It’s August in Florida, aka it is the heat of a billion suns. When it comes to hydration, I like eating my water as much as drinking it (fruits♥️). Oranges are available year round down here but how do blood oranges stack up to your standard Navel oranges, is one better than the other?
Blood oranges and your standard Navel orange are both members of the citrus fruit family. Blood oranges tend to be smaller in size and have a tangy taste with a raspberry-like flavor resemblance. Both blood oranges and Navel oranges are similar in caloric content and contain 60-80 calories per medium sized fruit. The two varieties are also similar in fiber content, containing 4-7 grams.
Anthocyanin and Lycopene: The most significant difference between a blood orange and a Navel orange is the presence of anthocyanin and lycopene (a carotenoid). Anthocyanin and lycopene are responsible for the bright red and purple hues that make up the flesh of blood oranges. Anthocyanin and lycopene are natural antioxidants found in plant foods that are believed to protect our bodies against cellular degeneration and chronic disease development. While more research is still needed, anthocyanin and lycopene intake has shown to have anti-inflammatory and lipid lowering properties (1,2), reduce cardiovascular disease risk (3), reduce cognitive function decline (4), and protect against the development of various cancers (5, 6).
Vitamin C: While both a medium-sized Blood Orange and Navel Orange will meet 100% your daily recommended value of Vitamin C (60 mg for women and 75 mg for men), the Navel orange contains slightly more per serving. Vitamin C is an important component in collagen synthesis; it helps to stabilize the collagen molecule structure and promote collagen gene expression.
The Bottom Line: The blood orange packs a little more nutritious value due to its higher content of antioxidants but Navel oranges are a great source of nutrition as well. If you can’t get your hands on blood oranges, eat a Navel orange with a handful of blueberries or raspberries for that extra antioxidant boost.
Storage: Store blood oranges and Navel oranges in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or at room temperature for 4-7 days. To prevent food waste, you can always freeze fresh fruits for later use in smoothies.
Don’t throw that out! Save the rinds of blood oranges and Navel oranges and use them to make a DIY household cleaner like this one here.