Are clementines good for you? Besides their beauty and delicious flavor, what else can clementines do for your health? Let’s find out more in this article.

Also see Best Immunity Boosting Fruits and Best Fruits Containing Vitamin C.

What Are Clementines?

Clementines are a hybrid of mandarin orange and sweet orange. 

The name Clementine comes from Clement Rodier, a French missionary that first discovered it in Misserghin, Algeria.

They are citrus fruit that looks like small orange. But unlike most citrus fruits, their flesh is refreshingly sweet and juicy.

They have a thin, deep orange, glossy, and easy-to-peel skin and segments that can be easily separated. Most clementines are seedless, but some do have seeds, so it all depends on the variety.  

Common varieties include:

  • Seedless: Grown in North Africa.
  • Monreal: Grown in North Africa. Have seeds and can cross-pollinate with other citrus fruits.
  • Sweetclems: Grown in Spain and North Africa

Unlike most citrus fruits, clementines are refreshingly sweet and can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, canned, or juiced.

Also, its rind contains different beneficial oils like limonene, linalool, myrcene, and a-pinene.

Clementine Nutritional Facts

1 Clementine (75mg) contains about:

  • calories: 35
  • carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • protein: 0.6 grams
  • dietary fiber: 1.3 grams
  • vitamin C: 36.1 milligrams, or 60 percent of the daily value (DV)
  • potassium: 131 milligrams, or 4 percent DV
  • folate: 17.8 micrograms, or 4 percent DV
  • thiamine: 0.1 milligrams, or 4 percent DV
  • vitamin B6: 0.1 milligrams 3 percent DV

Clementine may also offer small amounts of various nutrients, including vitamin E, niacin, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.

Clementines are also a good source of antioxidants, including hesperidin, narirutin, flavonoids, and beta-carotene.

Are Clementines Good For You?

Yes, and here is why:

1. Clementines can boost immunity

A strong immune system is essential to help protect you against disease-causing pathogens. It can also shorten your recovery period during an illness.

Among the nutrients that can strengthen your immune system is vitamin C, and Clementine contains plenty of it.

Clementines can especially come in handy during the winter when they are in season and when you are at a higher risk of catching a cold or flu.

A single Clementine can provide more than 50 percent of your daily vitamin C benefits. This means consuming just 2 Clementines per day will be enough to keep your immune system functioning optimally. 

Vitamin C can also boost the immune system by acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that disarm free radicals in the body. Free radices can cause cell damage, leading to disease formation. 

According to research, consuming vitamin C can boost your body’s antioxidant levels by up to 30 percent, which can help increase your body’s natural defense systems.

Additionally, vitamin c promotes the production of white blood cells, which helps protect the body against infection. This vitamin further protects white blood cells from potential damage free radicals causing them to work more efficiently.

2. Clementines can enhance eye health

Like other orange-colored fruits and vegetables, clementine contains beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant and a precursor for vitamin A. This means when beta-carotene is consumed, the body converts it into vitamin A. 

Vitamin A promotes the formation of rhodopsin, a pigment found in the eye retina. This pigment is essential for proper vision, especially in dim light. That’s why a deficiency often leads to night blindness.

Vitamin A may also help prevent age-related eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is also the leading cause of blindness.

3. Clementines can prevent cancer 

High levels of antioxidants in Clementine, including vitamin C and beta carotene, can help fight against cancer.

In observational studies, a high intake of beta-carotene has been shown to lower the risk of various cancers, including bladder, lung, and cervical cancers. Beta-carotene has also been shown to lower the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

4. Clementines can boost skin health

The high vitamin C in clementines can help promote healthy skin in various ways.

For one, vitamin C promotes collagen production. Collagen is a structural protein that gives your skin its elasticity, plumpness, and firmness. This can help prevent premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Also, vitamin C as an antioxidant may help strengthen your skin barrier by preventing free radical damage from the sun.

Besides, vitamin C has been used to promote wound healing in clinical settings. This is due to its ability to suppress pro-inflammatory responses, which reduces inflammation in the wound and promotes healing. 

Vitamin C also regulates the different phases of wound healing, including attracting fibroblasts to the wound site. Fibroblasts help break down fibrin clots and create collagen structures that support various cells associated with contracting the wound, leading to effective wound closure and healing.

5. Clementines are good for your brain

Clementines are a good source of hesperidin, a bioflavonoid compound with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. 

It has been shown to improve cognitive health through various mechanisms, including elevating BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This is a protein that promotes the growth, maturation, and maintenance of neurons, thus maintaining normal cognitive abilities.

Also, hesperidin reverses the disruptive effects of global cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). IRI is the tissue damage that occurs when blood supply returns to a tissue after a period of lack of oxygen or ischemia.

Due to these effects on the brain, hesperidin has also been shown to improve depression, cognition, and memory.

6. Clementines can improve digestive health

A healthy digestive system can boost your immunity, improve mood, promote better sleep, improve digestion and nutrient absorption, and potentially prevent some cancers and autoimmune conditions.

Clementines are a good source of fiber and water, both of which can promote a healthy digestive system. 

The fiber in the clementine is found in the gelatinous substance on the peel, seed, and pulp. It has been shown to improve gut motility and prevent constipation, regulate appetite, improve gut microbiome and colon health, fight inflammation, and prevent colorectal cancer.

Vitamin C can also help improve the gut barrier by increasing collagen synthesis, which increases the connective issues that promote a healthy and strong gut lining.

7. Clementines promote better cardiovascular health

Research shows that citrus fruits like clementine may help improve cardiovascular health. This is due to the fiber and flavonoid antioxidants in them that may lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.

Additionally, vitamin C in citrus fruits may help protect the arteries against damage, thus improving blood flow from the arteries. A few studies have also noted that vitamin C may help slow the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).

9. Clementines can enhance iron absorption

Iron is an essential mineral needed for the formation of red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen from the blood to all parts of the body.

While you can obtain your iron from various foods, absorbing it into your system is a different thing. 

Vitamin C has been shown to boost the absorption of non-heme iron (the iron found in plant foods like nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and leafy greens).

Besides the formation of hemoglobin, having enough iron in the body can help treat anemia, produce neurotransmitters in the brain, promote muscle functions, regulate body temperature, boost immunity, and treat insomnia.

10. Clementines promote electrolyte balance

Electrolytes are minerals in your blood, urine, and other body fluids that conduct electricity. They have a positive and negative charge when dissolved in water.

Electrolytes help balance the fluid outside and inside your cells, regulate various chemic reactions, and maintain nerve activities, among other benefits.

The key electrolytes in the body include sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and bicarbonate. 

Clementine contains electrolytes like potassium that can help balance the sodium in blood by flushing it out in the urine. If your sodium is too high, it can increase tension within the blood vessel walls leading to high blood pressure.

11. Clementines can maintain strong and healthy bones

While bone loss is a natural process that occurs with age, what you eat may play a major role in promoting, slowing, and even inhibiting this process.

Regularly consuming clementines, for example, can provide essential nutrients like carotenoids needed to maintain proper bone density even with old age.

β-Cryptoxanthin, in particular, is a carotenoid that has been shown to maintain a balance between osteoblastic bone formation and osteoclastic bone resorption. This helps maintain a healthy balance between bone loss and new bone cell formation.

12. Clementines may prevent kidney stones

Kidney stones are small hard deposits of acid salts and minerals that form inside your kidneys. These occur when the urine is too concentrated, allowing the minerals to crystallize and stick together. 

Kidney stones can affect any part of the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the bladder. 

If the stone becomes lodged in the ureters, it can block urine flow and cause severe pain.

According to research, fruits high in citric acid, like clementine, can lower the risk of kidney stones. This is because the citrate in them is a natural inhibitor to kidney stone formation. Citrate can also break down the calcium deposits in kidney stones and slow their growth.

In one study, a lemonade therapy of drinking 4 ounces or reconstituted lemon juice in two liters of water per day reduced the rate of stone formation to 0.13 from 1.00 stones per patient.

Another 2014 study found that regular intake of citrus fruits reduced the risk of developing kidney stones over time.

13. Clementines are low in calories

Clementines are very low in calories but high in water and fiber, making them a healthy snack for those looking to lose weight.

Instead of reaching for a calorie-dense snack to curb your cravings, try snacking on one or two clementines. 

Delicious and Easy Ways to Add Clementines to Your Diet

There are many ways to enjoy clementines. You can eat them whole as a snack, make juices and cocktails, or add them to your dishes and other recipes.

Here are some easy and delicious ways to add clementines to your regular diet:

Salads

Clementines can add a tone of sweetness and zing to any salad while adding a beautiful pop of color and nutrition.

They especially pair well with green salads as their sweet taste can offset the bitterness in some greens. A fruit salad or a grain bowl salad can also go well with this delicious fruit.

Peel your clementines, separate each piece, and chop them into halves before adding them to your salads.

Smoothies

The best thing about smoothies is that you can throw in just about anything, from nuts to seeds, to vegetables, and even fruits like clementines. Their fiber and nutrients can elevate the nutritional profile of just any smoothie. 

For example, add some peeled and seeded Clementine into a blender with your vegan yogurt, nuts, and seeds of choice. Blend everything and enjoy it as your mid-morning snack.

Salsa

To your regular salsa recipe, finely chop seeded clementine pieces and mix everything together. Their sweetness will help balance the heat in your salsa.

Make a clementine vinaigrette

This vinaigrette can allow you to enjoy clementine flavors without any added sugar. Mix freshly squeezed Clementine juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil and season to taste.

Serve over a green salad or roasted vegetables.

Desert

You can easily use Clementine in place of oranges in your dessert recipes, such as in pies, cakes, and any other dessert.

Risks and Side Effects

While citrus fruits can be highly nutritious and beneficial to our health, some people may want to trade cautiously.

According to research, citrus fruits like clementines, grapefruit, and mandarin contain certain enzymes that can interact with various medications leading to severe adverse effects. 

Some of these medications include immunosuppressants, cancer medications, and those used to treat heart conditions. 

Anyone on these medications should consult their doctor or pharmacist on whether citrus fruits are safe to consume.

Related Articles:

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  2. Eye-Opening Benefits of Eating Delicious Fruits for Eye Health

  3. Health Benefits of Miracle Fruit

  4. 12 Best Foods to Eat When Sick

Final Thoughts

Clementines are a type of citrus fruit and a cross between mandarin orange and sweet orange.
They are rich in beneficial nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which can promote good health and prevent disease.

You can eat Clementines on their own as a healthy snack or add them to recipes like salads, smoothies, juices etc.

That being said, Clementine and other citrus fruit may interact with medications used in heart conditions, cancer, or depression. So always seek professional advice if taking any of these.

More articles about fruit:

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