Orange is a refreshing and delicious citrus fruit packed with a number of nutrients and vitamins, yet it is low in calories. It can be consumed in various forms, including raw and liquid and is a great source of vitamin C. Orange juice, which is consumed by many as part of breakfast, contains less dietary fiber than the whole fruit, but provides more vitamin C. Besides vitamin C, the fruit is also rich in vitamin A and B, and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, and sulfur. Even the rind of the orange is nutritious, as its whitish part is rich in Vitamin C and Pectin.
Calories & Nutritional Facts
Calorie is referred to as a unit of energy, which measures the amount of energy derived from consuming the food you eat. A majority of fruits has high quantities of water and the calorie content comes from the presence of fructose (fruit sugar). Oranges have around 85% of water and low levels of calories. One medium sized raw orange contains 62 calories, as per the USDA Dietary Guidelines.
A cup of freshly squeezed orange juice comprises of 112 calories, while a cup of unsweetened canned juice has 105 calories. A cup of orange juice made from unsweetened, frozen concentrate with three parts of water, contains around 112 calories. Nevertheless, speaking generally, the amount of calories will depend on the size, its ripeness level and skin thickness. Let’s take a look at the common types of oranges and their associated calorie.
- Navel, 154 grams, medium sized- 80 calories. Navel oranges get their name from their navel like protrusion on the bottom of the fruit.
- Red Navel, 140 grams, medium sized– 70 calories. A red navel is a great source of vitamin A, calcium, vitamin B-6, magnesium, thiamin and riboflavin.
- Valencia, 121 grams, small sized- Valencia is the world’s most common orange variety with more than half of its production utilized for juice.
- Tangelo, 131 grams, small sized- Tangelos are a crossbreed of grapefruits and Tangerines, and are rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C.
- Bergamot, 180 grams, medium sized– 85 calories. This is an Italian orange, with a slightly bitter taste and great aroma. It makes a great additive for tea flavoring, and has also been used for malaria treatment in Calabria, Italy.
Orange is a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, is fat and cholesterol free, and provides approximately 75% of the daily-recommended intake of vitamin C. Since it comprises of high water content, it can contribute to the body’s need for hydration. The combinations of these qualities make oranges an excellent food for weight loss, and thus the fruit shows up in almost every diet plan. Not only are they delicious and refreshing, but also energizing and nutritious.
A Quick Glance at Nutritional Values for 100 Grams
- Saturated fat – 0 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat 0 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat– 0 grams
- Sodium– 0 milligrams
- Cholesterol– 0 milligrams
- Potassium– 181 milligrams
- Protein– 0.9 grams
- Total Carbohydrates– 12 grams
- Sugar– 9 grams
- Dietary Fiber– 2.4 grams
- Vitamin A– 4%
- Vitamin C– 88%
- Vitamin D– 0%
- Iron– 0%
- Vitamin B12- 0%
- Vitamin B6- 5%
- Magnesium- 2%
- Calcium- 4%
100 grams of orange contains 88% of vitamin C. The high content of vitamin C plays an important role in strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, gout, cataracts and stroke as per the Linus Pauling Institute. Vitamin C is also effective in lowering hypertension, treating vasodilation and healing wounds.
Beta Carotene, which is responsible for the pigmentation in the orange’s skin, is also helpful when it comes to combating illnesses and protecting the cells. It is considered an antioxidant and is also a precursor to vitamin A, and greatly contributes to the health of skin and eyes.
Oranges also contain calcium, which helps in keeping the teeth and bones healthy. Moreover, it ensures your muscles, heart and nerves are functioning properly. Research suggests that when combined with vitamin D, the benefits of calcium can go way beyond maintaining optimal bone health, perhaps safeguarding the body against diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.
Potassium helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, kidney and heart disorders, stress and anxiety, along with strengthening the muscles, improving metabolism and maintaining water balance, nervous system and electrolytic functions.
Potassium is the third most plentiful mineral found in the human body and is a powerful component in enhancing overall health. It comprises of essential minerals that are needed for retaining a well-maintained health and a better lifestyle. Besides acting as an electrolyte, potassium is necessary for keeping the brain, heart, muscle tissue, kidney, and other essential organ systems of the human body in optimum condition.
Also known as vitamin B1, thiamine is a vital human nutrient that plays an important part in keeping the nervous system healthy and improving the cardiovascular functioning of the body. Moreover, it is also involved in energy production. The sugar in our bodies is oxidized to produce a usable form of energy owing to the presence of Vitamin B1, along with better digestion, preventing Alzheimer’s disease and improving memory.
Magnesium also plays a key role in the production of energy, which is then utilized by cells and muscles. Lack of magnesium can result in various health issues, including decreased bone strength and volume, and poor bone development, all of which are responsible for osteoporosis. Besides that, studies show a majority of people who are depressed exhibit a shortage of magnesium. People who take the recommended daily intake of magnesium have a lower risk of diabetes, hypertension, migraine headaches, asthma, preeclampsia, anxiety and poor heart health.
Pectin is a type of soluble fiber most commonly found in citrus fruits and apples, and offers a range of health benefits. Fiber is primarily categorized into two types: soluble and insoluble. Pectin is a soluble fiber, which takes water from your digestive tract and creates it into a gel, which helps slow down digestion. This fiber is a great way of naturally lowering cholesterol levels as concluded by the findings of “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in the issue of May 2012.
The study was focused on a group of 15 participants who were fed citrus pectin daily for a month in combination with other foods. The results showed lower levels of LDL, also known as “bad cholesterol”, by about 7 to 10%. Besides improving your cardiovascular health, sufficient intake of pectin is also believed to prevent colon cancer by hampering intestinal tumors. This was researched in 2003 and a report was published in the journal “Anti-Cancer Research” where scientists concluded that pectin was responsible for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the human colon.
If you have diabetes, you would know the importance of regulating your blood sugar. Eating foods that are high in soluble fiber like pectin can help balance your blood glucose level. This is because when you eat a meal that is rich in pectin, the fiber slows down digestion and delays the time until the stomach is empty again. This in turn slows down the rate at which your body absorbs carbohydrates from the food, which stabilizes glucose levels.
Health Benefits of Orange
An orange is a powerhouse fruit packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoids. With this combination of minerals and nutrients, the orange becomes one of the best fruits in encouraging optimal health since it has various anti-tumors, anti-inflammatory and blood clot inhibiting properties.
Since oranges are citrus fruits, do not ever freeze them. To retain the juiciness of the fruit, keep it in a basket at room temperature to allow air circulation. If you are planning to store them for a week or two, wrap individual oranges in a wrapping paper and store the wrapped fruits in a cardboard box in a dark, cool, and dry place, away from the sunlight and at an approximate temperature of 60o.
The wrapping paper will act as a moisture resistor and keep the oranges from coming into contact with other potentially rotten oranges, hence keeping them intact. However, if you are planning to store the oranges for longer than two to three weeks, all you have to do is follow the same procedure, but this time keeping the temperature to a maximum of 38o.
Yummy Orange Smoothie Recipe for Weight Loss
Best Picks: Valencia, Mandarin and Navel
- 1 medium sized orange, unseeded and peeled
- ½ cup of plain, fat-free yogurt
- ½ cup of skimmed milk
Blend the oranges, yogurt and skimmed milk together until smooth. You can add a small quantity of sweetener like honey or maple syrup for added taste.
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