How many oranges should I eat a day?

February 23, 2024 | 04:26 pm PT
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, so my family often buys them to eat and make juice. How many oranges a day is enough? (Hong, Ho Chi Minh City)


Each 100 grams of orange contains 87.6 grams of water, 104 micrograms of carotene—an antioxidant vitamin, 30 mg of vitamin C, 93 mg of potassium, 26 mg of calcium, 9 mg of magnesium, 0.3 grams of fiber, 4.5 mg of sodium, 7 mg of chromium, 20 mg of phosphorus, and 0.32 mg of iron, with an energy value of 48 kcal.

The high vitamin C content in oranges can help stimulate the production of white cells, thereby enhancing the immune system and helping the body fight against diseases.

It has been proven that oranges also have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor effects, inhibit blood clotting, and are powerful antioxidants.

Orange juice, meanwhile, contains vitamin A, copper, folate, and thiamine (vitamin B1) among other nutrients that help keep the immune system in its best state, aiding the body in warding off external attacks.

A cut half orange over a pile of organces. Illustration photo by Freepik

A cut half orange over a pile of oranges. Illustration photo by Freepik

According to nutrition experts, daily required vitamin C intake depends on gender, age, and smoking habits. To be more specific:

Pregnant women should consume 80 mg of vitamin C a day and increase to 120 mg during breastfeeding.

Children are recommended to eat half an orange a day, even if they want more, to avoid potential orange allergies.

Females 19 and older need 75 mg of vitamin C daily, which is equivalent to one orange with a diameter of about 4 cm.

Males 19 and older should consume 90 mg of vitamin C daily, equivalent to one orange with a diameter of 5 cm.

Smokers need an extra 35 mg of vitamin C in addition to the basic required amount based on their age and gender to minimize the effects of the free radicals produced by smoking.

Keep in mind that oranges are healthy when consumed in the right amount and by the right people. People with stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, or pancreatitis should not drink orange juice.

Orange juice should not be consumed at night, immediately before, or after drinking milk. A Japanese study also advises avoiding orange juice when taking medication, recommending drinking orange juice one to two hours before or after taking medication.

Dr. Huynh Tan Vu

Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University

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