Are Clementines Healthy for You?

Fruits, such as clementines, are a healthy snack, especially when you're craving something sweet. You'll find many vitamins and minerals, as well as other important nutrients such as fiber, in clementines.

Clementines are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
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Clementines are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth. This fruit also provides many important nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Read more: Side Effects of Eating Too Many Clementines

Clementines are medium-sized members of the mandarin orange family. Mandarins are small, and clementines end up being about half the size of a regular orange. The size is important for comparing the nutrients in clementines to other citrus fruits.

Consider Clementine Benefits

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a healthy eating pattern includes fruits — particularly in their "whole" form. Clementines help you reach this recommendation. As a bonus, there are approximately 35 clementine calories per piece of fruit.

According to the USDA, clementine carbs clock in at 9 grams per piece of whole fruit. Compare this to other fruit-based snacks, such as a 1/2 cup serving of cinnamon-flavored applesauce, which has 25 grams of carbs and 100 calories per serving.

Excellent Source of Vitamin C

Clementines pack a punch when it comes to vitamin C — just one clementine contains 36 milligrams. This turns out to be 40 percent of the daily value for vitamin C for men, and 48 percent for women, according to the National Academies of Sciences.

Whether working as an antioxidant or synthesizing essential substances, such as collagen and neurotransmitters, vitamin C has quite an impact on your health.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects cells, proteins, fats, carbs and DNA from damage caused by free radicals, according to Linus Pauling Institute. Your skin depends on vitamin C to protect its cells from free radicals formed in response to sunlight.

It's essential for the synthesis of the connective tissue collagen, which supports tendons, your skin, blood vessels, bones and tissues throughout your body.

Find Your Fiber in Clementines

There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble. Fiber helps protect your heart by lowering levels of cholesterol. It also helps to control blood sugar levels, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

In addition to soluble fiber, clementines also provide insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation and diverticular disease. The daily adequate intake for women is 25 grams, while men need to consume 38 grams of fiber daily, according to the National Academies of Sciences.

One clementine contains 1.5 grams of fiber per the USDA, or 4 to 6 percent of the daily value.

Read more: The Effects of Eating Too Many Oranges

Protect Your Heart with B's

Two of the B vitamins you'll get from eating a clementine — vitamin B-6 and folate — contribute to your cardiovascular health. Both of these vitamins metabolize an amino acid called homocysteine into two other protein-building amino acids.

When you don't have enough vitamin B6 or folate, the levels of homocysteine circulating in your bloodstream increase, according to Linus Pauling Institute.

High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease because the amino acid damages your blood vessels, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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