Clementine vs Orange - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
The difference in nutritional content comparison of oranges and clementines is not major.
Oranges are richer in protein and dietary fiber, while clementines are higher in calories, fats, and carbohydrates.
In vitamin and mineral comparisons, orange is the title-holder with higher contents of vitamins A, B2, B5, as well as calcium, potassium, copper, and zinc.
Both oranges and clementines have a significant beneficial health impact. The final choice depends on your individual preferences.
Table of contents
Do you ever feel the coming of Christmas time with the smell of clementines? There’s a chance that the scent of clementines subconsciously reminds you of Christmas since their ripening season is from November to February.
On the other hand, you can find oranges almost all year round. Although clementine belongs to the orange family, they are not the same. At first sight, clementine may seem like a tiny orange, but they are two different types of citruses.
Clementine is smaller than orange, sweeter, and rounded with a thinner, easy-to-peel skin. Besides, it is worth mentioning that clementine has sterility since it is a hybrid type. In other words, it is seedless.
In an effort to avoid any confusion, let’s try to find out their differences and similarities.
From the very start, it is necessary to point out that there are no significant differences between oranges and clementines in nutritional content. They have very similar nutrition values.
Both are good sources of dietary fiber; however, orange is higher in fiber. On the other hand, clementine is lower in cholesterol, sugars, and saturated fat.
As indicated in the charts of comparison below, in terms of vitamins, orange is the winner. It is higher in vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5 and slightly higher in vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B9.
Clementine, however, is considerably higher in vitamin B3 and somewhat higher in vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
What about minerals? According to the data set out below, orange wins hands down again.
Orange is higher in calcium, potassium, copper, and zinc.
At the same time, clementine is higher in iron and phosphorus. Magnesium can be found in equal amounts in the two fruits.
Orange is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber has many beneficial effects on health. First of all, it improves our digestive health, contributes to weight loss, and lowers cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood, decreasing the risk of coronary heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and several gastrointestinal illnesses (1).
Both orange and clementine, like most citruses, are rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C, above all, prevents the pathological state called scurvy. It has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and immune-boosting properties (3).
Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C also has anti-cancer properties. According to one study, high levels of vitamin C, equal to around 300 oranges, have impaired the growth of BRAF and KRAS mutant colorectal tumors. These tumors are considered to be the most aggressive types and do not respond to chemotherapy in a proper way (4). Before passing on the next question, I would like to dwell on the fact that vitamin C also prevents iron deficiency anemia together with citric acid by increasing iron absorption from the digestive tract.
Additionally, orange has antioxidant properties due to a higher content of vitamin A and other antioxidants called flavonoids. An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away. According to one study, people who regularly eat oranges have a lower risk of macular degeneration development than those who do not eat oranges (2). The exclusivity of this research is that they have linked the low risk of macular degeneration not only with vitamins C, E, and A but also with flavanoids.
Oranges are also higher in folate (vitamin B9), which is essential for the correct formation of germ cells and the embryo’s brain, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Moreover, it protects our blood vessels from damage and the formation of atherosclerotic plaques that can result from increased homocysteine levels during folate acid deficiencies.
Conversely, clementines with higher vitamin B6 and B1 content protect our heart and contribute to metabolism and the proper function of the nervous system.
Oranges, richer in calcium and potassium, can contribute to bone and heart health. As a crucial component of body cells and fluids, potassium controls blood pressure. In this connection, it should be noted that oranges contain more citric acid and citrates, particularly potassium citrate, which are believed to prevent the formation of kidney stones (5).
On top of everything else, owing to its rejuvenating and pain-relieving features, clementine oil is widely used in aromatherapy to ensure restful sleep. A massage with clementine oil is said to get rid of stress, improve mood and give mental clarity.
Oranges originated in either China or India, where they were named “Chinese apples.” The first mention of oranges in ancient texts dates back to approximately 2200 B.C. (6). The first orange was brought to America in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.
Clementines were developed in Algeria in 1902 by French missionary Father Clement Rodier and named after him. It is a hybrid between sweet orange and mandarin orange. In 1925 Corsicans started to cultivate it.
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet||Equal|
|Low glycemic index diet|