Nutritional and Health Benefits of Orange


Orange is a globose to oval shape fruit about 6.5 to 9.5cm wide and when ripen, yellow or orange in colour. It consists of pericarp and endocarp. Orange is a fruit in the family Rutaceae; it is primarily refer to as Citrus Sinensis also called sweet orange. Type of orange include: Acid-less Orange, Blood Orange, Navel Orange ,Seville Orange, Tangerine etc. Orange is packed with allot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which reduce the risk of stroke, Lower the risk of cancer, Improve the immune system, Promote healthy skin, Safeguard against constipation, high in vitamin c content, Promote healthy eyesight etc. Public enlightenment should be made on the important of orange through the mass media, magazines, newspaper, health talk etc. especially in the rural areas. Orange should also be recommended in our diet daily with a maximum of two small size or one bigger size for effective and healthy immune system.

1.1 Introduction

The orange is a cross between a pomelo (citrus maxima) and a mandarin (citrus reticulata), with the latter’s chloroplast genome and maternal line. Southern China, northeast India, and Myanmar are where the tasty orange originated. Sweet orange was first mentioned in Chinese literature in 314BC. The orange tree was discovered to be the most planted fruit tree in the world in 1987. Orange is a common fruit in Nigeria and other tropical and subtropical countries. In 2012, sweet oranges accounted for roughly 70% of all citrus demand. In 2017, the world produced 73 million tonnes of oranges, with Brazil accounting for 24% of the amount, led by China and India (Xu etal.,2019).

Hodgoson (2018) opined that sweet orange is not a wild fruit having arisen in domestication form a cross between a non-pure mandarin orange and a hybrid pomelo that had a substantial mandarin component since its chloroplast DNA is that of pomelo. It is likely the hybrid pomelo, perhaps a BCI pomelo backcross, that was the maternal parent of the first orange. Based on genomic analysis, the relatively proportion of the ancestral species in the sweet orange is approximately 42% pomelo and 58% mandarin.

Orange fruit which may be globose to oval shape is 6.5 to 9.5cm wide and when ripen is yellow or orange in colour. Anatomically, the fruit consist of two distinct region: the pericarp also called the skin and the endocarp or pulp (juice sac). The skin consist of an epidermis of epicuticular wax with numerous small aromatic oil gland that gives a particular smell. The flesh or pulp of the fruit is typically juicy and sweet, dividing the fruit into 10 to 14 segments. Fleshy juice sac accumulate sugar, organic acid and large amount of water (Etubu etal.,2014)

Orange as a fruit of various citrus species in the family of Rutaceae; it is primarily refer to as sweet orange (Citrus Sinensis) in order to distinguish it from bitter orange (Citrus Aurantium). Orange is propagated asexually in various ways during planting (USDA.Gov, 2011).

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1.2 Types of Orange

Ehsani etal. (2017) stated that there are ten types of orange which include:

  • Navel orange
  • Blood orange
  • Mandarin
  • Tangerine
  • Acid-less orange
  • Seville orange
  • Bergamot orange
  • Clementine
  • Trifoliate orange
  • Cara cara orange

Navel Orange

Are one of the most popular kind of orange. They are prized for their high vitamin C content, low acid content and delectable sweetness. They are known by the small growth at the bottom of the fruit which resemble a human navel. Another feature that makes it appealing include; easy to peel, seedlessness ( making graft cutting the means of propagation) and are loaded with sweet juice.

Blood Orange

Are outstanding from every other type of orange due to its bright red flesh. Blood orange are smaller than navel orange but a bit bigger than tangerine. They have a unique flavor that taste somewhat of orange mixed with raspberries. They are easy to peel, juicy and great for making salads, sauce, beverages and marmalade.


Are smaller than the regular orange. They have loosen skin, sweet taste and are acidic in nature. They are eaten as snack because they’re easy to peel and practically seedless. They are also popular ingredient in making desserts.


They small in size and sweeter than the typical orange. Tangerine are also very popular, have a soft thin skin making them easy to peel than a typical navel orange. They are also known by their deep orange color and it is very high in vitamin C.

Acid-less Orange

They have a very low acid content. They are also called sweet orange, but they don’t really have much flavors since they contain very little acid which protect them from spoilage.

Seville Orange

Also known as sour orange due to their high acid content they’re not typically eaten as snack but are used for cooking. Seville oranges are used in making marmalade, salad and sauce.

Bergamot Orange

Bergamot oranges have a yellow or green color similar to lime but are the size of an orange. They have an intense bitter and acidic taste and aren’t typically eaten, instead are used for perfume and flavors.

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A hybrid between Willow leaf mandarin orange and a sweet orange. The peel has a deep orange color with smooth glossy appearance similar to tangerine, they’re pretty easy to peel and eat. They’re juicy, sweet and have a low acid content.

Trifoliate Orange

Are native of the Northern China and Korea. They’re particularly interesting because they’re actually a bit downy and fuzzy. They are tiny orange and used for making marmalade.

Cara Cara Orange

They are also known as Red-fleshed orange. It is like a combination of blood orange and navel orange. They are sweet and low in acid. It has a complex flavour profile with hint of cherry and blackberry


Composition Amount Percentage per 100g
Sugar 9g 0%
Dietary fiber 24g 0%
Fat 0.1g 0%
Protein 0.9g 0%
Water 86.15g 87%
Vitamin A 11 μg 4%
Vitamin B1 0.087mg 8%
Vitamin B2 0.04% 3%
Vitamin B3 0.282mg 2%
Vitamin B5 0.28mg 5%
Vitamin B6 0.06mg 5%
Folate 30μg 8%
Vitamin C 53.2mg 64%
Vitamin E 0.18mg 1%
Calcium 40mg 4%
Iron 0.1mg 1%
Magnesium 10mg 3%
Manganese 0.025mg 1%
Phosphorus 14mg 2%
Potassium 181mg 4%
Zinc 0.07mg 1%

(SOURCE: USDA Nutrient Data Base, 2018)

1.4  Health Benefits of Oranges

Ehler (2018) describe orange as a fruit packed with allot of health benefits i.e. they contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which makes the body immune system healthy. The health benefits include:

High in Vitamin C

The vitamin C content in orange is important for growth and repair of tissues all over the body, help get rid of free radical that causes damage in the DNA and also repair the DNA. Vitamin C helps in healing of wounds, maintaining an healthy bone and teeth, support the production of collagen which is needed to make cartilage, ligament, tendons, blood vessels and promote healthy skin.

Safeguards against Constipation

Oranges have both soluble and insoluble fibres. This helps in keeping the intestine and stomach functions smooth, preventing irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, the fibres in oranges help to treat constipation to a great extent.

Akalizes the Body

Despite the acidic nature of orange, they have a lot of alkaline minerals that play a great role in the presence of digestion.

Promote Healthy Eyes

Carotenoid in oranges helps in healthy eyesight. Vitamin A plays an important role in keeping the mucus membrane of the eye healthy. It is also rich in vitamin c which helps reduce the risk of cataract, promote healthy ocular blood vessels and prevent age related macular degeneration.

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Lower the Risk of Cancer

Orange contain limonene, a compound that fight or prevent cancer. Vitamin c and other antioxidants present in orange are both important to build body immunity – they help in fighting cancer. Also the fibrous nature of orange makes it cancer protective.

Reduce the Risk of Stroke

The consumption of flavanones, a compound in orange has been shown to reduce the risk of ischemic stroke (obstruction of the blood vessels that supplies blood to the brain).

Promote Healthy Immune System

Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper functioning of the immune system is good for preventing cold and recurrent ear infection.

Prevent Skin Damage or Promote Healthy Skin

The high beta carotene content in orange also help the body create and process vitamin A which aids the skin cell growth. Also oxidants in orange help protect skin from free radical damage known to cause sign of aging

1.5 Conclusion/Recommendations

Having reviewed the importance of orange in different area of human health which is as a result of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants present in orange. Public enlightenment should be done through the mass media, magazines, newspaper, health talk etc. in rural community and urban areas. It is therefore recommend that the consumption of orange should be recognized in our diet once in a day with a maximum of two small ones and minimum one big orange for healthy body and immune system.


Citrus Sinensis (Maxima reticulate)  Sweet orange. Plant. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011.

Ehler, S.A . (2011). Citrus and its benefit. Journal of Botany, Vol.5, pp.201-207

Etebu, E., Nwauzoma. A. (2014). A review of Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis): health, diseases and management. American Journal of Research Communication, 2014. 2 (2): 35. Retrieved from www.usa-journal .com

Hodgoson, W. (2012). Chapter 4: Horticulture Varieties of Citrus. In Webber, Herbet, J., Walter, R., & Harry, W. (Eds). The Citrus Industries. River side, California: University of California Division of Agricultural Science.

USDA Nutrient Data base (2014). United State Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Data base for Standard Reference Release 26, Fruit and Fruit Juice.

Xu, Q.,  Chen, LL., Runa, X., Chen, D., Zhu, A., Chen, C., … Runa, Y. (2013). The draft genome of Sweet Orange. Natural Genetics. 45 (1): 59-66. Doi:10.10 38/ng.2472.

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