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Oranges are the most popular citrus fruits. Every part of the orange, including the rind, has some nutritional value. Orange juice has become an indispensable part of our daily breakfast. It is considered as a fresh and perfectly nutritious way to start the day.

Nutrients in Oranges

Like any other citrus fruit, oranges are also loaded with vitamin C. Besides this, it is also a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin B. It also contains minerals, like calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and sulfur. The white part of the peel is rich in vitamin C and pectin (dietary fiber, which is used as a gelling agent). Exposure to air reduces the amount of vitamin C in oranges/orange juice. So it is advisable to consume oranges, soon after they are cut. The table given below provides a brief overview about the nutrient content in an orange that weights around 130 grams.

Vitamin Value
Vitamin A 225 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.087 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.072 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.282 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.06 mg
Folate 30 mcg
Vitamin C 53.2 mg
Vitamin E 0.18 mg
Mineral Value
Potassium 181 mg
Selenium 0.7 mcg
Calcium 40 mg
Copper 0.1 mg
Phosphorus 14 mg
Magnesium 10 mg
Iron 0.1 mg
Zinc 0.07 mg

* Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

An orange that weighs 130 grams, contains 11.75 grams of carbohydrates, 9.35 grams of sugar, 2.4 grams of dietary fiber, and 0.94 gram fat. It amounts to 47 kcal.

Calorific Value

Almost all fruits have high levels of water content, and therefore the calories come from the natural sugar they possess. Oranges also contain 85% water and are low in calories. The calorie content in oranges can be absorbed by the body easily. Hence, this fruit is considered a quick refreshment. The calorie count of an orange depends on its size, thickness of skin, variety, and level of ripeness. A small orange weighing 95 grams, amounts to 45 calories, a medium one (130 grams) has 60 calories, and a large one (185 grams) has 85 calories. While a navel orange weighing 140 grams amounts to 70 calories, a Valencia orange with a weight of 120 grams contains 60 calories. The calorie content is directly proportional to the sweetness of the orange. If an orange is sweet, it contains more sugar than the sour one, and thereby possesses more calories than its counterpart.

Calories in Orange Juice

Various types of orange juice are available in the market. The calorie content varies with each type. The following table gives the approximate calorific value in one cup of orange juice.

Type of Orange Juice Calorific Value
Freshly squeezed - unsweetened 112 kcal
Freshly squeezed - sweetened 120 kcal
Canned - unsweetened 117 kcal
Canned - sweetened 139 kcal
Frozen concentrate, unsweetened, diluted with 3 volume water 112 kcal
Frozen concentrate - unsweetened - undiluted 452 kcal

* Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Nutritional Benefits
  • Vitamin C boosts the immune system of the body and Vitamin B6 helps in production of hemoglobin.
  • Beta carotene (an inactive form of vitamin A), which imparts the orange color to the fruit, helps in fighting ailments and protects our cells from damage.
  • While calcium helps in improving bone health, magnesium helps in maintaining the blood pressure.
  • Potassium is good for health of the cardiovascular system, whereas folic acid helps in brain development.
  • The human body converts food into energy with the help of thiamine.
  • Pectin, a fiber found in the orange peel helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
Healing Properties

Apart from vitamins and minerals, oranges contain more than 170 phytonutrients, which include carotenoids, terpenoids, limonoids, glucarates, and flavonoids. Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants and vegetables. Among these 170 phytonutrients, 60 are flavonoids. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antitumor and anticarcinogenic properties. They also prevent blood clotting, and thereby reduce the chances of coronary thrombosis. The 38 limonoids found in oranges, are also good for preventing tumor formation. Oranges contain 20 carotenoids, which have antioxidant properties. As oranges contain a considerable amount of fiber, they help in digestion and in lowering blood sugar levels. Intake of oranges is good for preventing kidney stone formation, rheumatoid arthritis and lung cancer. It is also believed that, consuming oranges makes your skin glow.

Considering all these nutritional values and healing properties of oranges, we should include them in our daily diet, and try to consume fresh, whole oranges rather than the sugary juices. However, if you prefer orange juice, go for freshly squeezed, home-made juice rather than the canned, ready-made ones.