Clementines: Nutrition, Benefits, & Ways to Eat

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

Clementines are sweet citrus fruits that are possibly rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. They may aid in skincare, improve your digestive health, and protect your heart health. Clementines also help in maintaining electrolyte balance, weight loss, and boosting your bone health.

What are Clementines?

Clementines are succulent fruits with a smooth and shiny outer layer. They are generally seedless and are the smallest type of mandarin orange. These fruits are believed to have been discovered in the early twentieth century by a French missionary in Algiers. Since then, they have been gaining a lot of attention for their medicinal as well as culinary uses. In the US, they are known by kid-friendly brand names like Cuties, Halos, Darling, and Sweeties. Clementines are easy to peel and they disperse into multiple segments, just like tangerines. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as seedless tangerines. This is one of the important reasons why they make for a sweet and delicious snack for children.

Learn more about the difference between different varieties of oranges here.

A bowl of fresh whole and halved clementines on a white background

Clementines are great for dental health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Clementines, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]86.58
Energy 47
Energy [kJ]198
Protein [g]0.85
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.15
Ash [g]0.4
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]12.02
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.7
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]9.18
Sucrose [g]5.96
Glucose (dextrose) [g]1.59
Fructose [g]1.64
Calcium, Ca [mg]30
Iron, Fe [mg]0.14
Magnesium, Mg [mg]10
Phosphorus, P [mg]21
Potassium, K [mg]177
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.06
Copper, Cu [mg]0.04
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.02
Selenium, Se [µg]0.1
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]48.8
Thiamin [mg]0.09
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.64
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.15
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.08
Folate, total [µg]24
Folate, food [µg]24
Folate, DFE [µg]24
Choline, total [mg]14
Betaine [mg]0.1
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.2
Sources include : USDA [1]

Clementines Nutrition

Clementines are juicy delights that are possibly rich in vital nutrients including minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. They contain vitamins such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and folate to the body. Clementines are a good source of helpful bioactive components such as limonoids, flavones, and glycosylates. They are also a good source of citrus antioxidants like hesperidin, narirutin, and beta carotene. In addition to this, these fruits contain fiber. [2] [3]

Clementines are low in calories with only 34 calories per fruit, which makes them a tasty addition to a weight loss diet. Also, one clementine contains about 8.9 g of carbohydrates. [4] [5]

What are the Benefits of Eating Clementines?

Clementines help you in the following ways:

May Have Antioxidant Potential

Clementine is known to be a good source of antioxidants.

Research published in the Food Chemistry journal suggests that the pulp of clementines and oranges is rich in bioactive compounds, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid, which show antioxidant activity. [6]

Moreover, antioxidants also help in preventing diabetes, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. [7]

Clementines may also help in enhancing the disease-fighting ability of the body and strengthening immunity as they are rich in vitamin C. [8]

May Aid in Skin Care

Clementines are good for the skin, owing to the presence of vitamin C in them.

Studies suggest that vitamin C helps in the synthesis of collagen, a structural component vital for healthy skin. [9]

Vitamin C has antioxidant potential that may help protect your skin from UV damage. It also helps in revitalizing the aging skin. Furthermore, it aids in reducing the formation of wrinkles, supports in repairing damaged skin, and assists in keeping the skin healthy and youthful. [10]

May Aid in Digestion

Clementines may help you sweetly increase your fiber intake.

They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber and the latter is present in a comparatively more amount. [11]

Fiber adds bulk to the stool and facilitates better digestion and keeps constipation at bay. It also aids in better absorption of nutrients from the food by slowing down the digestion process. It can also help in protecting you from many conditions like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. [12]

May Have High Folate Content

Clementines may help in boosting your brain health. They are a source of folate, which is shown to help in the normal functioning of the brain and relieving depression. [13]

Folate may also prove valuable during pregnancy as it helps in protecting the baby from neural tube defects.

May Improve Cardiovascular Health

Clementines are known to be good for the heart owing to the possible presence of potassium. One fruit contains about 131 mg potassium which makes up for 5 percent of your daily intake. [14] [15]

Eating it may help in normalizing cardiac arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. It may also assist in maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure. Potassium is also linked to a lower risk of stroke. [16]

May Improve Electrolyte Balance

Clementines are valuable in maintaining the electrolytic balance of the body, again due to the presence of potassium.

Eating these fruits aids in maintaining a natural water balance amidst the cells and the body fluids, which is extremely critical for the healthy functioning of the entire system. [17]

Other Benefits

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, clementines also help in the following ways:

  • They contain choline, which assists in the healthy functioning of the liver and helps prevent the occurrence of liver diseases. [18]
  • As a source of calcium and potassium, clementines may help in reducing the risk of dental inflammation and avert tooth loss.
  • Eating juicy clementines can also contribute to strong and healthy bones. They contain calcium and phosphorus, which play an important role in building muscle. [19] [20]
  • Clementine essential oil is used in aromatherapy owing to its rejuvenating nature. It may also help promote better and restful sleep. [21]

How To Eat Clementines?

Clementine has a sweeter flavor as compared to its peers. It can be quickly peeled and eaten fresh on its own. Other than that, you can add these fruits to your meals in the following ways:

  • They can be mixed with avocados, spinach leaves, and pumpkin seeds for a colorful holiday salad.
  • They are a great snack for kids as they have no seeds.
  • You can add them to your yogurt, oatmeal, or breakfast cereals for a zingy flavor.
  • If you like adding candied clementines to your desserts, you can make them at home. Boil equal parts sugar and water and add clementine slices to it. Simmer it for about 2 hours and then bake the slices at 250 degrees for one hour.

As clementines are a holiday favorite, you may want to gorge on these little cuties. So, as long as you have no citrus allergy or any other chronic health condition, you can have about 6 – 7 clementines every day.

When are Clementines in Season?

Clementines start appearing soon after the harvest season begins. They widely are available in stores and markets from October to January. You can also find them under the brand names Halo, Cuties, and Darling throughout the year in some stores.

These fruits last for a week if you store them in a cool place. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. These fruits don’t last for a long time as they have very thin skin and they spoil easily. So enjoy the sweet treats while the season lasts!

Word of Caution: Although clementine is a healthy choice, since it is a citrus fruit it may also cause allergic reactions in some people.
Symptoms like atopic dermatitis, mouth ulcers, lesions on the lips or tongue, tingling sensation inside the mouth area, on the inner side of the cheeks are some of the most prevalent indications of clementine allergy. [22]

Some people may develop itching or swelling in the throat or digestive troubles like nausea and cramps after eating citrus fruits like clementines. People with known citrus allergy may avoid or be cautious while eating a clementine.

Clementine juice may also interact with certain drugs and cause adverse effects. It is advisable to consult with your doctor if you are planning to include it in your daily diet. [23] Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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