Orange Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

orange nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Most people think of oranges as an excellent source of vitamin C (and they are). Oranges also offer a variety of other healthful nutrients, like calcium, potassium, fiber, and folate. Plus, they're easy to find, eat, store, and cook with , and oranges are low in calories.

Bitter oranges, such as Seville and bergamot, are used primarily for the essential oils found in their zest or skin. For example, oil of bergamot gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor.

Orange Nutrition Facts

One navel orange (140g) provides 73 calories, 1.3g of protein, 16.5g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 73
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 13mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16.5g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sugars: 12g
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Vitamin C: 82.7mg
  • Potassium: 232mg
  • Calcium: 60.2mg


One navel orange (140g) contains 73 calories and 16.5 grams of carbohydrates. Keep in mind that larger portions will contain more calories and carbs.

Even though the carbs in oranges come from simple sugars, whole oranges are also a good source of fiber and contain no added sugar. That means the glycemic effect of oranges is minimal. The estimated glycemic index for one orange is about 40, meaning it doesn't raise your blood sugar quickly.


Oranges contain virtually no fats and are cholesterol-free.


Oranges have a minimal amount of protein. You should include other protein sources in your diet to meet your daily needs.

Vitamins and Minerals

Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, packing in more than a day's worth of this immune-boosting nutrient in one serving. Oranges also provide bone-strengthening calcium, along with potassium and the B vitamins thiamin (B1) and folate (B9). A medium orange contains more than half the potassium found in one medium (118g) banana.


One medium-sized orange (154g) provides 73 calories, 91% of which come from carbs, 7% from protein, and 2% from fat. An orange has fewer calories than orange juice.

Orange juice has 110 calories per one-cup (8 ounce) serving compared to 73 calories for a whole orange. Orange juice is also higher in sugars, with 20g per serving versus 12g in an orange. A whole orange provides more Vitamin C than a glass of orange juice, but less potassium. Both can be a part of a nutrient-rich diet.


Oranges are fiber-rich fruits that provide lots of vitamin C and potassium. Whole oranges are a nutrient-dense source of carbohydrates, but provide minimal amounts of fat and protein.

Health Benefits

The nutrients found in whole oranges deliver many preventative health benefits.

Promotes Heart Health

Oranges are rich in fiber, providing 11% of your daily needs with just one medium-sized orange. Besides keeping you regular, dietary fiber delivers a slew of other benefits, from helping you maintain a healthy weight to lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Oranges also contain phytonutrients that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Offers Antioxidant Properties

The vitamin C that is plentiful in oranges is a powerful antioxidant. It's important in the production of the proteins necessary for keeping skin youthful. Vitamin C also plays a role in protecting cells from damage, cell repair, and wound healing.

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Oranges are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, both of which can help lower blood pressure.

Lowers Risk of Cataracts

Oranges contain thiamin, one of the B vitamins. A medium orange provides about 8% of the daily value of thiamin for adult women and 6% for adult men. Some studies suggest that people with high intakes of thiamin have a decreased risk of developing cataracts.

Helps Prevent Birth Defects

Folate is another B vitamin found in oranges. Known as folic acid in its synthetic form, folate is important in fetal development. Adequate intake can prevent neural tube defects, so those who are pregnant or trying to conceive need to get lots of folate in the diet (and/or take folic acid supplements).


Citrus fruits, including oranges, don't commonly cause allergic reactions. When they do, the symptoms are usually mild and involve irritation and itching of the mouth. Anaphylaxis is rare.

People can also develop oral allergy syndrome reactions to oranges. Oral allergy syndrome is a cross-reaction between different types of pollen and different foods. If you suffer from hayfever, you could develop symptoms like an itchy mouth or throat with exposure to certain fruits.

These symptoms usually pass within a few minutes of swallowing or spitting out the food. You are more likely to develop en oral allergy syndrome reaction to oranges if you are allergic to grass pollen.

Adverse Effects

Citrus fruits can be strong photosensitizers, substances that create sensitivity to light. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling citrus juice and peels if you're going to be exposed to the sun.

Grapefruit and other citrus fruits contain furanocoumarins, the culprit behind the "grapefruit juice effect." Sweet oranges like navel and Valencia don't contain these substances, which can cause potentially dangerous interactions with some drugs.


In the U.S., the most common orange varieties are navel and Valencia, which are often used to make juice. Blood oranges are a sweet type of orange with rough, reddish skin and streaked blood-red colored flesh. They can be eaten raw, juiced, or used in salads and sauces.

Clementines, tangerines, mandarins, and satsumas are related citrus fruits that are also orange in color and provide similar nutritional benefits.

When It's Best

Oranges are available year-round but are freshest in the U.S. in winter. To choose an orange, look for fruits that feel plump and heavy for their size. The heavier the fruit, the juicier it will be. An orange should have unblemished skin that's free of nicks. Don't be afraid of oranges that have a green rind, as the skin color depends on weather conditions, not ripeness or taste.

You can also test for freshness by smelling an orange. If it doesn't smell like orange, move on to the next one.

Storage and Food Safety

Oranges don't ripen much after they've been picked, so keeping unpeeled, whole fruits in the fridge can help them last for a few weeks as opposed to about a week on the counter. Once peeled and/or sectioned, keep orange slices in the fridge. Wrapped tightly or sealed in an air-tight container, they'll last about three to four days.

How to Prepare

Eat oranges raw or add them to salads, sauces, or desserts. Grate or julienne the zest for sauces or garnish. The sweet flavor and beautiful coloring of oranges can add some pizzazz to a simple chicken or fish dish.

Start your morning with a few orange slices to accompany your egg dish, or slice one up into chunks and add it to your yogurt or salad. Use the juice to make low-calorie, flavorful sauces and marinades.

The peel is edible and—like the fruit itself—is actually a good source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium. You can also eat the pith, the stringy white stuff between the peel and the fruit; it, too, is high in fiber and vitamin C. 

19 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, counseling patients with diabetes. Barbie was previously the Advanced Nutrition Coordinator for the Mount Sinai Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance and worked in pediatric endocrinology at The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.