Oranges are not just your common citrus fruit. They pack a punch of nutrients and is overflowing with vitamin C. Their juicy and sweet flavors add a tang to several recipes.
Eat it raw, juice it, add it to salad, or make an orange marmalade… there sure are plenty of ways to enjoy this nutrient-rich citrusy fruit.
But are oranges keto-friendly enough to be included in your keto lifestyle? What is the ideal portion for eating oranges? And are there any alternatives that are just as good or better than oranges?
Nutritional Content of Oranges
The nutritional value below is based on a typical navel orange.
According to USDA, a small orange that weighs around 96 g has 45 calories, 11 g of carbs (2.3 g of which is dietary fiber), 0.12 g of fat, 2.3 g of fiber, and 0.9 g of protein.
A slice or a section, on the other hand, carries 8 calories, 2 g of carbs, 0.02 g of fat, 0.41 g of fiber, and 0.16 g of protein.
A 100 g-serving of orange will provide your body with 88% vitamin C, 4% vitamin A, 4% calcium, 5% vitamin B6, and 2% magnesium based on the recommended daily intake.
And that’s just the start of it.
Oranges (100 g) are also loaded with:
- Phosphorus (14mg)
- Potassium (181 mg)
- Zinc (0.07 mg)
Along with other essential vitamins such as:
- Riboflavin (0.04 mg)
- Niacin (0.03 mg)
- Folate (30 µg)
- Carotene (71 µg)
What are the Benefits of Oranges?
We can get a lot of health benefits from eating oranges, including:
Supports heart health
Heart disease has killed millions of people already, and it continues to find its victim.
The good news is that you can avoid heart disease by supplying your body with flavonoids, which oranges provide willingly.
Oranges are also rich in fiber. Fiber plays a vital role in decreasing blood cholesterol levels, according to a study.
Prevents kidney stone production
According to a study, citrates may help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Oranges have citrates that work similarly as potassium citrate, which can help decrease urinary undissociated uric acid levels.
Strengthens the immune system
Oranges are popular because of their high concentration of vitamin C. In fact, one large orange can provide the body with over 100% vitamin C of the recommended daily intake.
Vitamin C has never failed to strengthen our immune system and protect us against free radicals.
Are Oranges Keto-Friendly?
Not all fruits are good for keto-diet. Unfortunately, oranges are among these fruits.
Just a small orange alone has 13 g of net carbs.
Keto dieters are being encouraged to consume at least 20 g of carbs to push the body into entering ketosis.
This being said, eating a small orange would already take up half of your daily carb intake.
Ideal Portion for Eating Oranges
Just because oranges are high in carbs doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy them. It’s packed with vitamin C, which our body does not naturally produce. We need to eat vitamin-C rich fruits like oranges for optimal health.
If you want to eat an orange, take a small section or two. One section of an orage contains 2 g of fat. Eat oranges in moderation, and always be careful of your portions.
Avoid orange juice that can be bought in the market. They often contain too many carbs and a lot of sugar.
What’s a Great Alternative to Oranges?
The good news is that there are other fruits you can enjoy that are just as good as oranges. Some of them are even better.
For example, lemons, like oranges, are overflowing with vitamin C and other essential nutrients. But unlike oranges, lemons are low in carbs.
One lemon wedge has only 0.5 g of net carbs. Lemons are great antioxidants, too! Plus, they promote healthy digestion.
Strawberries also make for an excellent alternative to oranges. It’s sweet with a little hint of sourness. Half a cup of serving of sliced strawberries has 4.7 g of net carbs. You can eat them raw or make a smoothie out of them.
Strawberries are a great antioxidant. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. What’s more, they are also rich in vitamin C!