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Are Oranges Ok on The Candida Diet?

Posted 1/20/2021 by Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP

Oranges also called sweet orange is a fruit of citrus trees called Citrus Sinesis and belongs to family Rutaceae of plant kingdom. Sweet orange is a hybrid of two species pomelo and mandarin. It is produced in most of the worlds countries and covers more than 50% of the citrus production in the world. The top producing countries are Brazil, China, United States, India, Egypt and Mexico. In year 2019-2020, the global production of oranges was 46.06 million metric tons. Oranges are consumed as fresh fruit or in juice form worldwide.

Brief History of Oranges

Oranges originated from the Himalayas at the borders of India (Assam), Myanmar and China. In India and China orange has been cultivated since 2500 BC . The first documented evidence appeared in 340 BC from China. Around 100 BC, traders brought oranges into the Roman Empire and from there oranges spread to Africa and then to Spain. The first mention of sweet oranges in Europe appeared in last half of the 15th century. In the new world oranges were introduced by Christopher Columbus. He took the seeds of oranges with him in his 2nd voyage to Haiti. European settlers spread oranges to Florida and St Augustine in the middle of the 16th century.


During the age of exploration a vast number of sailors died due to scurvy, a disease caused by lack to Vitamin C. Oranges, a cure for the scurvy, were first documented in the start of 18th century by Ms. Ebot Mitchell in England and later by James Lind in 1747. In the middle of the 19th century the first commercial orchard was planted in Los Angeles. By the end of the 19th century a seedless orange called naval orange arrived and its popularity spread throughout the USA.

Nutrient Profile of Oranges

Oranges have a diverse and rich nutrient profile with low calories and healthy amounts of proteins, carbs, minerals, dietary fibers and Vitamins, especially Vitamin C.

  • Carbohydrates: There are 12grams carbohydrates /100grams of orange and it provides 4% of the daily value (DV). Mostly carbs are simple sugars such glucose and sucrose which sweeten the oranges. Despite high sugars, the glycemic index of oranges is on the low side, which makes oranges a healthy food.

  • Fibers: Oranges are valuable source of dietary fibers; 100 grams of oranges contain 2.4 grams of dietary fibers which cover 9% of the daily value (DV) and contains cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins and lignins. There are a number of health benefits associated with dietary fibers obtained from fruits.

  • Proteins: There is a decent amount of proteins in oranges; 0.9 grams/ 100 grams of orange and provides 2% of the daily value (DV).

  • Fats: There is very little to no amount of fats in oranges; 0.1 gram/100 grams of oranges and most of that is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are good for health.

Vitamins and Minerals in Oranges

There is a healthy amount of Vitamin and Minerals in oranges, especially Vitamin C, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin, calcium, potassium and magnesium. 100 grams of oranges contain 30 mcg folate, 0.282mg Niacin, 0.040 mg Riboflavin, 0.087mg Thiamin and 53.2mg Vitamin C. 100 gram of orange provide 59% of daily value (DV) requirement (6). Regarding minerals, there is 40mg calcium, 181 mg potassium, 10mg magnesium, and 0.045 mg copper.

Antioxidants in Oranges

There are a plenty of phenolic compounds and carotenoids in oranges which act as antioxidants.

Phenolic Compounds

The class of phenolic compounds present in oranges is flavonoids which are excellent antioxidants with proven health benefits. The important flavonoids present in oranges are

  • Hesperetin: It is a main flavonoid present in oranges. Along with anti-oxidation property, it also has anti inflammatory and antimicrobial activity. Furthermore, it is also a potential drug for arrhythmias because of its effects on sodium current channels.

  • Naringenin: It is also found predominately in oranges. Studies have shown vast therapeutic potential of naringenin as anti-hepatitis C, antiaging, anti-alzeihmer, anticancer, anticonvulsant, anti-diabetic, and anti-hyperlipidemic.


Are a group of compounds present in oranges with antioxidant activity. Important carotenoids present in oranges are

  • Xanthophylls: These are oxygen containing carotenoids with efficient anti-oxidation activity. Xanthopylls have shown promising results in Neurological, immune related and allergic diseases.

  • Cryptoxanthins: Oranges are a good bioavailable source of Cryptoxanthins. It is an efficient antioxidant, acts as a source of Retinol, a good cancer preventive agent, and improves bone health.
  • Carotenes: Carotene gives the oranges their traditional color. Furthermore, studies have found carotenes to be associated with improved cognitive function, improved sunscreen safety, reduced diabetes mellitus occurrence, protective effect against arsenic induced toxicity, and are beneficial in treatment of lead poisoning.

Health Benefits of Oranges

Oranges have number of health benefits because of their healthy nutrient contents and the presence of functional bioactive compounds.

  • The consumption of oranges is good for cardiovascular health. The presence of carotenoids, flavonoid and vitamin C provide cardio protective effects. Oranges as citrus fruits lower homocystein resulting in reduced cardiovascular disease risk. Furthermore, studies have shown that long term use of orange reduces LDL-cholesterol and increases HDL-cholesterol which is good indicator of heart health.

  • Oranges also have anticancer properties due to their high contents of bioactive compounds. Studies have found anticancer effect of oranges in Colon cancer, Gastric and esophageal cancer, mammary tumors and pulmonary metastasis. The main component for anticancer activity are flavonoids.

  • The consumption of orange juice has been found to be associated with reduced risk of kidney stones. For example, a study found that 0.5 liters consumption of orange juice daily significantly reduced the formation of calcium oxalate stones in women.

  • Orange juice has found to be effective against H.pylori so it may reduce the risk of peptic ulcers. It is because of antibacterial properties in compounds of oranges such as hesperetin.

  • Studies have also found that orange oil has anti-anxiety effects. For example, researcher have found that the use of sweet orange aroma reduces the anxiety symptoms in children as well as adults.

  • The regular use of oranges can also prevent iron deficiency anemia. Oranges have enough Vitamin C which helps in the absorption of Iron and iron is important for hemoglobin synthesis.

  • Studies have found the antimicrobial activity of orange peel extracts against a variety of bacteria.

Health Risks of Oranges

The consumption of oranges in moderate quantity does not pose any health risk for normal individuals. Excess consumption can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea due to high fiber content and intake of high amounts of Vitamin C. It can cause Heartburn in individuals especially those having GERD. Individuals taking beta blockers should be cautious while consuming oranges due to their high potassium content.

Oranges on The Candida Diet

The following nutrition information is for one medium orange 2-5/8" in diameter (131g) and is provided by the USDA.

Calories: 62
Fat: 0.16g
Sodium: 0mg
Carbohydrates: 15.4g
Fiber: 3.1g
Sugars: 12.2g
Protein: 1.2g
Vitamin C: 69.7mg
Potassium: 237mg
Calcium: 52.4mg

The glycemic index of an average sized orange runs from 40 to 43, which is about like an apple. Under 55 is considered to be low glycemic. Using 40 as the baseline, oranges have a glycemic load of 6, which is also low.

The 3g of fiber helps to bind the carbs and simple sugars and slow digestion. This slowing effect with the low glycemic index allows oranges to be ok for diabetics. This allows oranges to be ok on the Candida diet.

Orange juice however has a glycemic index of 50 and usually has the fiber removed which quickens digestion and could cause a blood sugar spike, which will feed Candida yeast. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care confirms this. They found that orange juice increased blood sugar levels but eating the whole orange did not have that same effect and helped lower the risk of diabetes.

In conclusion, a couple oranges a week will be ok on the Candida diet.

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