Clementines vs Oranges – Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects


Clementines are medium-sized citrus fruits with an outside which is separated into 8-14 segments which can be peeled very easily. Also, they taste best when the skin is loose.

The origin of this powerful citrus fruit (also known as seedless tangerines or Christmas oranges) is thought to have begun many years ago, and possibly created by Brother Clement Rodier, a French missionary in Algeria.

In the present day, they are commonly grown in Algeria, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, Israel, Italy, Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey, with the primary production of seedless tangerines being in Spain and Morocco due to their hot and dry environment.

Nutrition Facts

It is a good source of folate, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, copper, manganese, choline, vitamin E, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, and dietary fiber.

Health Benefits

An Excellent Source of Vitamin C

Like all the other citrus fruits, it has a high content of vitamin C. This is an essential vitamin which the body needs from an external source since the body can’t produce it.

Vitamin C acts as an effective antioxidant to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that occur in the human body when coming into contact with contaminants, such as – cigarette smoke and pollution as well as from the metabolism of food.

Better Vision

This citrus fruit contains beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, which means that the human body converts it into vitamin A. Vitamin A has many benefits for our human health, especially for the eyes.

For instance, beta-carotene is important in lowering the risk of developing vision loss and macular degeneration – the leading cause of vision loss in seniors. Furthermore, according to research, sufferers of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer may actually benefit from consuming foods high in beta-carotene.

Supports a Healthy Pregnancy

Folate, also referred to as vitamin B9, is one of the B-complex vitamins that are essential for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy, the formation of white and red blood cells in the bone marrow, and the production of RNA and DNA.

More importantly, vitamin B9 is known to be one of the most vital vitamins for a healthy pregnancy, that is why it is added synthetically to most prenatal vitamins.

Note – the synthetic form of folate, known as folic acid, may have side effects for the body since it is metabolized differently as folate.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects, except some rare cases of an allergic reaction, which may include – ulceration on the tongue and lesions in the mouth.


Their true origin is a mystery, however, the cultivation of these fruits is believed to have started in eastern Asia many centuries ago. Also, the French may have introduced it in Louisiana, and the Spaniards introduced them to Mexico and South America in the 1500s.

The taste can vary from juicy and sweet to bitter. In the present day, the leading countries which cultivate these citrus fruits are Brazil, followed by the United States and China.

Nutrition Facts

This fruit is low in calories, contains no trans- and saturated fats, and is rich in folate, fiber (pectin), calcium, vitamin C, iron, pantothenic acid, potassium, copper, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, niacin, choline, and zinc.

Health Benefits

Boosts Collagen Production

They are a storehouse of vitamin C. For instance, a medium-sized fruit can fulfill approximately 72 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C. This vitamin is necessary for the production of white blood cells that further enhance the immune system.

Moreover, vitamin C is required for synthesizing collagen, that supports heavy metal absorption and is the predominant structural protein in the human body for healthy organs, blood vessels, tissue, and skin.

Anti-Cancer Properties

They are high in citrus limonoids, a compound proven in studies to help fight many types of cancer, such as – lung, skin, breast, colon, and stomach. Also, one fruit has more than 170 types of phytochemicals and most of them have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cardiovascular Health

They also contain the flavonoid hesperidin that is known to act as a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage. More importantly, they are an excellent source of soluble fiber, that is beneficial for lowering LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Nervous System Health

These citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin B9, an essential vitamin for the healthy function of the nervous system, and is mainly involved in messaging molecules that are used by nerves to send signals throughout the human body.

Additionally, vitamin B9 is crucial for cell growth during pregnancy. For instance, it is recommended for pregnant women to have around 600 micrograms of vitamin B9 in their daily nutrition to prevent birth defects, like – spina bifida and anencephaly.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects.


Buy organic, since they can have up to 30 percent more vitamin C.

Clementines vs Oranges – Which Has A Better Nutritional Profile?

Their nutritional profile is almost identical, however, oranges have more dietary fiber and vitamin C.

Images credit – Shutterstock

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