Oranges vs Lemons

All citrus fruits pack a lot of nutrition into a bright and beautiful package. Here’s a look at lemons and oranges, and the differences between them.

It’s not a question of either or – the best approach is to eat from a colorful and diverse plate that includes the various varieties of citrus. Here’s how the two stack up.


  • Lemons: between 5 to 7% due mainly to citric acid
  • Oranges: about 1%


  • Oranges: typically between 3,69-4,34
  • Lemons: about 2 to 2,6
  • After you eat either an orange or lemon, and fully digest and metabolize it, the citric acid turns alkaline;
  • Oranges are more alkaline-forming than a similar amount of lemon.

Vitamin Count

Oranges contain more:

  • Vitamin A +922.7%
  • Vitamin E +20%
  • Vitamin B1 +117.5%
  • Vitamin B2 +100%
  • Vitamin B3 +182%
  • Vitamin B5 +31.6%
  • Folate +172.7%

Lemons contain more:

  • Vitamin B6 +33.3%

They are equal when it comes to Vitamin C content.


Oranges contain more:

  • Calcium +53.8%
  • Magnesium +25%
  • Potassium +31.2%
  • Sodium -100%
  • Zinc +16.7%
  • Copper +21.6%

Lemons contain more:

  • Iron +500%
  • Phosphorus +14.3%


  • Oranges are higher in naringenin;
  • Lemons are higher in hesperetin content.

Both of these flavonoids have been associated heart protective qualities, such as:

  • Helping to promote breakdown of fatty acids;
  • Naringin may be able to reduce diastolic blood pressure;
  • Consuming lemons is inversely related to systolic blood pressure;
  • Both hesperidin and naringin show antidiabetic properties, such as influencing glycemic response, and inhibiting the breakdown of carbs;
  • Red (blood) orange and lemon extracts have been shown to help prevent end-stage renal disease;
  • The limonene in lemons may help to prohibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells.

Some research also indicates that consuming whole fruits, including the peels (zest) is preferable to taking flavonoid supplements. Many believe that flavonoids work best in combination with each other.

It’s just another reason to eat plenty of lemons and oranges.

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