Lemon vs. Mandarin orange — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Lemons contain more Vitamin C and iron than mandarin oranges. They are also lower in sugars.
Mandarin is richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, calcium, magnesium, and calcium.
Table of contents
We will discuss the similarities and differences between lemon and mandarin oranges, focusing on nutrition and health impact.
What's The Actual Difference?
Lemon and mandarin oranges are citrus fruits belonging to the Citrus genus. Both have distinctly citrus flavors; however, mandarin oranges are slightly sweeter, and lemon is more bitter or sour.
On the outside, lemons and mandarin are easy to differentiate; lemons look yellow and oval, and mandarin oranges are orange, yellow-orange, or red-orange; the skin is thin and easily peels off.
Slightly note: as both are citrus fruits, they may have similar nutritional profiles.
Overall, mandarin contains more calories than lemon: it has about 53 calories, while lemon contains 29 calories per 100g. However, both are considered low-calorie foods.
Mandarin orange is richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, and folate.
Mandarin orange falls in the range of the top 22% foods as a source of Vitamin A.
Lemon has more Vitamin C. It falls in the range of the top 12% of foods as a source of Vitamin C.
Both these fruits contain equal amounts of Vitamin B6.
Both fruits have no Vitamin D and Vitamin B12.
Mandarin has a relatively higher amount of calcium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
Lemon has more iron than mandarin.
Both fruits have equal sodium.
Both fruits have fats of less than 1g.
A 100g lemon contains 9.32g of carbohydrates, of which 2.8g is dietary fiber, and 6.52g is net carbs. Mandarine orange has 13.34g of carbs, 1.8g of fiber, and 11.54g of net carbs per 100g.
Both lemon and mandarin have no cholesterol.
Both mandarin and lemon have a tiny amount of protein.
According to The International Tables of Glycemic Index Values, mandarine oranges have a glycemic index equal to 47±2; the glycemic index of lemons has not yet been researched, however, research shows that its low sugar and high fiber content will not raise blood glucose levels .
Due to their high flavonoid content, citrus fruits appear to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction, dyslipidemia, and coronary artery pathology . The potential mechanism of action could be linked to intracellular pathways involved in the direct cardiovascular and cardiometabolic effects of naringenin, hesperetin, and eriodictyol or glycosylated derivatives.
One study indicates that citrus carotenes like cryptoxanthin may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease .
Both fruits are rich in antioxidants; however, lemons are higher in Vitamin C and flavanones than mandarines.
Plant compounds found in lemons, specifically hesperidin and diosmin, have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels .
Citrus fruits contain phytoene and phytofluene, as well as other xanthophyll groups such as monohydroxy carotenoids, which have been linked to a lower risk of cancer, particularly in the digestive and upper respiratory tracts .
Lemons are incredibly high in Vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant and can help to fight against oxidative stress and free radicals. One study shows  that lemon antioxidants have anticancer effects against colon, pancreatic, and breast cancers. Besides, lemons have also been studied to have antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and anti-obesity effects .
Animal studies  have shown that citrus flavonoids improve glucose tolerance, increase insulin secretion and sensitivity, and decrease insulin resistance. These flavonoids may also reduce intestinal glucose absorption, increase peripheral glucose uptake, reduce inflammation, and modulate the activity of glucose and lipid metabolism enzymes and transporters.
In one study , participants who added lemon juice to a meal had significantly lower blood glucose concentrations than those who didn't consume lemon juice. This effect is thought to be caused by the acidity of lemon juice, which slows starch digestion.
Downsides and Risks
Both mandarin oranges and lemon can cause an allergic reaction․ People who are allergic to the peels of citrus fruits are often allergic to limonene, a chemical found in all citrus fruits. Symptoms include itching in the lips, mouth, or throat .
- The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium||Equal|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in Saturated Fat||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||1µg||34µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|