Oranges are mainly composed of carbs and water, and contain very low amounts of both protein and fat. They are also low in calories.
Simple sugars, such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, are the dominant form of carbohydrates in oranges. They are responsible for the sweet taste.
Despite their sugar content, oranges have a low glycemic index, ranging from 31 to 51 . This is a measure of how quickly the sugar enters the bloodstream after a meal.
Low values on the glycemic index are associated with numerous health benefits
The low glycemic index is explained by the fact that oranges are rich in polyphenols and fiber, which moderate the rise in blood sugar
Vitamins and Minerals
Oranges are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, thiamin, folate and potassium.
Vitamin C: Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. One large orange can provide over 100% of the daily recommended intake
Thiamin: One of the B-vitamins, also called vitamin B1. Found in a wide variety of foods.
Folate: Also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid, folate has many essential functions and is found in many plant foods.
Potassium: Oranges are a good source of potassium. High intake of potassium can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension and has beneficial effects on cardiovascular health
Other Plant Compounds
Oranges are rich in various bioactive plant compounds.
Plant compounds are believed to be responsible for many of the beneficial health effects of oranges.
The two main classes of antioxidant plant compounds in oranges are carotenoids and phenolics (phenolic compounds).
Phenolics Oranges are an excellent source of phenolic compounds, especially flavonoids, which contribute to most of their antioxidant properties.
Hesperidin: A citrus flavonoid that is one of the main antioxidants found in oranges . It is associated with several health benefits
Anthocyanins: A class of antioxidant flavonoids found in blood oranges, which makes their flesh red.