You probably know oranges as a good source of vitamin C. While that is definitely true, oranges also have a multitude of other benefits. They offer potassium, fiber, folate, and calcium. This naturally makes them very healthy. There’s also a wide variety of ways to eat them and use them for tasty recipes.
There are several types of oranges. Some are sweet like blood oranges, Valencia and its seedless variety which is called navel while others are bitter like Seville and bergamot. Each type of orange has its own uses. For instance, bitter oranges are mainly used for the essential oils found in their zest and skin. For instance, bergamot is used to give Earl Grey tea its recognizable flavor.
Calories in an Orange (+Nutrition Facts)
The nutrition information – provided by the USDA – we’re about to provide is for one medium orange that’s 2-5/8″ in diameter and that weight about 131g.
- Calories: 62
- Fat: 0.16g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Carbohydrates: 15.4g
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Sugars: 12.2g
- Protein: 1.2g
- Vitamin C: 69.7mg
- Potassium: 237mg
- Calcium: 52.4mg
Calories in an Orange: Carbs
There are 62 calories in an orange that’s about the size of a tennis ball. It also contains 15 grams of carbohydrates. Naturally, these numbers will scale with the size of the orange. For instance, there are 22 grams of carbohydrates and 87 calories in an orange that’s 3-1/16″ in diameter.
It’s also worth noting that oranges are also a good source of fiber even though the carbs they contain mostly come from simple sugars. They also don’t contain any added sugar which means that their glycemic effect is negligible. The glycemic index for one orange is around 40 meaning that it won’t raise your blood sugar quickly.
Calories in an Orange: Fats
Oranges contain very little, if any, fats. It’s also cholesterol-free
Calories in an Orange: Protein
Oranges are not known for being a good protein source. You shouldn’t rely on oranges as a protein source. It is recommended that you include other protein sources in your diet in order to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Calories in an Orange: Vitamins and Minerals
As you already know, oranges are a great source of vitamin C. However, it doesn’t stop at that. Oranges also offer calcium which is good for increasing bone strength. There’s also potassium and B1 and B9 vitamins called thiamin and folate respectively. To give some reference, a medium-sized orange contains more than half the amount of potassium found in one medium-sized banana.
Health Benefits of Oranges
There’s no denying the wide variety of health benefits that oranges bring to the table. There have been many studies done that reinforce this even more.
With heart disease being the world’s most common cause of premature death, oranges can come in real handy to help us keep our hearts healthy.
Flavonoids such as hesperidin may have beneficial effects that protect against heart disease. Some studies have also noted that consuming orange juice on a daily basis for four weeks has a blood-thinning effect that can significantly reduce blood pressure.
It has also been shown that fibers can decrease blood cholesterol levels. When you combine all of these health benefits, it’s clear that oranges have a protective effect against heart disease.
Kidney Stone Prevention
Aside from vitamins and minerals, oranges are also an excellent source of citric acid and citrates which seem to help in preventing kidney stone formation. Potassium citrate is commonly prescribed to patients with kidney stones.
Anemia is when the subject has low levels of hemoglobin or red blood cells which results in lower oxygen-carrying capacity. The main cause of anemia is iron deficiency.
Even though oranges are not known as a good source of iron, they are still a great source of organic acids that can help your body in absorbing iron from the digestive tract. This means that eating oranges with iron-rich foods can help your body take more advantage of what you’re eating.
Whole Oranges vs. Orange Juice
A lot of people seem to have taken a liking to consuming orange juice, but is there really a difference between eating whole oranges and drinking orange juice?
The first notable difference is the fact that when you’re consuming orange juice, you’ll be decreasing the fiber intake significantly. For instance, a 240 ml-cup of pure orange juice has the same amount of natural sugar as two whole oranges but it has significantly less filling.
Consequently, it is not uncommon to see people consuming an excessive amount of orange juice which can contribute to weight gain as well as other health issues. This is further compounded by the fact that a lot of fruit juices also have added sugar in them
All in all, if you’re going for the healthier option, go with whole oranges. However, drinking orange juice from time to time is also healthy.
There aren’t any adverse effects that we know of.
Naturally, if you’re allergic to oranges, which is rare, then you should avoid anything with oranges in it. Some people experience heartburn, and for those people, consuming oranges can make their symptoms much worse. This is due to the fact that oranges contain citric acid and ascorbic acid.
Calories in an Orange: Conclusion
Oranges are pretty much one of the most consumed and well-known fruits around the globe. They have great nutritional value, but most importantly, they taste good.
You can’t go wrong with consuming oranges as the benefits are huge. Seeing that oranges help protect against heart disease, kidney stone formation as well as help increase your body’s absorption of iron, oranges can be pretty much included in any healthy diet you wish to follow. Since there are only about 67 calories in an orange, you won’t have to worry about ruining your diet.