Clementine Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Clementines

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Clementines may be small in size but there’s nothing inferior about their nutritional offerings or many health benefits. A part of the mandarin family, clementines are often thought of as “tiny oranges.” Since they are naturally seedless, they make a sweet yet healthy treat for kids (and adults, too).

Like most citrus, clementines are in season during the winter months, November to February—though you can often find them year-round. Enjoy clementines as a snack on their own or as part of a tasty recipe. 

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one clementine (74g).

  • Calories: 35
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 0.7mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8.9g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Sugars: 6.8g
  • Protein: 0.6g

Carbs in Clementines

The nutritional profile of clementines is similar to that of other members of the mandarin and orange families. A serving of one clementine provides about 9 grams of carbohydrates. The same serving also provides about 6.8 grams of sugar, but since clementines are naturally sweet, there are no added sugars.

Fats in Clementines
Like most fruit (with the exception of some fruits like coconuts and avocados), clementines are very low in fat. A serving of one clementine provides .01 grams of total fat. Since they are plant-based, they’re also cholesterol-free.

Protein in Clementines
Clementines, like most other citrus fruits, are low in protein. One clementine provides less than 1 gram of protein. Fruit is not typically known for its protein offerings. Instead, look to other sources like chicken, beef, fish, nuts, eggs, and dairy if you’re trying to eat more protein.

Micronutrients in Clementines
Clementines are packed with nutrients. Like most citrus, they’re high in vitamin C. In fact, clementines are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 60 percent of the daily recommended intake. Two clementines meet almost 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of 75 milligrams for women. (Men need 90 milligrams per day.)

Clementines are also rich in potassium, providing 131 milligrams per serving of one fruit—to compare, a small banana has about 360 milligrams. Potassium helps flush sodium from your body and aids in muscle recovery.

Clementines are also a source of folic acid. There are 36 micrograms in one clementine, or about 10 percent of the daily recommended value, for both women and men. In addition, although not a micronutrient, water makes up 86 percent of a clementine. So, this fruit is a hydrating snack as well.

Beta-cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid often found in fruits and vegetables that are red, orange (like clementines), or yellow in color. This carotenoid found in clementines is a pro-vitamin A carotenoid, which means it can change into vitamin A once consumed and inside of our bodies. Betcryptoxanthinin also acts as an antioxidant.

Health Benefits

In addition to the nutrients clementines offer, there are a host of health effects they have as well.

Heart Health
Although not conclusive, a number of studies have shown an association between greater citrus intake and lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Why? Current research finds a link between vitamin C deficiency—a nutrient which clementines are an excellent source of—and a greater risk of heart disease. Vitamin C may also have a positive impact on lipid profile levels, blood pressure, as well as endothelial function.

Vitamin C plays a role in supporting our immune system. Research shows vitamin C may help to prevent sickness from the common cold altogether as well as decrease the duration of sickness and alleviate symptoms. Some research also suggests vitamin C also has an effect on pneumonia.

There are a number of published studies linking citrus fruit intake with a reduced risk of cancer. It’s believed the bioactive compounds and phytonutrients (in addition to their fiber and vitamin C content), play a role.

One study found that eating citrus fruit reduced the risk of breast cancer by 10 percent. Other studies have shown citrus fruit consumption protects against pancreatic, esophageal, and stomach cancer.

The mechanism isn’t fully understood—one hypothesis is that citrus, such as clementines, deactivates carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).

Bone Health
As we age, bones become more brittle because there is less formation of new bone as well as continuing resorption of existing bones. Diet can play a role in helping to reduce bone loss. In vitro studies have shown that beta-cryptoxanthin stimulates bone growth while also reducing bone resorption, thereby increasing bone mass. This research is supported by human clinical studies as well as epidemiological studies, which relate to disease-control.

Skin Health
Maintaining healthy skin goes beyond anti-aging and aesthetics. Our skin acts as a barrier, protecting our vital organs and systems from the outside environment. Did you know our skin naturally contains high concentrations of vitamin C? The vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protecting our skin from UV damage as well as stimulating collagen growth.

Research also shows vitamin C is important for maintaining a healthy collagen/elastin balance, which becomes more difficult to maintain as we age. 

Vitamin C is also frequently used to help heal wounds in clinical settings. The vitamin plays a role in every stage of wound healing from reducing inflammation to collagen formation, and even reducing scars from forming.

Brain Health
Vitamin C and hesperidin are nutrients and plant compounds, respectively, found in clementines, that may play a role in cognitive health. Hesperidin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which our body uses to protect the brain from harmful agents. Through this mechanism, hesperidin may help keep the brain tissue healthy.

Similar to how vitamin C is naturally found in high concentrations in our skin, it’s also found concentrated in our brains and spinal fluid. The exact role vitamin C plays with cognition is still unknown, but it’s understood that the nutrient may help protect our brains as they age, specifically in older adults with insufficient vitamin C status.

Increases Iron Absorption
Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies amongst Americans, especially women ages 19 to 50 and adolescent girls. In our diet, there are two types of iron: heme (from animal sources) and non-heme (from plant sources). Non-heme iron is not absorbed as well as heme iron, but vitamin C is one nutrient that can help.

Eating foods rich in vitamin C while eating non-heme iron foods, such as a spinach salad with bell peppers, increases the non-heme iron absorption by 3 to 6 fold.

Common Questions About Clementines

Which are healthier: oranges or clementines?

It turns out that nutritionally, oranges and clementines are very similar. Ounce-for-ounce, oranges, and clementines are similar in calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. They only vary slightly when it comes to some nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, folate, calcium, and potassium, although the differences are not remarkable.

What’s the difference between citrus fruits like mandarins, clementines, and tangerines?
While these names are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Mandarins are a type of orange, but they are in a category of their own. Clementines and tangerines fall under this category as well. Mandarins, in general, have thin, easy-to-peel skin and are smaller in size compared to oranges. Clementines are also seedless.

Are there any uses for the rind of an orange, instead of just throwing it away?
Food waste is a growing concern, but leftover clementine peels don’t have to be part of the problem. You can make candied peels (and then dip in chocolate). Peels are often infused into an alcoholic beverage so it takes on the citrus flavor.

You can also use them to help deodorize your garbage disposal — just throw them in and then let the disposal run with a steady stream of water until they’ve been broken down.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

One of the simplest ways to enjoy clementines is as a fresh snack on their own. Since they don’t need to be refrigerated, they’re the perfect snack for on-the-go and their easy-to-peel outer skin makes them great for kids. Here are some other ideas on how to enjoy clementines:

  • Throw pieces of clementine on top of a spinach salad. You’ll not only add sweetness, but you’ll increase the iron absorption from the spinach.
  • For a healthier dessert alternative, melt dark chocolate chips and then dip the small clementine segments into the liquid chocolate. Refrigerate and enjoy.
  • Pack clementines for a post-activity snack for your kids. They're high in potassium and water, which are great after any physical activity. Plus, the outer peel is kid-friendly.
  • Pair clementines with cashews or almonds for your afternoon snack. The fat-fiber-carb- protein combo will keep you satisfied. 

While clementines are great as a snack, they’re also a stellar ingredient in recipes, adding tart sweetness to any dish. Citrus pairs well with fish and other meats, with its balance of acidity and sweet flavor. You can also change up your typical go-to fruit salad with this Fruit Salad With Citrus Mint Dressing which pairs clementines, papaya, strawberries, grapes and more.

Allergies and Interactions
Although not one of the more common food allergies, citrus allergy does exist. There are different components specifically within citrus that an individual may be allergic to. Another cause is pollinosis, which occurs because of cross-reactivity. If you’re allergic to citrus, you should discuss your restrictions with your doctor.

Grapefruit, a member of the citrus family, is one of the most common foods to have interactions with drugs. In fact, more than 85 drugs interact with the fruit, and the impact can have serious implications. Some fruit juices, including clementine juice, may also interact with medications and this should be discussed directly with your doctor. 

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