Wellness Nutrition Nutrition Basics Health Benefits of Oranges Oranges are a nutritional all-star that offers more than just vitamin C. By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD's Facebook Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD's Instagram Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD's Twitter Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD's Website Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's Health's contributing nutrition editor and counsels clients one-on-one through her virtual private practice. Cynthia is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics and has consulted for five professional sports teams, including five seasons with the New York Yankees. She is currently the nutrition consultant for UCLA's Executive Health program. Sass is also a three-time New York Times best-selling author and Certified Plant Based Professional Cook. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook, or visit www.CynthiaSass.com. health's editorial guidelines Updated on March 29, 2023 Medically reviewed by Aviv Joshua, MS Medically reviewed by Aviv Joshua, MS Aviv Joshua, MS, RDN, LDN, is a clinical dietitian with over 10 years of experience in healthcare. learn more Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Pinterest Email this page In This Article View All In This Article Benefits of Oranges Nutrition of Oranges Risks of Eating Oranges Tips for Consuming Oranges A Quick Review When you think of the health benefits of oranges, the first thing that probably springs to mind is vitamin C. Citrus fruits pack plenty of immune-supporting vitamin C. Still, oranges provide several other possible health benefits like cancer-fighting compounds and hydration. The nutrition of oranges ranges from minerals like potassium and phosphorous to substances that help delay or prevent chronic diseases. You can enjoy oranges in delicious ways, from juice to zest made from the peel. Getty Images Benefits of Oranges However you consume oranges, they offer a spectrum of benefits. Oranges can fill you up, help meet your daily fluid requirements, or top off the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Help With Hydration One navel orange provides about 121 grams, or four ounces, of water. Your fluid needs vary based on age, activity level, and health status. Generally, women need about 92 ounces of fluids daily, while men need 124 ounces. Usually, people get about 20% of their fluids from food. Water-rich foods like oranges help meet your daily requirement. Consuming enough fluids has several health benefits, such as: Prevents dehydrationMaintains body temperatureEnables you to digest the food you eatFlushes out waste Improve Digestion One medium navel orange offers about three grams of fiber. The Food and Drug Administration advises getting 28 grams of fiber daily. Though most people in the United States do not consume enough fiber, it has several health benefits. Fiber supports many functions, such as: Aiding with digestionHelping regulate blood sugar and insulin levelsSatiating your appetite for long periodsKeeping your bowel movements regular Increase your fiber intake slowly. Too much fiber can quickly cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset, like bloating. Reduce Belly Fat The fiber content of oranges helps reduce cholesterol and belly fat, or visceral fat. A study published in 2022 tracked the food habits of almost 1,500 people with metabolic syndrome with overweight or obesity. Metabolic syndrome is a group of health conditions that raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The researchers found that after 12 months, people who increased their fiber intake reduced their body weight and visceral fat. Carrying excess visceral fat increases inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. Oranges pack flavonoids, a compound with antioxidant properties. A study published in 2017 found that high intakes of flavonoids help reduce fat mass. Support the Immune System One medium navel orange packs nearly 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C for men and even more for women. Vitamin C supports the immune system. The body also uses vitamin C to make collagen and use fat as fuel during exercise and at rest. A study published in 2021 found that citrus juice, mainly orange juice, supports the immune system. The researchers noted that citrus juice reduces inflammation, which causes many chronic diseases. Aid With Iron Absorption The vitamin C content in oranges helps the body absorb iron. Iron enables the body to use oxygen better, and a lack of iron can cause fatigue. Getting enough iron is especially important for premenopausal people who lose iron through their periods. Iron is essential for people who follow a plant-based diet. The body absorbs iron from plant-based foods less readily than from animal sources. Protect Against Chronic Diseases Oranges pack flavonoids, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Research has found that antioxidants help protect cells against damage. Oxidative stress can lead to inflammation linked to diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. A study published in 2018 of more than 82,000 women found that high flavonoid intake lowered the risk of depression, especially among older women. Lower Cancer Risk Orange peels pack some of the highest flavonoids and vitamin C content than any citrus fruit. A review published in 2020 found that the flavonoids in citrus peels help prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading. For example, flavonoids help regulate apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Apoptosis is a process the body uses to kill off abnormal cells before they multiply and grow out of control. Might Improve Cognitive Function Orange juice may help you think clearly. For example, a study published in 2015 found that high intakes of citrus juice improved cognitive function in older adults. Another study published in 2017 found that drinking moderate quantities of citrus juice can enhance blood flow to the brain for healthy young adults. 10 Foods (Besides Oranges) That Are High In Vitamin C Nutrition of Oranges One navel orange has the following nutritional profile: Calories: 72.8Fat: 0.21gSodium: 12.6mgCarbohydrates: 16.5gFiber: 2.8gProtein: 1.27g In addition to vitamin C and fiber, oranges pack potassium and folate, two vital nutrients. Potassium supports heart, muscle, and bone health. Folate is a B vitamin that helps make red blood cells and DNA. Oranges supply small amounts of calcium and magnesium. Calcium builds strong bones and teeth, helps your muscles and blood vessels contract, and aids in secreting hormones and proteins. Magnesium has many functions, like helping strengthen your immune system, regulating your heartbeat, and building strong bones. Even orange seeds offer nutritional value. A study published in 2021 looked at the components of valencia and blood orange seeds. The researchers noted that orange seeds generally contain unsaturated and essential fatty acids. The researchers found that the valencia and blood orange seeds contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and macronutrients like protein and carbohydrates. Risks of Eating Oranges Consuming oranges or their juice may have risks, such as: Aggravating symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)Worsening heartburn due to their acidityCausing indigestionInteracting with certain prescription drugsLeading to weight gain if you drink too much juice over time Tips for Consuming Oranges There are lots of ways to enjoy oranges. You can enjoy them whole, in sections, grated, or squeezed. Eat Them Whole Whole oranges are filling and provide more fiber than orange zest or orange juice. Add them to overnight oats, garden salads, stir-fry, chilled whole-grain dishes, savory lettuce wraps, and slaw. Pair orange slices with nuts or seeds, cheese or yogurt, or herbed olives. Mix it up by trying different varieties, including navel, blood, and mandarin. Zest Orange Peels Opt for organic oranges if you decide to eat the peel. Organic oranges lower your exposure to pesticide residues. Zest the outer skin with a grater. You may want to avoid the more bitter white pith. Add orange zest to homemade salad dressing. Orange zest also makes a good garnish for oatmeal, fruit salad, or avocado toast. You can sprinkle some on cooked veggies, quinoa, stir-fries, and desserts. Add Orange Juice Orange juice counts as part of your daily fruit intake. You can drink freshly squeezed orange juice or cook with it. Try adding pure orange juice to stir-fry sauce, marinade, or soup. Consider using orange juice to make cocktails or mocktails, or freeze it in an ice cube tray and add it to water with mint or ginger. Sumo Oranges—Here's Why You Might Want to Try Them A Quick Review Oranges offer a wide range of health benefits. Oranges are filling and full of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help prevent chronic diseases and help manage healthy body weight. There are many ways to enjoy oranges, from eating them whole to adding the grated peel to dressing. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! 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