Tangerine Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

tangerine nutrition facts and health benefits

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Tangerines, a variety of mandarin oranges, are a diverse type of citrus fruit that range in flavor—from very sweet to tart and shape—from egg-sized to grapefruit size. There are many different varieties of tangerines, such as clementines and mandarin oranges. Most tangerines are seedless but some hybrids do contain seeds. As compared to oranges, tangerines are smaller, contain more water, and less acid and sugar.

Tangerines tend to have red-orange peels; their peak season is typically October through April.

Tangerine Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 small (2-1/4" dia) (70 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 40 
Calories from Fat 2 
Total Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 116.2mg3%
Carbohydrates 9.3g3%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g5%
Sugars 7.4g 
Protein 0.6g 
Vitamin A 10% · Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 3% · Iron 1%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One small tangerine contains 40 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrate. This is fewer calories and carbohydrate than a typical serving of fruit, which contains about 60 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate. Tangerines also contain 1.3 grams of fiber, contributing to about five percent of your daily needs, making them a filling food. Fiber is the indigestible carbohydrate that can help to keep your full, pull cholesterol away from your heart, and regulate bowels.

Because of their size, it is often easy to overeat tangerines. Therefore, if you are eating tangerines on their own keep your portion to about one to two maximum. If you are watching your intake of carbohydrates this is especially important.

Health Benefits

Tangerines are an excellent source of vitamin C, containing 31 percent of your daily needs in one small serving.

Vitamin C is an important water-soluble vitamin that is involved in repairing cells, slowing down aging, and boosting immunity. They are also a good source of fat-soluble vitamin A which is important for eye health.  

Tangerines also contain a relatively large variety and amount of phytonutrients which can protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and provide other health benefits.

Lastly, tangerines contain potassium. Studies have shown that those people who eat potassium-rich diets tend to have lower blood pressure.

Are Cuties a Type of Tangerine?

Cuties are a super sweet, seedless, and easy to peel mandarin variety. They are Clementine mandarins, which are available from November through January; and W. Murcott mandarins, available from February through April. Tangerines are varieties of the mandarin, much in the same way Macintosh and Fuji are varieties of apples.

Picking and Storing Tangerines

Look for tangerines that are smooth and shiny. They should be free of nicks, bruises, and blemishes. Smell your tangerines—they should smell pleasantly sweet. Pick them up too—ripe tangerines will be heavy for their size. They should be firm or slightly soft.

Tangerines should be stored in the refrigerator and can last up to two weeks.

You can also purchase canned mandarins. If you decide to do this, make sure to purchase those that have no added sugar, as this can increase the sugar content.

Lastly, tangerine juice can be purchased. If you are trying to manage your weight or blood sugars, juice should be avoided. But, a small amount can be useful in recipes, lending itself to making dressing, marinades or adding flavor to meat.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Tangerines

Tangerines can add a lightly sweet citrusy flavor to salads, sides, and main courses. Simply chop up your tangerines and place them into your dishes or use tangerine juice to make salad dressing.

Tangerines can also be eaten by hand alone or in combination with low-fat yogurt, cottage, or ricotta cheese for a filling, fiber, and protein-rich snack.

Recipes with Tangerines

Tangerines make for beautifully presented meals, complementing food and giving it a light and refreshing flavor. Tangerines are a great addition to vegetable dishes, poultry, and seafood. Learn how to cook with them today.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
  • Cuties. Frequently Asked Questions.