Health Benefits of an Orange

Almost always when people talked or heard about oranges, they right away equated them to Vitamin C. You would hear them telling about their experiences and what this golden-like fruit did to them. Oranges are one of the most popular fruits known to mankind.

What is an Orange?

The orange is the fruit of various citrus species in the family Rutaceae. It primarily refers to Citrus × Sinensis, which is also called sweet orange.

Nutrition in Oranges

One medium-sized orange has:

  • 60 calories
  • No fat or sodium
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 12 grams of sugar
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 14 micrograms of vitamin A
  • 70 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 6% of your daily recommended amount of calcium
  • 237 milligrams of potassium
  • 15.4 grams of carbohydrates

Benefits of Eating an Orange

The vitamin C in oranges helps your body in lots of ways:

    • Protects your cells from damage.
    • Helps your body make collagen, a protein that heals wounds and gives you smoother skin.
    • Makes it easier to absorb iron to fight anemia.
    • Boosts your immune system, your body’s defense against germs.
    • Slows the advance of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss
    • Helps fight cancer-causing free radicals

When you’re feeling anxious, vitamin C can also lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and your blood pressure.

Some other benefits:

Anti-inflammatory. Some foods tell your immune system it’s under attack. This causes inflammation. When inflammation turns into a long-term problem, it can trigger diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Oranges have the opposite effect.

Fiber. The 3 grams of fiber in a medium orange help keep your bowels healthy, your cholesterol and risk of heart disease low, and ulcers at bay. Fiber also slows the way your body absorbs sugar — a big bonus if you have diabetes.

Calcium. Oranges are high in this important nutrient, which keeps your bones, organs, and muscles strong.

Folate for moms and babies. Oranges are a great way to get a big dose of folate naturally. Your body uses it to divide cells and make DNA. Because it helps prevent birth defects, it’s an especially important B vitamin for pregnant women.

Good sugar. The 12 grams of sugar in orange are all-natural. That’s different from the kind of sugar you’d get in a candy bar. Plus, all the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that come with orange make it a much better choice for your body. Choose raw oranges, which have less sugar than the dried kind.

Potassium. This nutrient lowers your blood pressure, and oranges have a bunch of it.

Citric acid and citrates. These compounds help prevent kidney stones from forming.

An Orange a Day

Anti-oxidants in oranges help protect skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging. An orange a day can help you look young even at 50! Oranges, being rich in Vitamins B6, help support the production of hemoglobin and also help keep blood pressure under check due to the presence of magnesium.

It’s best to limit yourself to no more than 8 ounces (240 ml) per day. Even better, if you can, opt for whole oranges over juice whenever possible.

12 Types of Oranges.

1. Navel Oranges

These sweet, slightly bitter oranges are arguably the most common type of all. You’ll know a navel orange when you see one, thanks to its signature mark on the bottom that resembles a belly button. Because of their inviting flavor and lack of seeds, navel oranges are a great pick for snacking on raw or adding to salads.

Their sweetness also makes them great for juicing, as long as you’re going to drink it immediately. You can also use the zest in baking, like making quick bread or muffins, to brighten up a dish’s flavor. Navel oranges are in season from November to June, so feel free to incorporate them in any recipe from fruit salad to grilled fish year-round.

2. Cara Cara Oranges

This type of navel orange is extra sweet. Cara Cara oranges are famous for their low acidity and refreshing sweetness, which make them prime for snacks, raw dishes, and juice. (They also tend to have minimal seeds.)

Also called red-fleshed navel oranges (their flesh has a deeper color due to natural carotenoid pigments), the Cara Cara is sort of like a cross between a blood orange and a navel orange, as it has a complexly sweet flavor with hints of berries and cherries. They originally hail from Venezuela, but now they’re grown mostly in California from December to April.

3. Valencia Oranges

If you have your sights set on fresh-squeezed OJ, look no further than sweet Valencia oranges. They have thin skins and a ton of juice, meaning you’ll get the most bang for your buck when it comes to making a fresh glass. You can also snack on them raw, as long as you keep an eye out for seeds.

Despite its Spanish namesake, Valencia oranges were created in the mid-1800s in California; they’re also grown in Florida. Unlike other popular varieties, they’re mostly harvested in the summer from March through July. Use Valencia oranges to make juice or eat them raw as part of a salad or solo..

4. Blood Oranges

Ah, blood orange: No winter cheese board or holiday dessert spread is complete without it. They get their name from the deep red color of their flesh, which is super juicy, sweet, and tart. Their flavor is unique, sort of like tart oranges mixed with plump, ripe raspberries.

There are three main types—Moro, Sanguinello, and Tarocco—which range from tart to sweet, respectively. This makes them a stellar addition to desserts or sauces, plus a great base for marmalade. They can also be juiced or eaten raw. Blood oranges are most widely available from late fall through winter (about November to March).

5. Seville Oranges

These Mediterranean fruits are also called sour oranges for a reason. Seville oranges are minimally sweet and big on tartness and bitterness. This makes them the best choice for marmalade, as they can hold their own against and complement the substantial amount of sugar that needs to be added.

The oranges and their peels are also great for flavoring marinades. Because they’re so acidic, they’re not typically enjoyed raw. If you can get your hands on some Seville oranges while they’re in season from December to February, use them in fish or pork marinades, jellies, and marmalade, sauces, salad dressings, or sweetened cocktails.

6. Lima Oranges

If you ever see this Brazilian gem in the produce section, scoop some up before they disappear. Common in South America and the Mediterranean, lima oranges are also known as acid-less oranges because they’re super sweet with minimal acidity or tartness.

They have thick peels and some seeds, but they’re great for snacking on raw nonetheless because of their soft, tender texture and distinct juiciness. The only downside of lima oranges is that their lack of acidity also gives them a short shelf life.

So, enjoy them raw or squeeze them into juice and indulge ASAP. You just might be lucky enough to find them from late winter to early spring.

7. Mandarin Oranges

Here’s the thing: Even though it’s often referred to as a “mandarin orange,” mandarins technically aren’t oranges at all. Mandarin oranges are a group of citrus fruits that have loose skin, are small in size, and have a somewhat flattened appearance. Oranges are actually hybrids of mandarins and pomelos (which are similar to grapefruit, but less bitter).

Mandarins are small and sweet with easy-to-peel skin, making them popular salad toppers and snacks. They’re also great for baking since they’re practically seedless. Fresh mandarins are in season from January to May, but they’re also commonly found canned and packed in syrup for year-round consumption.

8. Tangerines

While they’re often lumped into the same family, tangerines and oranges are two different types of citrus. Tangerines are technically classified as a type of mandarin, and they’re a close cousin of the clementine. (The main difference between the two is that clementines are basically seedless while tangerines aren’t.)

In general, oranges are bigger and tarter than tangerines, which are small, sweet, and easy to peel, making them great for juice, snacking, baking, drinks, and salads. They have a pretty long season from November through May, so you have plenty of time to snag some while they’re at their best.

9. Clementines

They’re tiny, seedless, sweet, and downright adorable. No wonder everyone loves packing these for a bright lunchtime pick-me-up. Like tangerines, clementines are easy to peel and eat, thanks to their little segments. A clementine is technically a tangor, which is a cross between a willow leaf mandarin orange and a sweet orange—that’s why they have such unique, honey-like sweetness and low acidity. They’re a cinch to peel because of their loose skin and minimal pith, making them great for snacking on raw, baking with or adding to a salad. Their peak season is November through January.

10. Tangelos

OK, follow along closely: If an orange, by definition, is a hybrid of a mandarin and pomelo, and the tangelo is a hybrid of a tangerine (which is a type of mandarin) and a pomelo, then the tangelo is *basically* a super special orange…right? Tangelos have a notable nipple that separates them from other citrus fruit.

Their skin is tight and difficult to peel, but the flesh inside is super juicy, tart, and sweet. So, while they might be tough to eat raw, they’d make a killer glass of juice. They can also be used as a substitute for mandarin oranges and sweet oranges. Keep an eye out for them from December through March.

11. Bergamot Oranges

Bergamot oranges are classified as Citrus bergamia and a hybrid from the Rutaceae family. These types of oranges have an average size of 6 to 8 cm in diameter and are spherical. The bergamot orange has a glossy green to bright yellow skin. It has a soft, pale yellow flesh that is subdivided into segments.

The flesh has a bitter taste which is non-suitable for fresh eating. Though bergamot orange is acidic and tarty, it is also known to be a good source of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamins A, B1, and B2.

12. Pineapple oranges

These types of oranges are the oldest cultivated variety in Florida and are known for their juicy sweetness taste. The fruit has a round to oval shape and medium to large size. Both flesh and skin are orange in color. Pineapple oranges are best eaten fresh.

Vitamin C Supplementation

Vitamin C may be most commonly associated with oranges, If you’re looking to boost your daily vitamin C intake well beyond the RDA, you can either eat a very large amount of vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, guavas, and red bell peppers, or you may want to consider supplementation.

And while getting nutrients from food is almost always best, there are some compelling studies to back up the notion that for some people, vitamin C supplementation could be helpful.

Vitamin C supplementation has been found to reduce the severity and shorten recovery time from illnesses, including viral infections like cold and flu. It can support your body’s natural defenses and fight inflammation.

You can also get your Vitamin C Supplementations online by clicking here.

And there is some evidence from animal research and case studies in humans that high dose, or IV vitamin C, can reduce lung inflammation in severe respiratory illnesses caused by H1N1 (“swine flu”) or other similar viruses.

Health risks

“When [oranges are] eaten in excess, the greater fiber content can affect digestion, causing abdominal cramps, and could also lead to diarrhea.” Though oranges are relatively low in calories, eating several per day can end up leading to weight gain.

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Please let us know in the comments below:

  • Do you know all these types of oranges? If so, which one is your favorite?
  • How often do you eat oranges?
  • Has your doctor suggested this fabulous fruit for your physical health?


Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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2 thoughts on “Health Benefits of an Orange”

  1. Speaking as a cook/caterer, I know what the benefits of oranges are. It’s one of my favorite fruits to consume! I love cooking with oranges as well, using them to make a variety of dishes. It’s also something I throw into smoothies. The benefits of oranges are nothing short of phenomenal!

    • Hello Millie,

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback.
      You have received this so fast and I am
      so grateful that it did go to you as you
      do have a lot of experience with it.

      As you know there is no coincidence in
      this world and so here you are.

      Thank you ever so much again and do
      enjoy more of your oranges.

      God bless you.



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