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Orange vs Clementine - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Zvart Movsisyan by Zvart Movsisyan | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: Medical biochemistry MD
Orange
vs
Clementine

Summary

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.

Introduction

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.

Nutritional Content

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.

Vitamins

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.

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
Orange
7
:
Contains more Vitamin B2 +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +65.6%
Contains more Folate +25%
Contains more Vitamin E +11.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +125.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +25%
Equal in Vitamin C - 48.8
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.086
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 14% 4% 0% 178% 22% 10% 6% 15% 14% 23% 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 0% 4% 0% 163% 22% 7% 12% 10% 18% 18% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +65.6%
Contains more Folate +25%
Contains more Vitamin E +11.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +125.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +25%
Equal in Vitamin C - 48.8
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.086

Minerals

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.

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 +33.3%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +16.7%
Contains more Iron +40%
Contains more Phosphorus +50%
Equal in Magnesium - 10
Equal in Potassium - 177
Equal in Copper - 0.043
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 12% 4% 8% 6% 16% 0% 2% 15%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 9% 6% 8% 9% 16% 1% 2% 15%
Contains more Calcium +33.3%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +16.7%
Contains more Iron +40%
Contains more Phosphorus +50%
Equal in Magnesium - 10
Equal in Potassium - 177
Equal in Copper - 0.043

Health Benefits

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.

Historical Background

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.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100504.htm
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24766384
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/302220.php#1
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8501777
  6. https://www.world-of-crepes.com/facts-about-oranges.html
Article author photo Zvart Movsisyan
Education: Medical biochemistry MD
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Orange vs Clementine 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.
Orange Clementine
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Orange Clementine Opinion
Net carbs 9.35g 10.32g Clementine
Protein 0.94g 0.85g Orange
Fats 0.12g 0.15g Clementine
Carbs 11.75g 12.02g Clementine
Calories 47kcal 47kcal
Starch g 0g Clementine
Fructose g 1.64g Clementine
Sugar 9.35g 9.18g Clementine
Fiber 2.4g 1.7g Orange
Calcium 40mg 30mg Orange
Iron 0.1mg 0.14mg Clementine
Magnesium 10mg 10mg
Phosphorus 14mg 21mg Clementine
Potassium 181mg 177mg Orange
Sodium 0mg 1mg Orange
Zinc 0.07mg 0.06mg Orange
Copper 0.045mg 0.043mg Orange
Vitamin A 225IU IU Orange
Vitamin E 0.18mg 0.2mg Clementine
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 53.2mg 48.8mg Orange
Vitamin B1 0.087mg 0.086mg Orange
Vitamin B2 0.04mg 0.03mg Orange
Vitamin B3 0.282mg 0.636mg Clementine
Vitamin B5 0.25mg 0.151mg Orange
Vitamin B6 0.06mg 0.075mg Clementine
Folate 30µg 24µg Orange
Vitamin B12 0µg µg Orange
Vitamin K 0µg 0µg
Tryptophan 0.009mg mg Orange
Threonine 0.015mg mg Orange
Isoleucine 0.025mg mg Orange
Leucine 0.023mg mg Orange
Lysine 0.047mg mg Orange
Methionine 0.02mg mg Orange
Phenylalanine 0.031mg mg Orange
Valine 0.04mg mg Orange
Histidine 0.018mg mg Orange
Cholesterol 0mg mg Clementine
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.015g g Clementine
Monounsaturated Fat 0.023g g Orange
Polyunsaturated fat 0.025g g Orange

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Orange Clementine
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet Equal
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
24
Orange
21
Clementine
Mineral Summary Score
8
Orange
8
Clementine

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
6%
Orange
5%
Clementine
Carbohydrates
12%
Orange
12%
Clementine
Fats
1%
Orange
1%
Clementine

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Orange
Orange contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Orange
Orange is lower in glycemic index (difference - 2)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Orange
Orange is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Clementine
Clementine is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.17g)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Clementine
Clementine is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 0mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Clementine
Clementine is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.015g)
Which food is cheaper?
Clementine
Clementine is cheaper (difference - $0.4)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

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. Orange - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169097/nutrients
  2. Clementine - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168195/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.