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Mandarin orange vs Lemon - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 10, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Mandarin orange
vs
Lemon

Summary

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.

Introduction

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.

NUTRITION

Slightly note: as both are citrus fruits, they may have similar nutritional profiles.

Calories

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.

Vitamins

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.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
2
Lemon
Contains more Vitamin A +2995.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +45%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +80%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +276%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +13.7%
Contains more Folate +45.5%
Contains more Vitamin C +98.5%
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.08
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 41% 4% 0% 89% 15% 9% 8% 13% 18% 12% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 3% 0% 177% 10% 5% 2% 12% 19% 9% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +2995.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +45%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +80%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +276%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +13.7%
Contains more Folate +45.5%
Contains more Vitamin C +98.5%
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.08

Minerals

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.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +42.3%
Contains more Magnesium +50%
Contains more Phosphorus +25%
Contains more Potassium +20.3%
Contains more Zinc +16.7%
Contains more Copper +13.5%
Contains more Iron +300%
Equal in Sodium - 2
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 12% 6% 9% 9% 15% 1% 2% 14%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 8% 23% 6% 7% 13% 1% 2% 13%
Contains more Calcium +42.3%
Contains more Magnesium +50%
Contains more Phosphorus +25%
Contains more Potassium +20.3%
Contains more Zinc +16.7%
Contains more Copper +13.5%
Contains more Iron +300%
Equal in Sodium - 2

Fats

Both fruits have fats of less than 1g.

Carbs

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.

Cholesterol

Both lemon and mandarin have no cholesterol.

Protein

Both mandarin and lemon have a tiny amount of protein.

Glycemic Index

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 [1].

HEALTH IMPACT

Cardiovascular Health

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 [2]. 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 [3].

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 [4].

Cancer

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 [5].

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 [6] 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 [7].

Diabetes

Animal studies [8] 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 [1], 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

Allergy

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 [9].

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-020-02228-x
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452232/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352385916300226
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12482628/
  5. The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19414313/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8392841/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6431442/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23308273/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 10, 2022

Infographic

Mandarin orange vs Lemon infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Mandarin orange Lemon
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in Saturated Fat Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Mandarin orange Lemon Opinion
Net carbs 11.54g 6.52g Mandarin orange
Protein 0.81g 1.1g Lemon
Fats 0.31g 0.3g Mandarin orange
Carbs 13.34g 9.32g Mandarin orange
Calories 53kcal 29kcal Mandarin orange
Starch 0g g Mandarin orange
Fructose 2.4g g Mandarin orange
Sugar 10.58g 2.5g Lemon
Fiber 1.8g 2.8g Lemon
Calcium 37mg 26mg Mandarin orange
Iron 0.15mg 0.6mg Lemon
Magnesium 12mg 8mg Mandarin orange
Phosphorus 20mg 16mg Mandarin orange
Potassium 166mg 138mg Mandarin orange
Sodium 2mg 2mg
Zinc 0.07mg 0.06mg Mandarin orange
Copper 0.042mg 0.037mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin A 681IU 22IU Mandarin orange
Vitamin E 0.2mg 0.15mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 26.7mg 53mg Lemon
Vitamin B1 0.058mg 0.04mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B2 0.036mg 0.02mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B3 0.376mg 0.1mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B5 0.216mg 0.19mg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B6 0.078mg 0.08mg Lemon
Folate 16µg 11µg Mandarin orange
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0µg 0µg
Tryptophan 0.002mg mg Mandarin orange
Threonine 0.016mg mg Mandarin orange
Isoleucine 0.017mg mg Mandarin orange
Leucine 0.028mg mg Mandarin orange
Lysine 0.032mg mg Mandarin orange
Methionine 0.002mg mg Mandarin orange
Phenylalanine 0.018mg mg Mandarin orange
Valine 0.021mg mg Mandarin orange
Histidine 0.011mg mg Mandarin orange
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.039g 0.039g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.06g 0.011g Mandarin orange
Polyunsaturated fat 0.065g 0.089g Lemon

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Mandarin orange Lemon
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
17
Mandarin orange
20
Lemon
Mineral Summary Score
8
Mandarin orange
9
Lemon

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
5%
Mandarin orange
7%
Lemon
Carbohydrates
13%
Mandarin orange
9%
Lemon
Fats
1%
Mandarin orange
1%
Lemon

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Mandarin orange
Mandarin orange is lower in glycemic index (difference - 47)
Which food is cheaper?
Mandarin orange
Mandarin orange is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Mandarin orange
Mandarin orange is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Mandarin orange
Mandarin orange is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Lemon
Lemon is lower in Sugar (difference - 8.08g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (2 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food contains less Saturated Fat?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Saturated Fat (0.039 g)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Mandarin orange - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169105/nutrients
  2. Lemon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167746/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.