked through and no pink inside. Leave it to cool down and slice it into bite-size pieces.
- Combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Toss the lettuce, orange, onion, and the prepared dressing in a bowl.
- Place the salad on a plate, and top it with the chicken, walnuts, and feta crumbles.
The DoFasting app offers a wide range of healthy, well-balanced meal recipes catering to various dietary preferences, making it a valuable resource for lunch ideas and other meal planning needs.
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Oranges are a delicious and refreshing citrus fruit that can be easily incorporated into your diet. Whether you prefer snacking on orange slices or drinking a glass of orange juice, consuming oranges can provide significant benefits due to their high vitamin C, flavonoid, and fiber content.
However, it is essential to note that eating oranges in excess may cause adverse effects for some individuals, as they have high acid content. If you are unsure about the number of oranges you should consume, it is advisable to consult a medical professional to avoid any potential health problems.
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This is an evidence-based article that includes scientific citations. DoFasting’s professional writers and editors prepared the content, which a team of medical experts verified to be accurate.
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