Tangelo Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

tangelo tree

Marcie Gonzalez / Moment / Getty Images

The tangelo looks like a small orange, but it’s a citrus hybrid, a cross between an orange and pomelo or grapefruit. Various fruits from the Citrus reticulata and Citrus maxima families are typically used to produce tangelos. This nutritious fruit is often mistaken for being genetically modified, but it's actually the product of natural hybridization. Like other citrus fruits, tangelos have a tart and tangy flavor, and they are an excellent source of vitamins.

Tangelo Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one medium-sized tangelo (2.5 inches in diameter, weighing 95 grams).

  • Calories: 45
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Sugars: 8.9g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Vitamin C: 50.5mg

Carbs

One medium-sized tangelo contains approximately 11 grams of carbohydrates. This breaks down into a little more than 2 grams coming from fiber and just under 9 grams coming from natural sugars.

Tangelos have a glycemic index of 42 and a glycemic load of 5.5. They're considered a low glycemic food.

Fats

One tangelo has only a trace amount of fat. Fruit tends to be very low in fat with no saturated or trans fat, and tangelos are no different.

Protein

Tangelos are not a significant source of protein. With just under 1 gram per tangelo, you will need to get protein from other sources.

Vitamins and Minerals

Tangelos stand out as an excellent source of certain vitamins and minerals. Like both of its parents—oranges and grapefruits—the tangelo is a potent source of vitamin C. In fact, a larger tangelo could fulfill your entire daily vitamin C requirement. You can also expect to get around 5% of your daily vitamin A and calcium needs.

Health Benefits

Thanks largely to that vitamin C, tangelos offer some known health-promoting qualities.

Fights Oxidative Stress

The vitamin C in tangelos is a known antioxidant, which has been linked to a reduced risk of several chronic diseases. Antioxidants like vitamin C fight damage caused by free radical molecules. This oxidative stress has been linked to certain cancers.

Improves Heart Health

Research indicates that higher vitamin C levels, assessed by measuring circulating vitamin C, are associated with lower risks of hypertension, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

Tangelos also contain flavanones. Flavanones are a type of flavonoids, which are phytonutrients with proven health benefits. The flavanones in citrus fruits, such as tangelos, have been associated with reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as neurological disorders.

Reduces IBS Symptoms

Tangelos are low in FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are types of carbohydrates). Some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) find their symptoms improve if they eat a low-FODMAP diet. Tangelos are compliant with this diet, while some other citrus fruits like grapefruit are not.

Allergies

There have been documented cases of severe citrus allergy, sometimes arising from cross-reactivity with environmental (pollen) allergies. Since tangelos are in the citrus family, people allergic to citrus fruits should avoid tangelos.

Adverse Effects

Grapefruits can affect some statin medications for cholesterol. Since tangelo is a cross between an orange and grapefruit, people who take statins (as well as some other drugs) should avoid tangelos. Consult with your doctor if you’re concerned about tangelos reacting with any of your existing medications.

Varieties

There are several types of tangelos, including Orlando and Minneola tangelos. Unlike oranges, most do not have seeds. Minneola tangelos, which are the most common variety, are mainly seedless. They are sometimes called Honeybells.

When It's Best

Like other citrus fruits, tangelos are grown in warm-weather climates and are in season in the winter in the Northern hemisphere, but usually available year-round. When buying tangelos, look for fruit that is firm, but not hard, and doesn't have any brown spots or bruises.

Storage and Food Safety

You can keep whole tangelos at room temperature for a few days. After that, put them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life up to four weeks. You can also freeze tangelo—just peel and break into sections first.

How to Prepare

Tangelos have the sweet, tangy flavor of oranges mixed with the tartness of grapefruit. Tangelos look and taste closer to orange citrus fruits rather than pomelos or grapefruits, however.

Tangelos are most nutritious and delicious when consumed raw, and they are easier to peel than oranges and grapefruits. Add them to fruit salad or eat them on their own. You can also use tangelos in recipes that call for other citrus fruits.

Recipes

Was this page helpful?
Article 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.
  1. Tangelo, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.

  2. Mason SA, Della Gatta PA, Snow RJ, Russell AP, Wadley GD. Ascorbic acid supplementation improves skeletal muscle oxidative stress and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes: Findings of a randomized controlled study. Free Radic Biol Med. 2016;93:227-38. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.01.006

  3. Juraschek SP, Guallar E, Appel LJ, Miller ER. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95(5):1079-88. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.027995

  4. Kubota Y, Iso H, Date C, et al. Dietary intakes of antioxidant vitamins and mortality from cardiovascular disease: the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (JACC) study. Stroke. 2011;42(6):1665-72. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.601526

  5. Li C, Schluesener H. Health-promoting effects of the citrus flavanone hesperidin. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017;57(3):613-631. doi:10.1080/10408398.2014.906382

  6. Iorio RA, Del Duca S, Calamelli E, et al. Citrus allergy from pollen to clinical symptoms. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(1):e53680. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053680

  7. US Food and Drug Administration. Grapefruit juice and some drugs don't mix. Updated July 18, 2017.

Additional Reading