We all think of clementines as “baby oranges” or “Christmas oranges” as some call them, but there are many benefits of clementines that make them quite a unique fruit from an orange. Oranges are wonderful for you, but clementines deserve their own spotlight too. Clementines are actually the cross between a Chinese mandarin and an orange. They’re slightly sweeter than oranges, but lower in sugar. They’re fun for kids and adults to eat, and make the perfect portable snack. Check out these benefits of clementines that make them worth a try if you haven’t had them yet. They’re not just cute little oranges, but also nutritional powerhouses!
1. Low Sugar
One of the biggest benefits of clementines is they are a low carbohydrate fruit, meaning they won’t spike your glycemic index. They have roughly 2 grams of fiber and only 8 total carbs per fruit. This makes them excellent to eat as a low glycemic snack, or you can even add them to your breakfast as a healthy low sugar fruit. They’re also delicious in a smoothie or with yogurt!
2. High in Potassium
Like most fruit, clementines are high in potassium. They contain roughly 130 miligrams of potassium per serving. Potassium is essential for healthy blood pressure, healthy joints, for your arteries, and it helps battle bloating. It’s also wonderful for preventing headaches, aiding digestion, and for alleviating inflammation. Potassium and sodium are crucial to your body to help balance body fluids and prevent muscle cramps. Being sure you get enough of both from healthy sources will help keep your body in tip top shape!
3. Low Calorie
Per fruit, clementines are only 35 calories, which is incredible for a source of concentrated sugar like fruit. They’re fat free like almost all fruits, and they’re rich in antioxidants. Even if you don’t eat a low calorie diet, it’s important to include low calorie fruits and vegetables into your day for vitamin, antioxidant, and mineral content.
Though clementines aren’t a top source of calcium, they do contain 22 milligrams. Calcium is another essential mineral to help lower your blood pressure and calm your nerves. It also helps build healthy bones as most of you know, and it can even help quell chronic anxiety when eaten regularly. Try to get your calcium from plant-based foods when possible, such as clementines. Other sources include almonds, chia seeds, and leafy greens.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is found in rich amounts throughout all the citrus fruits, and clementines are a great source. Per fruit, clementines have 36 milligrams. Vitamin C is essential to your skin, hair, and weight, along with your immune system. It’s also one of the best vitamins you can consume for your digestive tract, which many people don’t know. Vitamin C can help regulate your bowels, along with enhance nutrient absorption from other foods. Be sure to get your Vitamin C through foods, and not tablets, which are made of chemical versions of Vitamin C and can prevent nutrient absorption from other foods. Berries, cherries, pineapple, all citrus fruits, strawberries, and leafy greens are your best plant-based sources.
Clementines also contain beta-carotene, as all orange colored pieces of produce do. Beta-carotene is a form of Vitamin A that is wonderful for your eyes, skin, and heart. It’s one of the most beneficial antioxidants you can consume, and rich in most all plant-based foods, but more so in orange and yellow hued produce. My favorite sources outside of clementines include papaya, winter squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and oranges. Having a clementine or orange per day can help you reach your daily Vitamin A in a delicious healthy way.
One benefit of clementines is they’re incredibly versatile in the kitchen. You can add one chopped to hot oatmeal or cold overnight oats with a few nuts or flaxseeds. Another great option is to have one with with some yogurt and nuts or seeds, or slice one up with some apple slices for a fun, light snack. For a fun meal option, you could even serve them over brown rice or quinoa at dinner for a Chinese style meal. Other ways to include using them into your day include smoothies or shakes, juicing with them, or having them over a salad with fish, chicken, or turkey. They’re a very versatile fruit that’s delicious to enjoy throughout winter. Sadly, they are only available in winter, so enjoy them while you can!
Fruits and vegetables are such an important part of a healthy diet. Be sure to enjoy them as much as you can! Do you like to eat clementines, or have you ever had one?