Oranges: Important Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Oranges are a sweet and juicy citrus fruit packed with vitamin C, known for their potential health benefits, such as boosting immunity.

What is an Orange?

Oranges are round citrus fruits that are the color orange and grow on trees and a great source of Vitamin C.

Are Oranges Good For You?

Yes! Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.

13 Health Benefits Of Oranges

1. Oranges can be anti-inflammatory

  • When acute inflammation turns into a chronic problem, it can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease

2. Oranges are high in fiber

  • The 3 grams of fiber in a medium orange (which is about 12% of our daily needs) help keep the digestive system healthy, cholesterol levels lower, and risk of heart disease lower

  • Fiber slows the way sugar is processed and absorbed, helping regulate blood sugar and insulin levels

  • Two of the 3 grams of fiber in an orange are soluble fiber, which may help reduce blood cholesterol

3. Oranges have a small amount of Calcium

  • Calcium helps keep our bones strong

4. Oranges are a good source of folate (important for moms and babies)

  • Your body uses it to divide cells and make DNA

  • Folate is an especially important B vitamin for pregnant women to consume enough folate because it helps prevent birth defects

5. Oranges are rich in antioxidants

  • Antioxidants protect our cells from damage

  • Flavonoid antioxidants in oranges provide anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial benefits

  • Study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Higher intake of flavonoids at midlife, specifically flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavonols, is associated with greater likelihood of health and wellbeing in individuals surviving to older ages.

6. Oranges are a good source of Potassium and have almost no Sodium, which is good for blood pressure

  • Potassium lowers blood pressure

7. Oranges may help with kidney stones

  • Citric acid and citrates are compounds that may help prevent kidney stones from forming and oranges have citric acid

8. Orange peel extract my help prevent cancer  

  • Research shows that flavonoids in citrus peels may help prevent the reproduction, growth, and spread of cancer cells

9. Oranges are good for hydration  

  • One medium orange provides four ounces (or a half cup) of water

10. Oranges have high vitamin C

  • One orange provides more than 100% of the daily goal for vitamin C

  • Vitamin C helps produce collagen (good for our skin) and reduces inflammation

  • Vitamin C also helps boost the absorption of iron, which can improve oxygen availability and reduce fatigue

11. Oranges are good for Heart health

  • Oranges are a good source of fiber (good for digestion and cholesterol levels) and potassium (helps lower blood pressure), both of which can support heart health

12. Oranges may help with Diabetes

  • The fiber is oranges may help with diabetes control, slowing down the process of sugars being absorbed

13. Oranges also contain choline and zeaxanthin

  • Choline is an important nutrient in oranges that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory

  • Zeaxanthin is a type of carotenoid antioxidant that can reduce inflammation

History, Background, and General Facts about Oranges

  • The orange originated in Southern China, Northeast India, and Myanmar
  • Orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world as of 1987
  • The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh, or used for juice or zest or peel
  • The sweet orange is not fruit they ever grew in the wild. It is a cross between a version of mandarin orange and a hybrid pomelo

What Are The Cuisines That Regularly Include Oranges?

  • Chinese - orange chicken
  • Indian - orange kheer (Indian pudding)
  • Scandinavian - glogg (mulled wine)
  • Moroccan - orange dessert
  • Mexican - orange agua fresca
  • Spanish - orange flan
  • Mediterranean - malabi (milk custard)
  • Sicilian - orange cake
  • Middle Eastern - Simsemieh (sesame brittle)

What Is The Best Way To Store Oranges?

Store oranges at room temperature out of direct sunlight.  But if you know you won’t eat them for a few days, put them in your refrigerator’s drawer.

What Are The Different Types Of Oranges?

Navel Oranges

  • Navel oranges are oranges with a growth of a small part of the fruit that looks like a human navel

  • They are most common for eating because: their thicker skin makes them easy to peel, they are less juicy, so they aren’t typically used for juice

  • They are available from November to April in the US, with peak supplies in January, February, and March


  • Florida Valencia oranges are sweet summer oranges named after Valencia, Spain popular for its sweet citrus produce

  • It was first hybridized by an American William Wolfskill in the mid-19th century on his farm in Santa Ana, southern California


  • This cultivar was discovered by A. G. Hamlin near Glenwood, Florida, in 1879

  • The fruit is small, smooth, not highly colored, and juicy, with a pale yellow colored juice 

  • The fruit may be seedless, or may contain a number of small seeds

  • The Hamlin orange is one of the most popular juice oranges in Florida


  • These oranges originated in ancient China, which is how they got their name

  • The peel is dark-orange, leathery, and the fruit is sweet and juicy

Cara Cara 

  • Cara cara oranges (also called "red navel") are a type of navel orange grown mainly in Venezuela, South Africa and in California's San Joaquin Valley

  • They are sweet and comparatively low in acid, with a bright orange rind similar to that of other navels, but their flesh is distinctively pinkish red 


  • The Jaffa orange (also known as Shamouti orange) is an orange with very few seeds and a tough skin 

  • This variety gets its name from the city of Jaffa where it was first produced by Palestinian farmers in the 19th century for export

Blood Oranges

  • High concentrations of anthocyanin give the rind, flesh, and juice of the fruit the specific dark red color 

  • Blood oranges were first discovered and cultivated in Sicily in the fifteenth century 

  • The blood orange, with its distinct color and flavor, is generally considered favorably as a juice, and has found a niche as an ingredient variation in traditional Seville marmalade

Acidless Oranges

  • Acidless oranges are an early-season fruit with very low levels of acid. They also are called "sweet" oranges in the United States, with similar names in other countries

  • The lack of acid, which protects orange juice against spoilage in other groups, renders them generally unfit for processing as juice, so they are primarily eaten 

Toxicity and Side Effects Of Oranges

Oranges are high in acid, and that can make symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) worse.

What Is The Best Substitute For Oranges If I Don't Have Any?

If you don't have oranges available or need a substitute for them in a recipe, there are a few alternatives you can consider depending on the purpose and flavor profile you're aiming for. Here are some options:

  1. Orange Juice: If the recipe calls for the juice of an orange, you can use store-bought orange juice as a substitute. Keep in mind that bottled orange juice may lack the fresh flavor of freshly squeezed oranges, so choose a high-quality brand or consider diluting it with a bit of water to adjust the intensity.

  2. Lemon: If you're looking for a citrus flavor substitute, lemon can work in some recipes. Lemon provides a tangy and slightly sour flavor that can be a good alternative in dishes where the citrus taste is essential. However, note that lemon has a different flavor profile than oranges, so it may alter the taste of the final dish.

  3. Pineapple: In some recipes, especially those that require the sweetness and acidity of oranges, pineapple can be used as a substitute. Pineapple provides a tropical and sweet flavor that can work well in certain dishes. Adjust the quantities based on the desired level of sweetness and acidity.