Orange Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Oranges are round citrus fruits with juicy flesh and pebbled orange skin. Most people think of them as an excellent source of vitamin C (and they are), but oranges offer a lot more—like calcium, potassium, fiber, and folate—making them a nutritious option.
Oranges can be sweet or bitter. Sweet oranges, such as Valencia, navel (a seedless variety), and blood oranges, are available all year, though their peak season is from December to April.
Bitter oranges, such as Seville and bergamot, are used primarily for the essential oils found in their zest or skin1 . For example, oil of bergamot gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor. Fun fact: Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seeds and seedlings to the New World on his second voyage in 1493.
Orange Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is for one medium orange 2-5/8″ in diameter (131g) and is provided by the USDA.3
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Vitamin C: 69.7mg
- Potassium: 237mg
- Calcium: 52.4mg
One medium orange, about the size of a tennis ball, contains 62 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates. Keep in mind that larger portions will contain more calories and carbs (for example, a large orange, 3-1/16″ in diameter, has about 87 calories and 22 carbs).4
Even though the carbs in oranges come from simple sugars, whole oranges are also a good source of fiber5 and contain no added sugar. That means the glycemic effect of oranges is minimal. The estimated glycemic index for one orange is about 40, meaning it doesn’t raise your blood sugar quickly.6
The fresh fruit contains virtually no fats7 and is cholesterol-free.8
Oranges also have a minimal amount of protein.4 You should include other protein sources in your diet to meet your daily needs.
Vitamins and Minerals
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, packing in more than a day’s worth of this immune-boosting nutrient in one small serving.9 Oranges also provide bone-strengthening calcium, along with potassium and the B vitamins thiamin (B1) and folate (B9). A medium orange also contains more than half the amount of potassium found in one medium (118g) banana.10
The nutrients found in whole oranges deliver many preventative health benefits.