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Number Of Calories In An Orange

Updated on January 27, 2015

How Many Calories In An Orange

Dietary calories are units of energy a food or drink provides your body when eaten. Like all fruits, the number of calories in an orange depends on its size.

A small orange weighing 96 g has 45 calories
A medium orange weighing 131 g has 62 calories
A large orange weighing 184 g has 86 calories

Because 85% of an orange is water, it has less calories compared with other fruits. Orange is unique because it contains all 3 types of sugars: 27% fructose, 23% glucose and 50% sucrose. This is where orange, one of the most liked fruits around the world, presents a major problem for the metabolic process in your body.

When you eat an orange, you take in all 3 sugars. Fructose and glucose are one-molecule sugars, easily absorbed by your body, but sucrose is a two-molecule sugar formed by combining fructose and glucose, and has to be broken down to fructose and glucose by the enzyme sucrase before it can be absorbed by your body.

This is another way of saying when you eat an orange, you take in 54% fructose and 46% glucose. The problem is that all cells in your body can use glucose for energy, but only your liver cells can use fructose. As a result, depending on how much fructose-rich food or drink is consumed, the liver ends up with more fructose than it needs.

With nowhere to go, a small amount of the excess fructose in the liver is converted to glucose, while the majority is converted to triglycerides, a form of fat that contributes to obesity, heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that the pith of an orange contains soluble fiber that turns to jell when eaten. It slows down the digestion of fructose in the liver, reduces the amount of triglycerides that are produced, and protects your body from the negative effects of fructose metabolism. The pith of an orange also contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that helps prevent damage to your cells by cancer causing free radicals.

Your best bet is to eat raw orange in moderation, and when possible with foods rich in fibers. Besides calories, an orange has other important nutrients and minerals your body needs to remain healthy.

Along With Calories An Orange has Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are made by chains of amino acids. Without proteins your body cannot repair or make new cells, and it will die as a result. Babies and teenagers need proteins for growth and cognitive development.

You get your proteins from the food you eat, which are broken down into amino acids during digestion. Amino acids are of 3 types:

1. Those that your body cannot make are the essential amino acids
2. Nonessential amino acids are made from essential amino acids
3. Conditional amino acids are made when you are ill or under stress

Proteins from animals such as meat, fish, poultry, milk are called complete proteins because each has all the amino acids your body needs to remain healthy. Incomplete proteins are from plant-based foods like soy, beans, legumes, nut butters and some grains. You have to combine a number of these at a meal to have all the amino acids your body needs for repairs, growth and development.

Along With Calories An Orange Has Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are delivered to your body in the form of sugars, starches and fibers. They are grouped into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are found in fruits, milk, dairy, certain vegetables, table sugar and candy. The sugars in these foods are quickly digested and absorbed by your body.

Complex carbohydrates are in the form of starches and fibers, with 3 or more sugars and complex chemical structures. They are found in legumes, beans, lentil, starchy vegetables, whole-grain breads, pasta and cereals. If you guessed that complex carbohydrates are relatively slow to digest and absorb, you are right. They are also healthier.

Your body needs carbohydrates to make cellular energy for your tissues and organs, particularly for your brain and nervous system. It does this with the enzyme amalase that helps break down carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses as energy.

Too much carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates, would increase the amount of calories in your body. The excess calories are converted to fat that causes weight gain, high blood pressure, heart attack, type 2 diabetes and others.

A deficiency of carbohydrates would cause malnutrition, and all the diseases associated with malnutrition. You would also suffer from:

1. Fatigue and weakness
2. Have trouble fighting off diseases, and healing your wounds
3. Weakening of your immune system
4. Increased desire for fatty foods, and the risk of obesity

Along With Calories An Orange Has Dietary Fiber

Dietary fibers come in two types: soluble and insoluble fibers, each affects the body in different ways. Soluble fiber dissolve in water, turns to jell and slows down digestion. It is found in some fruits and vegetables, as well as in oat bran, barley, beans, nuts and seeds. It helps lower cholesterol and heart disease.

Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. It speeds up the movement of food in digestive system and helps to prevent constipation and the development of hemorrhoids.

Along With Calories An Orange Has Calcium

Your body stores more calcium than any other minerals. More than 99% is stored in your teeth and bones to keep them strong. The rest is found in your blood, muscles and the fluid between your cells. Your body needs calcium:

1. To build strong bones and teeth
2. For blood clothing
3. To send and receive nerve messages
4. To secret hormones and enzymes
5. To regulate your heart beat
6. To contract and expand your blood vessels and muscles

Your best source of calcium is dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese and buttermilk. You will also find calcium in leafy vegetables like broccoli, callards, kale, mustard greens, and in fruits like apples. But you need vitamin D in your diet to absorb and use calcium. And be mindful of how much wheat bran, spinach and rhubard you eat with a calcium-rich meal, as these can bind with calcium and prevent it from being absorbed.

Too much calcium over a long period can cause you to have kidney stones. A deficiency of calcium increases your risk of osteoporosis, and other health problems.

Along With Calories An Orange has Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral your body cannot make on its own, and must be brought in through foods, drinks and supplements. You need magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body including:

1. Maintaining normal nerves and muscles functions
2. Keeping your heart beat steady
3. Maintaining your immune system healthy
4. Helping to keep your bone strong
5. Helping to regulate your blood glucose levels
6. Helping to produce cellular energy, and making proteins in your body
7. Helping to prevent high blood pressure, heart attack and diabetes

It is unlikely that you would have an overdose of magnesium from your diet because excess magnesium is removed through the urine, but you could from supplements, so be mindful of that. A magnesium deficiency would cause you to:

1. Become hyperexcited and fatigue
2. Have tingling and muscles weakness
3. Become frequently sleepy
4. Become confused and experience hallucination

Along With Calories An Orange Has Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral in all cells in your body, the bulk is found in your teeth and bones. You need phosphorus to:

1. Make your teeth and bones
2. Help your body use carbohydrates and fats
3. Help your body to make protein for growth and repairs to your cells and tissues
4. Help to make ATP, used by your body to store energy

Together with B vitamins, phosphorus helps with:

1. Normal function of your kidneys
2. The contraction of your muscles
3. Regulating of your heartbeat, and nerves signaling

Along With Calories An Orange Has Potassium

You need potassium for your cells to work properly. Excess potassium is removed from your body through urine. Potassium also helps to:

1. Maintain normal body growth
2. Break down and use carbohydrates
3. Build proteins and muscles
4. Control the electrical activities of your heart
5. Control the acid-base balance in your body

A deficiency of potassium, as a result of taking diuretics, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, or taking too many laxative can cause you to have hypokalemia. This can cause muscles weakness and spasms, abnormal heart rhythm, tingling and numbness, fatigue and heart palpitation.

Too much potassium because the kidneys are unable to remove the proper amount of potassium from the body, would cause you to have hyperkalemia, which can cause nausea, weak or irregular pulse, or sudden collapse when the heartbeat slows down or stops. Maintaining the right balance of potassium in your body is vital to keep your body functioning properly.

Along With Calories An Orange Has Folate

Folate is folic acid, a member of the B vitamins. You need folic acid to:

1. Make healthy new cells
2. Help make DNA which carries your genetic information

Folic acid is soluble. This means any excess leaves your body through urine. To keep your folic acid levels normal, you need to replenish it through the food you eat. Besides fruits like orange, other sources of folic acid are:

1. Meat and milk
2. Leafy green vegetables
3. Dried beans, peas and nuts
4. Enriched breads, cereals and other grain products

Along With Calories An Orange Has Vitamin A

Vitamin A is fat soluble. It comes in two forms. Preformed vitamin A comes from animal products like meat and fish. Pro-vitamin A is found in plant based-foods like apples. The most common pro-vitamin A is beta carotene. You need vitamin A to:

1. Make and maintain healthy skin, soft tissue and mucus membranes
2. Make and maintain your teeth and bones
3. Make the retinal in your eyes, and promotes good vision
4. Beta carotene protects your cells from cancer causing free radicals

Too much vitamin A can be poisonous, and make you sick. It can also cause birth deffects. A deficiency of Vitamin A would increase your risk of cancer, infectious diseases and bad vision.

Along With Calories An Orange Has Vitamin C

Vitamin C is water soluble. In your body it acts as an antioxidant. You need Vitamin C for:

1. Growth and repairs to your skin, ligaments and blood vessels
2. To heal your wounds and make scar tissues
3. To repair and maintain your cartilage, bones and teeth
4. To help block damage to your cells by cancer causing free radicals

Your body cannot make vitamin C. It is brought in through food and drinks you consume, and supplements.

A deficiency of vitamin C would make you anemic, reduced your ability to fight infection, and heal your wounds. You cannot protect yourself from nose bleeding, gingivitis, decreased metabolism, or avoid weight gain, rough and dry skin, swollen and painful joints, and weakening of your tooth enamel.

Along With Calories An Orange Has Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is water soluble. Because your body cannot store it, excess vitamin B6 leaves the body through urine. You need regular supply of vitamin B6, either through food, drinks or supplements. Vitamin B6 helps you to:

1. Make antibodies to protect your body from diseases.
2. Maintain proper functioning of your nerves
3. Make hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of your body
4. Maintain your blood sugar (glucose) at normal levels
5. Break down proteins as energy for your cells

While vitamin B6 is vital to your health, keep in mind that too much of it can cause difficulty coordinating your movement, feeling of numbness, or sensory changes may occur, affecting your sight, hearing, tasting or feeling.

Too little of vitamin B6, on the other hand can make you confused, depressed, irritable, and mouth and tongue sores. It is important to maintain proper levels of vitamin B6 in your body.

Before reading this article if you thought an orange had high calories, I hope I have convinced you that an orange provides you more than calories.


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